Tag Archive | Union Street

What Is Grace and Where Can I Find It?

images (10)The word Grace is the basis of all my understanding of a Christian belief and an American value system that I hold dear. Yet, only the unmerited grace of God can save anyone anywhere in the world of any religious background. No one can have a claim of entitlement to God’s grace, Christian or Non-Christian, and it is only by his generosity that salvation is even possible for any of us.

Grace is the love and mercy we are given by the Creator of Heaven and Earth because we are thought to be worthy to possess it by his holiness. We primarily refer to God as our Creator and Muslims refer to Him as Allah. Pre-Islamic Christians and Jewish people referred to Him as Allah long before this however so I personally believe He is one and the same. I’ve known many Muslims having been in Iraq and Kuwait for nearly nine years during both war and peacetime. Grace is something open to all people on this planet earth regardless of religious affiliation. It is not just for Christians only but it is given to all the earth’s inhabitants. Many do not accept this thought pattern nor accept the Christian viewpoint. Our Creator gives us this today even though we are not even close to being as he envisioned us and created us to be. It is an unearned gift. I’m not really worthy but neither are you as hard as you might try to prove you are. God loves you and that’s not a bad thing. That is all you need to know. Accept what you’ve been given and try to appreciate what you have and give back to society in whatever way you know how. Go to Temple, Church, Mosque or whatever is your choice and be thankful while both there and at home or any place in between. God deserves some respect from his children. You don’t need to be disrespectful until such a time when it is too late in your short life. Yes, it is a lot shorter than you might think. It is never too late to begin a Graceful existence from this day forward.

Why not Worship at a church called Grace? “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God and not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

In Bangor Maine, Grace Church is located at 193 Union Street today! You are Welcome to go there and see Grace UMC doing God’s Work in serving the poor and less fortunate in our immediate neighborhood. Some say that “It is the Heart in the Heart of the City”. You may know another church like that. It may not be called Grace but it may have a graceful approach towards the city or community nearby. You could contribute and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. You can accept the graceful gift you have been given. Yes, you were also given a special gift from God. Everyone has something special and many people spend their whole life and not know or even realize what it was. How about you? Start thinking about what it is and unpack your gift and use it wisely. It is never too late to discover it and hopefully not too late to start taking advantage of it. Imagine receiving Grace as well as a special gift from God. The Lord may be your best friend and you either don’t know it or appreciate it if you do.

When you think about the term Grace, what comes to your mind? You might think about an unearned mercy that was given to you by God because you are loved and appreciated as a child and regardless if you are good or of a wayward spirit, you are deeply loved still.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. It is a spontaneous gift from Allah God to man. I believe Yahweh, Allah and God are one and the same. Grace is “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved”. It has been afforded each of us by the Master of the Universe.

Grace Church in Bangor does the Work we are expected to be doing. Many other houses of Worship do the same I’m sure. If you go to Grace or another like it, you will learn how you can get involved and help in ministry to the poor and less fortunate in our city and neighborhoods or in your neighborhood.

John Wesley believed this about Grace. the believer who repents and accepts Christ is not “making himself righteous” by an act of his own will, such as would alter his dependency on the grace of God for his salvation. Faith and repentance, rather, are the believer’s trust in God that he will make them righteous. Wesley stated that God makes the initial move in salvation, but human beings are free to respond or reject God’s graceful initiative.

John Wesley believed that God provides three kinds of Divine Grace. Prevenient grace is innate from birth. “Prevenient” means “comes before.” Wesley did not believe that humanity was totally “depraved.” He believed everyone is born with a bit of divine grace. It is enough to enable the individual to recognize and accept God’s justifying grace. Justifying grace today is what is referred to as a “conversion” or of being “born again.” God’s justifying grace brings “new life in Christ.” Wesley believed that people have freedom of choice. They can accept or reject God’s justifying grace. Wesley also believed that after accepting God’s grace, a person is to move on in God’s Sustaining grace and toward perfection. He believed people can make sinful choices that will cause them to “fall from grace” or “backslide.” He said it is insufficient to claim God’s salvation and then stagnate, return to sinning deliberately, or not produce any evidence of following Christ. I like the Wesley definition but as you can see it is complicated.

It is time to get back to the basics regardless of what religious affiliation you have chosen or considered. Grace is definitively a good thing to seek out. It may be time to attend a church or house of worship of your choice. You are Welcome to join us at Grace or at any other place. We all need a graceful life even if we don’t understand why. Hope this paper has helped you understand the importance of God’s gift of Grace and your own special gift just for you alone. Two gifts and no two are exactly alike. Truly, it is Amazing Grace.