Explore the meaning of the reminder images on the Finding Grace Bracelet by clicking on each of the meanings below.
▶ God † Romans 8:37-39 † God’s Love is Grace
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:37-39
Whenever you skip a rock across a body of water, the rock generates waves or ripples. The strongest ripple is at the center where the rock hits and the ripples replicate throughout the water until we see them no more. In reality, the ripples are actually deep and moving up and down. That is what creates the wake you see on the surface of the water. God’s love is similar.
Many of us seem to have our own definition of God’s love. Our definition of love can be skewed because we are sinful. We know of God’s love through His written word in the Bible. God’s love is mentioned 361 times in scripture. A way to define God’s love is to know grace. The definition of grace is “unmerited divine assistance granted to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.”
When the rock skims the water there will always be a wake. It is a matter of cause and effect –you can’t have one without the other. The same is true for love and grace. To know God’s love is to know His grace. Grace is the action of God’s love. God’s grace and love are inseparable. Grace is the powerful ripple effect of God’s unending love.
For God sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, innocent and righteous, to take the penalty of death for our sins. It is through Jesus Christ that we are forgiven and acquitted. Grace is the expanse of God’s love, rippling across the water to reach the hearts of the lost and searching. The grace of God is His love for us and it is what fuels our love for Him.
Our gift of salvation is God’s unconditional love and nothing can or will ever separate us from that love. Things that happen in our lives – like anxiety, depression, or the death of a loved one – may seem as if we are alone and that God’s love is nowhere to be seen. But He is there for us, and no matter what we are facing, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Take the opportunity to skip a rock across a body of water. Remember the ripples are not as they seem, much like our experience of God’s love. The depth of our Father’s love is defined through His immeasurable grace.
▶ Redeem † Ephesians 1:7-8 † Redemption in God’s Love
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insightEphesians 1:7-8
To redeem something is to buy it back or repurchase it. It also means to be free from what distresses or harms. For example, to be free from captivity by payment of a ransom. A major theme of the Bible can be considered redemption. The Old Testament points to a Redeemer, who will free his people from captivity. When the idyllic, perfect life in the Garden of Eden was interrupted by the disobedience of Adam, there occurred a fall from grace. That broke the intimate, perfect relationship between man and God.
In Genesis 3:15, when God reprimands the serpent, the woman, and the man, there is the promise of a Savior, who will fight against the cursed serpent and be victorious. This Savior will come to be known as the Messiah. The Old Testament points to how he will save those separated from a Holy God by Adam and Eve’s original sin. This separation resulting from Adam and Eve’s sin remained in effect until Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind on the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Under the law, almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” Because of this, the only thing that can cover our sins is the shedding of blood. In the Old Testament, the blood of goats, bulls, rams, and lambs was shed as a temporary covering for sin. In order to restore mankind’s relationship with God permanently, there had to be the sacrifice of a perfect human being. Jesus had to die so that we might live. He redeemed us with his blood.
There remains the responsibility of each of us, individually, to believe, accept, and confess Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Philippians 2:11 tells us, “Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is the only way to obtain eternal life with our Messiah. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and we can only go to the Father through Him. He redeemed us to save us. He redeemed us because He loves us. If you have been redeemed, pray for the Lord’s guidance in how He wants you to share Christ’s eternal redemption with others.
▶ Adoption † Romans 8:15-17 † Adoption by our Heavenly Father
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:15-17
As Christians, we get to refer to the Creator of the entire universe as the Father. The word Abba is an intimate term of endearment which we can translate into English as “father.” God is our Heavenly Father and we can rejoice in that.
There is a certain sense of reverence when praying to God, our Heavenly Father. We should also recognize who He is and what He has done for us. Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Romans that once the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us, we begin a special relationship with Him. From then on, He challenges us to grow that relationship more deeply. We are a part of His eternal family with brothers and sisters in Christ.
We are children of the Most High God, in the truest sense of the word. This should be an encouragement for any of us who were adopted into our earthly family. Though you may not be blood-related, you are chosen by your parents, just as much a child of your adoptive mother and father as any naturally born offspring.
As adopted children in the kingdom of God, we often disappoint our Father. We grieve and quench His Holy Spirit in us when we sin and suppress His very Lordship. However, He continues to love us and will guide us back to the right relationship in communion with Himself. His grace is boundless and unending. Where sin abounds, God’s grace is more.
