“[Grace] is the gift of God–not by works so that no one can boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8
How would you explain grace to an eight year-old?
I think the simplest, yet convicting explanation is:
Grace is a gift that you do not deserve.
You do not deserve it: Your life is messed up. Your dreams do not meet the reality of your life. If people really knew what you were and what you thought…no matter how hard you work, no matter how sharp and witty you are, no matter how successful…Grace is something you do not deserve.
It is a gift: it is something you get to receive. It is a gift. It is given to you. It is bestowed upon you. Not by your efforts (remember, you don’t deserve it). But simply because God wants to give it to you. Remember the excitement you have as a child in receiving a wrapped gift, and wondering what is in it. That is grace–the wonder, the awe, the excitement.
Faith is really this simple–God’s grace is a gift we do not deserve…this grace is Jesus Christ who paid the price for this gift by dying the death we should have died. His crucifixion ripped him apart physically (he breathed no more), emotionally (he was in agony), relationally (all his friends abandoned him) and spiritually (he was forsaken by his Father). Jesus died in order that I might live. That is the gift of grace.
Recognizing this costly gift allows us to get it in order to give it.
Notice how Paul bookends Ephesians…he opens with giving God’s grace to his readers…in order that they may pass it along to all.
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph 1:2
“Peace to all the brothers and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” Eph 6:23-24
Get It…then Give It!