As I was putting the finishing touches on GraceConnect magazine, my husband and I went to see the movie, War Room. (This Christian film explores the power of prayer through the lives of Tony and Elizabeth, who seem to have it all, except a thriving marriage.)
While prayer is the over-arching theme to the movie, I was struck by the messages of grace that were woven throughout the film.
“Do you deserve grace?” questions Miss Clara, the elderly widow who befriends Elizabeth. “Jesus shed His blood. He died on the cross for you.”
I’ve come to the conclusion that grace is a concept many people don’t understand. We’re so focused on looking out for ourselves that we ignore how our actions impact others. Even the reality of what Christ did on the cross seems to have little effect in our daily lives.
In 2013-14, in five regional Focus Retreats, the leaders of the congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC) detailed the values that are most important to the people of the Fellowship. Each participant penned a letter to their “Timothy” and outlined what they valued most.
Near the top of the list was the importance of grace, the topic of this issue of the magazine.
“Love and Grace… The great commands of Christ instruct us to love God and man. Be a champion of the love of Christ. Never, not for one second, neglect your God. Allow Him to lead you as you share His grace and show His love to others,” wrote Bud Olszweski, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church in Rittman, Ohio. (Click here to read his letter.)
The platforms of GraceConnect are filled with stories of people in the FGBC who are leading lives in the shadow of God’s grace. Check out their accounts on graceconnect. us or subscribe to the GraceConnect eNews for a fresh story every week. Follow GraceConnect on Facebook (facebook.com/graceconnectus) or Twitter (twitter.com/ graceconnectus).
Do we deserve such mercy? No, but I’m eternally grateful that through His grace, His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
May this amazing grace transform our daily lives.
Liz Cutler Gates is the editor of Grace Connect. Since 2010, she has served as executive director of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company. She and her husband, Doug, live in Warsaw, Ind.