A couple years ago I found myself in the most beautiful place in the world – Maui.
One morning I got up extra early to spend some time in God’s Word before the busyness of the day stole my attention. I was sitting on a beach chair right on the edge of my resort, overlooking the ocean. About a dozen people were out for their morning jog or walk on the beach.
I was in the middle of a slow, in-depth study of the book of Acts and it just so happened (but I don’t think it was a coincidence) that this particular morning my reading was Acts chapter 13. In Acts 13:43 Paul pleads with the people to “continue in the grace of God.”
Continue in grace? What does this mean?
I finished my reading for the day and then sat in my chair for a few minutes as I watched people walk by me on the beach.
As I watched the waves crash…it hit me! I had a revelation!
I watched people walking near the shoreline. Step after step making footprints in the sand. But every time, without a doubt, the waves came crashing in and washed away the footprints in the sand – leaving the shoreline to look like it had never been walked on.
This is what Paul meant!
God’s grace is powerful. Life changing.
But…God’s grace is not a one-time trip through the car wash.
His grace is for my past, present, and future sins.
When we really understand a small glimpse of what God’s grace means for us as sinners – it truly changes us. Somehow the reality of God’s grace in our lives fades out over time – or so we think.
Paul is pleading with us. Continue in grace, he says. His grace is for today AND tomorrow.
The footprints of our sin are washed away by God’s never-ending, powerful, waves of grace.
Fast forward almost two years. Last week I found myself at the beach for the first time since I had this revelation about what Paul was saying about God’s grace.
I was taking a morning walk on the beach and the Lord took the revelation deeper.
This time I looked past the waves on the shoreline. This time I looked at the source of those ‘waves of grace’ – the enormous ocean.
I was reminded of some characteristics of the ocean that mirror God’s characteristics. For example, the ocean is powerful. Very powerful. There is also a depth and mystery to the ocean.
If you take a step back and zoom out, the ocean is really big! I find it interesting how this big ocean comes up to a certain point on the land, but doesn’t come up all the way. It’s almost like God is reaching out His hand – extending an invitation – but in order to receive the waves of grace we’re required to walk close enough to the waves.
God doesn’t force His love on us. He loves us – no doubt. But he leaves the choice up to us. He invites us to come live under His waves of grace – but it’s not forced on us.
May I take heed to Paul’s plea.
May I remember the power, depth, and mystery of the God I serve.
May I continue to walk close to my Lord – so that His waves of grace would wash away the footprints of my sin.