The Scriptures teach us that there are three graces. These are faith, hope, and love. (1 Corinthians 13:13) In today’s post, I want to zero in on these three graces in action. Grace means giving something of value to someone when he or she hasn’t earned it. Many of us grew up in households that had someone “say grace” before meals.
The details of saying grace differ between denominations, but all recognize that their provision comes from God and thank Him for His kindness. And most denominations give thanks to God for His presence with them at their meal. My children were taught to say grace – to thank God for giving us our food. My youngest grandson always wants to say grace: “God is great, God is good, now we thank Him for this food. Amen.” He doesn’t always get the “amen” at the end, but that’s okay.
Something new to me when I prepared this post was that many denominations “say grace” before and after a meal. From Wikipedia, here is an example of a before and after prayer for members of Methodist/Wesleyan churches.
- Methodist/Wesleyan (Grace Before Meat) “Be present at our table Lord. Be here and everywhere adored. These mercies bless and grant that we may feast in fellowship with Thee. Amen.”
- Methodist/Wesleyan (Grace After Meat) “We thank thee, Lord, for this our food, But more because of Jesus’ blood. Let manna to our souls be given, The Bread of Life, sent down from heaven. Amen.”
I may start including an after-meal prayer. The prayers I read in the Wikipedia article were meaningful and beautiful. However, today, I want us to consider “giving grace.”
God Gives Grace
Please consider this verse about receiving God’s grace. We find this passage in Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Our loving God gives grace to many and grace to all that are His. We shouldn’t use prayer as our “last” hope. God is our first hope. He works in and through people, and He works directly in people.
We must not omit God’s provision for our salvation. “We are saved by grace through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
We Give Grace
You may have said grace hundreds of times, but did you know that you can also give grace? This truth is woven into the English language. From Christians to atheists, nearly everyone uses the word “gracious.” Of course, this word’s root is the word “grace.” The giver is called gracious when he or she gives something unearned by the recipient. And, when dealing with loans, banks often have a “grace” period where they give a few extra days for the payment to be made.
Now let’s consider this verse:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29
Anyone can give grace, but only a child of God can give God’s grace. With God’s residency in us, the Holy Spirit gives establishes appointments for us. We often call these coincidences, but God is not the God of random; He is the God of order and purpose.
The Holy Spirit guides our speech, so we speak life. I think this commentary note helps us understand our giving of grace:
“We may so speak as ”always“ to do good to others. We may give them some information which they have not; impart some consolation which they need; elicit some truth by friendly discussion which we did not know before, or recall by friendly admonition those who are in danger of going astray.”Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
How wonderful God is. He uses us to give beneficial grace to others. Wow!