Is the writer of this article mad? How can she choose this kind of topic? Is there anything grace can't do? If there is then it's no longer grace! What is even the meaning of grace? It's like this person does not know the difference between "grace", "luck" and "favor"?
I know that these and more will be what will be running down your mind as you see the topic of my article. But of a truth there is something "grace" can't do for you. Grace has it's limits and I'm not talking about grace from men I'm talking about the grace of God!
First of all, what is grace? Acording to Wikipedia, these are the various definitions of the word "Grace":
- make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.
- be beautiful to look at
- (Christian theology) a state of sanctification by God; the state of one who is under such divine influence
- elegance and beauty of movement or expression
- a sense of propriety and consideration for others
- a disposition to kindness and compassion
- (Greek mythology) one of three sisters who were the givers of beauty and charm; a favorite subject for sculptors
- a short prayer of thanks before a meal
- (Christian theology) the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God.
The grace I'm talking about in this article of mine today is the type of grace provided in the last definition; "The free unmerited favor or beneficence of God". And yes of cause, it has limitations. The limitation of grace I'm talking about is not SIN! God causes His rain to fall on both the righteous and the unrighteous: Matthew 5:45 KJV "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust". So don't see it as God's approval of your way of life if you have enjoyed or is enjoying God's grace in any form. The life we all live daily is by the grace of God whether you believe it or not: James 4:14-15 KJV "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that".
Now, since grace is free and unmerited, what can anyone do to limit or hinder it? Does it mean that grace has hidden charges? No! Grace has no hidden charge, and it is also free but it has it's pattern just like how water flow in a river and will not leave it's path even during a flood, it will maintain it's pattern and path of flow so grace has it's pattern and path of flow!
For the purpose of this write up, I'll like to define grace as the meeting point of opportunity and preparedness! Let us use Mary the mother of Jesus as a case study:
Luke 1:46-55 KJV "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever".
Isaiah 7:14 KJV "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel".
There was a prophecy long time ago that the Messiah (Saviour of the world) would be born by a virgin, although it was totally "grace" that qualified Mary for that position but she had to be a virgin. Since it has been prophesied long ago that the saviour of the world would be born by a virgin, He must be born by nothing less than a virgin. Being a virgin first qualified Mary for that position then grace was what selected her among other virgins in the land. If Mary had defiled herself, she might have asked God for mercy and God will definitely forgive her and she will still be a child of God but that promise wouldn't have come through her.
It is also worthy of note that Mary never lived a righteous life because she wanted God to fulfil a prophecy through her, in fact, it is even possible that she did not know that such prophecy even existed since there was no Bible and the scripture was in various scrolls kept in the temple; it is also possible that she is aware of that prophecy but do not know the meaning just like we have so many prophecies in the book of Daniel and Revelation that we do not know how they will happen, if they will happen literarily or if they are just symbols. That was why the angel of God had to remind Joseph the prophecy in his dream: Matthew 1:23 KJV "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us".
The grace of God can not take you to a place you are not prepared to handle! The grace of God can select you among other prepared individuals, it can also select you among more qualified individuals but can not select you when you have no form of preparation.
What is preparation? Preparation is when you read for an examination; the grace of God can only lead you to areas of concentration when you open your book. Preparation is when you have even a FSLC and a form of informal education, the grace of God can give you a job that makes you earn even more than what a BEng holder elsewhere earns; but the grace of God can not give you that job when you have no form of education whether formal or informal. I have seen people with only SSCE earn over 100k per month while another person with BEd is feeling big with 40k because that SSCE holder has a knowledge a well paying company needs that that BEd holder can't give! That is opportunity meeting with preparedness: that is grace!
Sometime ago in an office, a lady was to be appointed to a position only a Bachelor's Degree or HND holder can occupy but she only has ND, the boss even went further to ask her, "are you presently studying for your degree or HND?" The answer was "no" that was how that opportunity passed her. That is how many people have lost opportunities because they are not prepared! Yet the grace of God is free and has no hidden charges!
Although grace means God giving you more than you deserve because you found favour in His sight, the grace of God can't do your "preparation" for you, it can't give you a position you are not prepared to handle! The grace of God can only give you more than you deserve based on your "preparation" or "depth" or "capacity" per time! Stop saying "grace" "grace" when you have nothing to offer! Go back and do your home work well and see if the grace of God will not catapult you to a position farther than you can imagine! Remain blessed!