Evidence of Grace

Recently I was listening to a message by Pete Briscoe on grace. Referring to the passage in Acts 11:20-25, he asked the question, “Is there evidence of grace in your life? If someone were to follow you around for awhile, would they see the evidence of God’s grace in you?” These questions really got me thinking about just what is the “evidence of grace.” So I went back and read the story in Acts of the birth of the church at Antioch. The Jewish Christians had undergone such tremendous persecution that they had been forced to scatter. Everywhere they went, these Jews preached to gospel to other Jews. But a few actually broke cultural protocol and began preaching the gospel to Gentiles in Antioch. And by God’s power many of these Gentiles believed and were saved. Thus the church at Antioch was born. The church in Jerusalem heard about this and sent Barnabas to check out the situation. When he arrived, he was overjoyed to see the “evidence of grace” and encouraged these new, young believers to remain faithful in Christ Jesus.

From this story, I actually see three major issues that might be called evidence of grace. First, it is a clear evidence of God’s grace when something good comes from adverse circumstances. The Jews experienced fierce persecution. They were forced to leave their homes and scatter abroad because of this outbreak of evil against them. They were discriminated against in the worst way. But God turned these evil circumstances into an opportunity to further His grace.

Another clear evidence of God’s grace can be seen in the behavior of a small group of Jews who began to spread the good news abroad even among the Gentiles. They broke away from cultural standards to share the gospel of Christ. These believers were so taken with their Savior that they served Him with abandon. This kind of eager participation in God’s kingdom work, is a clear evidence of His grace at work in lives.

Finally, God saved the Gentiles! His power among these Jewish Christians drew Gentiles to the message. They were saved and started a church in a pagan city!  God’s grace is evident in the response of the Gentiles to the good news.

So God’s grace is evident when tragedy is used for God’s glory, when believers serve Him with abandon, and when outsiders here the message and believe. “If someone were to follow you around for awhile, would they see the evidence of God’s grace in your life?”  We love the idea of grace being poured out upon us. Are we conduits for God’s grace to be poured through us? I am challenged, encouraged and excited, to see the evidences of God’s grace flow through my life.

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