Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Grace of God by Andy Stanley helped me to understand God's grace. I know that God's grace is freely given unmerited favor. I understand the words and what they mean, but I didn't really understand grace.
We live in a society that doesn't like to give grace. "You get what you deserve." You work hard in school - you get good grades. You work hard in college - you get a good job. You work hard at your job - you get a promotion and/or raise. Positive action = reward. You don't apply yourself in school - you get bad grades. You take something that doesn't belong to you and you go to jail. Negative action = punishment. The list can go on and on.
Andy Stanley helped me to really understand God's grace. We cannot earn it (if it's earned, it's not grace). We do not deserve it (if it is deserved, it is not grace). The Bible is FILLED TO THE BRIM with God's grace. Lesson after lesson teaches us God's grace.
The trouble is, that as a child I heard all the lessons in the Bible. I know the gist of the parables, etc. I didn't read between the lines and see all of the grace that is there. There are some lessons where grace is obvious (The Prodigal Son, Christ dying on the Cross, Joseph), but there are several that aren't so obvious (at least to simple minded me). Judah, Joseph's brother, is one of them. Everything about Judah and his actions and rewards showed God's grace (but I had never really focused on Judah - I had focused more on Joseph).
Andy Stanley presents the grace of God in a new light and in a very clear way. His book takes lesson after lesson starting in Genesis and working his way all through the Bible to show how God extends his grace.
I really enjoyed this book. It is not my usual choice of books, but I am glad that I chose to read it. I don't agree with everything that Andy Stanley believes, but he really opened my eyes to understanding God's grace.
This book was given to me for review by Book Sneeze, but the review and opinions are my own.