Grace, mentioned only 10 times in Old Testament. Most of what was written in that Testament is centered around the law. This writing, however, is not about the law but is centered around the grace of God.
Anyone can receive the free gift of God’s grace. This gift is amazing and the best thing you will ever receive in your life.
“But now we have been given a brief moment of grace, for the Lord our God has allowed a few of us to survive as a remnant. He has given us security in this holy place. Our God has brightened our eyes and granted us some relief from our slavery.” Ezra 9:8
Ezra’s name doesn’t even appear until chapter 7. The king of Babylon permitted him to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of the Lord.
Only two chapters later Ezra received a very disturbing report.
“Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites. Have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. Ezra 9:1
People had intermarried with those pagan nations. And worse yet, the scripture says the leaders and officials had led the way in this outrage.”
Upon hearing the news, Ezra sat down utterly shocked. He sat there all day in a state of mourning until the time of the sacrifice.
At the time of the sacrifice, I stood up from where I had sat in mourning with my clothes torn. I fell to my knees and lifted my hands to the Lord my God and prayed. Ezra 9:5
Recognize the Grace of God
It was during his prayer that he recognized God’s brief moment of grace for them. Which allowed a few of the exiles to survive as an undefiled remnant of Israel.
That almost sounds snobbish, but it’s not. You see, we must maintain the same type of attitude today. An attitude of purity and holiness. But not in a legalistic sense because that is just religion.
Ezra identified the grace of God as momentary. We can’t identify with that because we have the fullness of grace. His grace lasts a lifetime and beyond.
It’s only through the grace of God we can achieve real purity and holiness. As good as that is, God’s grace didn’t stop there. It helps us in many areas of our lives.
- We were saved by the grace of God when we believed. Ephesians 2:8
- Our strength for living comes by His grace. 2 Timothy 2:1
- Grace gives us the right standing with God. Romans 5:21
- His grace is sufficient for us in all things. 2 Corinthians 2:9
- We are afforded His grace of help in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
- Grace trains us to live in a way that honors God. Titus 2:12
Make a Choice
Romans 6 reveals to us two features of grace. One of its best features is it frees you to choose your own master. But the bad feature of grace is it also frees you to choose your own master.
But choose carefully, for you surrender yourself to become a servant—bound to the one you choose to obey. If you choose to love sin, it will become your master, and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, he will lead you into perfect righteousness. Romans 6:16
The window to make your choice of who you will surrender yourself to is limited. Who or what you are serving when you die remains your choice for all eternity.
Lord thank you for your grace. We are certainly not worthy of it. But because of your love and mercy, you have made it available to us all.
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Republished from http://www.ramckinley.com.