It's such an eloquent word. Just the mention of it causes me to breathe easier.
When I hear the word, I think of second chances and freedom.
Grace is simply this: God's unmerited favor.
Three words with so much meaning.
We don't deserve the favor, but He gives it to us anyway. We can't earn the favor, yet He still extends it to us anyway.
Even further ... Grace is not only God's unmerited favor, but, the exemption of God's punishment.
Grace is our way of escape from the consequences we deserve. As sinners, we deserve God's wrath, but get His love instead ... even more ... His favor. Wow!
I can't say that I could ever offer someone else the same grace that is extended to me every day. My flesh screams for justice! I tend to want people to get what they deserve, yet want grace for myself. Wow. What a wretch am I!
It's easy to see how God's love for us is immeasurable and how our version of love does not compare to His. We just don't love people the way He does and we won't no matter how hard we try.
God's grace can go so far as to allow us to not receive the consequences of our own choices, our own actions. Amazing. Grace can actually turn our consequences around into something good instead.
That's not to say, as Christians, we don't suffer consequences. Believe me. I speak from experience. We do. You must always be prepared for whatever consequences you deserve for the actions you make. But, there are times in our lives that God gives us a pass. He really does. That's one of those God-moments where you recognize His goodness and see His hand in your life.
There are times I see that I really should have suffered or been punished for something I've done, but God extends grace to me ... grace I don't deserve.
However, there are also times that consequences just come. Consequences just so happen to work that way. That's when God grants us the grace to walk through the consequence to see what's on the other side ... usually something pretty awesome like wisdom or strength or peace.
Nevertheless, His grace is always there. It can't be hidden and it's something we are extended every day.
I like this definition of grace the best:
Thank you, God, for the grace you freely grant me every single day.