Take a moment today and meditate on the fact that the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God, who spoke the universe into being, loves you enough to draw you to him and adopt you as his own precious child. We are truly brothers and sisters by blood, the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ There is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and nothing we do will ever make Him love us less.
▶ Christ † Matthew 16:16 † Christ is the Promised One
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”Matthew 16:16
These verses make profound statements. The divinely revealed truth to Simon Peter that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Promised Savior, the Anointed One. Some people think that Christ is Jesus’ last name. Not many people understand what Peter is proclaiming here is that Jesus is the Christ, the long-awaited Savior of the world.
He is the One the Jewish people have been looking for since the prophecy of Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. Paul often refers to him as “Christ Jesus,” which means in short, “Messiah Jesus,” or Yeshua Hamashiach, translated from the Hebrew, which means “Jesus the Messiah.” Messiah actually means “Anointed One.”
What does it mean to be “anointed?” In the Old Testament, anointing was performed primarily for prophets, priests, or kings. This symbolism during the ceremony was to publicly show that a particular individual was chosen by God to perform the particular duties assigned to that calling. They were set apart to do the will of God in their appointed office.
Jesus was a Prophet, Priest, and King. So, His anointing was something very special, indeed. His anointing came not according to the law and tradition. Jesus’ anointing by John the Baptist was of the Holy Spirit when he was baptized at the beginning of His ministry. Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, so Jesus’ anointing here was the fulfillment of what true anointing is, as compared to the mere symbolism of anointing we find in the Old Testament.
Jesus Christ is also the Lamb of God. Like a lamb, he was slain to atone for not only our sins but for the sins of the world. He had to die in order to save us. He was anointed just two days before the Passover when He was brutally crucified. A woman anointed his head with priceless ointments and perfumes unknowingly preparing Jesus for burial in the traditions of the time.
Christ is the Son of God and God Himself, incarnate, embodying the Holy Spirit. Biblical prophecy from the very beginning of Creation was fulfilled. Throughout the Old Testament, Jesus’ coming was prophesied, along with the foreshadowing of His death, burial, and resurrection. He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be saved from the eternal penalty of sin that the unforgiven face in Hell.
Pray about this newfound knowledge of Christ and what it means for you. If you have never asked Christ to be your Savior, He is waiting for you to turn to Him in prayer and invite Him to become Lord of your life. Ask His forgiveness for your sins. As you grow in your relationship with Christ over time, pray for opportunities to share the gospel with others that you encounter in your day-to-day walk with Him.
▶ Eternity † Matthew 25:34 † Eternity with God
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’Matthew 25:34
Ecclesiastes 3:11 states, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity in man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from beginning to the end.” In one sense, we have the concept of eternity and the longing for eternity in our hearts, because we were created in the image of God. The desire to live forever is planted within us by God. However, he limits our grasp of eternity as a mystery that will not be revealed until we leave this earth.
Our scripture for today shows that there will be eternity for both the righteous and the unrighteous, also known as the saved and the unsaved. All of us will live forever. It is just a matter of where you will spend eternity: in heavenly bliss with the Lord Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) or in torment in Hell (Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 20:15).
From the beginning, mankind was meant to live forever with God. As long as Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Life, they would live forever. However, sin brought death to mankind, evidenced by God preventing Adam and Eve from ever entering the Garden of Eden again. Worse still, their original sin separated us all spiritually from God. But, from the time of the fall, God already had a plan of salvation to restore us to an eternal life with Him.
The first hint of a Savior comes in Genesis 3:15, when God curses the serpent, but alludes to Jesus as the Seed of the woman. John 3:15 says, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” So, we have a Savior, in Jesus, who is God incarnate. He took our sins upon Himself on the cross. His perfect, precious, and holy blood was shed for our sins.
There have been several accounts of unsaved people foreseeing their fate as they slipped from this life. We believe that the reality is that those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will indeed experience spiritual death and yet spend eternity in torment. It’s hard to hear, but it is the truth.
If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, confess your sins to Him, believe that he has provided a way of salvation for you, and ask him into your heart. If you are already a Christian, pray that the Holy Spirit will bring you opportunities to share your faith with others this coming week.