Awakening means that your mind and your vision changes. Look throughout the Bible, and you will see this as Truth. Adam and Eve’s vision was changed with one bite. Paul was blinded by his encounter with Jesus, on the road to Damascus. Paul also went on to explain in the New Testament a mind that is renewed. And I’m sure if you did a deep study, more and more examples of perspective changes would come to light.
I say all this to say that I believe that we need to have an awakening to our understanding of the word Grace. In my short time on this earth, I have heard comments like:
“A Grace message disregards the God of the Old Testament.”
“How can God be gracious, and still allow such difficult consequences for people throughout the Bible or even me?”
“The message of Grace cheapens sin, which devalues our need for Christ.”
“We need to share with people the full message of Grace plus Truth.”
If we view or think about Grace as a free pass, I would agree with these statements, but I don’t believe that is the definition of Grace. I believe Grace is a free gift. But a free gift of what? Is it a free gift of a sinless life? Is it a free gift of a consequence-free life? Or is it a free gift of salvation? The more I walk on this earth, the more I’m convinced that it’s deeper than all these gifts. I am convinced that Grace at its purest and most complete form is the free gift of His presence! Grace is not a perfect life, and it doesn’t mean it’s a consequence or pain-free life. And yes, He gave Himself up so we can have salvation, but that is only a portion of the complexity of Grace. Grace is the undeserved covenant of His presence outside of the confinement of time and circumstances. Think about it, before Adam and Eve ever took a bite from the apple, He graced them with His presence. When they committed the first sin, He showed up. He has been there for the righteous and the unrighteous and has spoken and moved through every type of vehicle: Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, Prophets, Apostles, and Disciples. None greater than His only Son! He was with us, near us, and now in us. Presence, Presence, Presence; also known as, Grace, Grace, Grace! He has gifted us with the opportunity to take part in a relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Like my earthly father says, the divine dance. We were created to be dependent on Him; that means that Life can only be found in His presence. The independent life that we chose blinds us from His Grace (Presence). But if we are blind to something, does it mean that it is not True? No, we are just not Awakened to that Truth yet. He is present, and ready to be enough for each of us, in every moment. But we constantly lose vision of His presence, because we shift our vision to the waves like Peter did while he was walking on the water.
So, here is the good news! We don’t need Grace plus Truth because Grace is Truth! He is present and enough in all situations, you just have to see it (believe it). So, here is the Grace message, God has never left us alone! We needed a Savior for our sins, so He provided His Son. But before He did, He was still a Gracious God. He was/is omniscient! That means He is always there/here. So as we walk through this broken world, we can cling to His Grace (Presence). And that is Good News!
P.S. - As a side note, isn’t it interesting that we call gifts presents?