DAY 15: Grace
Scripture: Ephesians 2:1–9
There are certain words in the Christian vocabulary that tend to take center stage during different seasons of the year. Words like Immanuel, joy, glory, peace, hope and incarnation are words we expect to hear during the Christmas season as they clearly describe the celebration surrounding the birth of our Savior. But we tend to reserve other words like grace and mercy for Easter as we talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus that led to our salvation.
But grace is a word that should absolutely define the Advent season because the arrival that we’re celebrating is most definitely an act of God’s grace.
We often use “grace” and “mercy” interchangeably. But these words are different. They are both glorious as they relate to our status before God, but they are most definitely different.
Mercy is the act of not receiving the punishment one rightfully deserves. For the Christian, it’s the idea that death is the rightful punishment for our sin, yet we don’t receive the punishment we’ve rightfully earned because Jesus stepped in to die in our place. Mercy is about not receiving what we deserve.
But grace is about receiving what we don’t deserve. More specifically, grace is about receiving what we do not deserve and could never earn. For the Christian, grace is seen in the fact that God doesn’t just save us; He adopts us. Grace is the reality that God isn’t a judge who simply pardons our sin; He becomes our father as He steps around the bench and calls us sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:5-7).
So, how does grace relate to Advent? Great question. Grace should be at the forefront of our Advent celebrations because you and I did not deserve and could never earn the advent of our Savior. In fact, our sin is exactly why the birth of Jesus was necessary. We needed someone to reconcile our relationship to God.
As we think about the gracious event of Jesus’ birth, let us meditate on Ephesians 2:1-9 to remind ourselves of why Jesus needed to come so that we may marvel at the grace of what He did for us once He was arrived.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
– Josh Storie
Looking for more Advent? Find all of the devotions HERE.