living grace

This whole month the subject of grace has been percolating in my mind. I even had a friend ask me a couple of weeks ago what I thought about the relationship between grace and gracious. So here we are, the last Sunday of 31 days. And I think it's about time we talk about this.

Grace and gracious share the same linguistic root: Anglo-French, Latin root gracia or gratia. In this post, I'll be referring to grace as the gift of sanctification paid for by Jesus Christ. In my faith, grace is also called atonement and redemption. In the Bible Dictionary, a scripture study help, we learn that "the main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ." So with this understanding of grace, and with the understanding of gracious that we've gained from this series, what's the connection?

Just about everything.

{"Prince of Peace," by Liz Lemon Swindle. I have a copy of this hanging in Asher's room. It's one of my favorite portrayals of the Savior.}

Gracious living is living with grace, living with the power and mercy of the Savior in our lives. (I know some of my readers don't believe in Jesus Christ, and that's okay. Because I believe that not only is Christ real and literal, but also that He loves each of us, regardless of our belief system.) Gracious living is a lifestyle of the heart, a lifestyle that can't help but manifest itself outwardly in how we treat others and in how we treat ourselves. Living with grace is seeking change within the Savior so as to be more like Him in heart and deed.

This connection between grace and gracious is perhaps best explored on our own. Its meaning is so personal that it's best examined in our own quiet moments and reflections. The crux of it all is that grace is inexorably tied up in gracious living. Grace makes gracious living possible, and gracious living is the outward expression of grace. The more we cultivate a gracious heart, the closer we grow to Jesus Christ and the more we are changed to be as He is.

After this series concludes this week, above all things I want my readers to walk away with this understanding: Jesus Christ has the ultimate gracious heart. He is gracious to us always, and the more we seek to be gracious ourselves, the more light and peace we will experience in our lives through His grace. He is the point of everything, the reason for and source of gracious living.

We can't do any of it without Him.

This post is part of a 31-day series on gracious living. You can find the other posts here.

1 comment:

All Fun Family said...

Beautifully said. In the young women's lesson in my ward today, the leader teaching told the story of Christ feeding 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. I wish I had room in this comment box to elaborate, but let's just say the whole time I was thinking about how gracious Christ was in this story and really throughout his entire mortal ministry. What an incredible example of gracious living. He is THE example of gracious living.

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