“The Grace of God”—Book review

Sometimes we think we understand it so well, we don’t need to hear anymore about it.

The_Grace_of_God_by_Andy_Stanley But we’re wrong.

There’s always more to hear about grace. There’s always more to understand. And there’s always more to experience.

You can find more in Andy Stanley’s new book The Grace of God. He starts with creation and Adam and Eve, showing how God’s grace was evident from the very first.

Then with each chapter he takes you further down the Bible timeline, showing God’s grace in stories about Abraham, Judah, the Law, King David, and several stories in the New Testament, culminating with Jesus himself.

If you’re new to Bible stories, you’ll easily understand them through Stanley’s retellings. However, if you’re already familiar with them, the explanations can be laborious at times. (Stanley overexplains for my taste, and occasionally I couldn’t make the leap with his conclusions.)

But I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me from finishing the book because it got better the further I read. Of the thirteen chapters, Chapter 11, “Filled by Grace,” was worth the price of the book (well, the cost to me was zero, thanks to Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program, but that’s beside the point).

Chapter 11 contained such thoughts as these:

* God’s response to the thirsty soul is grace. We would prefer time travel. Second chances. Do overs. But God opts for sustaining grace. Grace that leverages the past for a better future. Grace that fills the gaps created by our sin or the sin of others.

* I don’t think it is intuitive to pray for grace and mercy in our time of need. We pray for the thing we need in our time of need. We pray for circumstances to change. We pray for memories to go away. We pray for people to treat us better. And so we should. But none of that is promised. What’s promised is grace and mercy in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

* The grace of God is not limited to an act of God at the time of our salvation. The grace of God is the life of the Savior coursing through the souls of believers to sustain us through those things that will not or cannot change.

By Chapter 13, “Commissioned for Grace,” Stanley leaves it in your hands to pass on God’s grace. He doesn’t want you only to sing about how amazing grace is, but to show how amazing it is.

* The church is the steward of his grace. The church has been assigned the task of exposing our neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, and world to the grace of God. This is our mission. This is our responsibility.

The message of grace is the message of Jesus. And he gives it not just to “church people” but to all people everywhere.

After all, it’s not your grace.
It’s not my grace.
It’s God’s grace.
And it’s for everybody. 

* * *

Who can you show grace to today?

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