Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord (Acts 11:23 KJV)
When Barnabas visited the Gentile Church in Antioch, he saw “the grace of God” according to Acts 11:23. But what did he see, which the scripture calls “the grace of God”?
In Antioch, Barnabas saw many Gentile sinners turning away from sins and becoming Children of God (Acts 11:21). He saw the tangible outward effects of the invisible inner workings of God’s grace in the hearts of people. These visible manifestations in the people’s lives are what Barnabas saw in Antioch and what Luke calls “the grace of God.” The implication becomes apparent: grace is visible in the lives of people.
God’s grace is the experience of God’s kindness or goodness in Christ. As an experience, grace is not merely God’s kind heart towards us. Neither is it simply an essential doctrine of our salvation to know and believe. But beyond being “unmerited favor,” God’s amazing grace is only complete after it creates changes in our bodies, soul, spirit, and circumstances that put a smile on our faces. In fact, one of the meanings of the Greek word for grace in the scriptures, “charis,” is thanksgiving. Grace received always provokes praise and thanksgiving because it brings human beings into the tangible experiences of the goodness of God.
Furthermore, God’s grace has various noticeable effects on our lives. But of the many gracious gifts, none is as precious as our adoption to become God’s children—for real. The forgiveness of our sins, the death of our old man, the gift of the divine nature, and the Holy Spirit in our hearts are unlike any gift the Father has ever bestowed on any of His creatures. However, the grace in Christ is grace upon grace: one precious gift leads to another and then to yet another. God’s grace never stops loading our bags with heavenly treasures.
Upon these spiritual blessings, the Lord adds physical gifts. Healing of our bodies is a taste of God’s grace, just as financial provision. His protection, guidance, comfort, and ministry gifts are all expressions and experiences of God’s favor.
Therefore, the proof of grace is the people who receive it. For example, a lifestyle of sin is the surest evidence that the grace of God is absent in that life. Similarly, when we understand God’s grace and receive it in different areas of our lives, the result is an unquenchable love for Jesus, an awe for God, and an unstoppable attitude of praise.
In conclusion, God has invited us to be visible displays of His invisible unmerited favor in Christ. God desires that the world will understand grace by looking at you. And remember that grace is God’s good pleasure: He is not upset or uncomfortable when we enjoy His goodness; instead, He takes pleasure when we see His goodness and respond in praise and thanksgiving.
Can you enlist at least 3-4 visible manifestations of God’s grace in your life?
Grace is never hidden. Nothing validates our understanding of God’s grace as its visible effects in our lives and the reciprocal joy and gratitude to God that result from it. Make grace visible in your life by understanding and believing what Jesus did.
Ask the Father to help you receive and display His grace in your spiritual life, ministry, health, finances, family, business, etc.
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