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Lesson 5: God’s Grace

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In our lessons so far, you have learned these truths about your Father God.

  • God is the sovereign ruler of His creation. He rules it with supreme authority and power.
  • God’s power is more powerful than anything or anyone else in the entire universe. God’s presence is everywhere at the same time. God knows everything there is to know.
  • God is holy. He is set apart from anything that is sinful or evil.
  • God always does what is morally right and fair.

Now, we are going to learn about God’s grace.

Attribute #5: Grace

“Our Lord poured out more and more of his grace on me. Along with it came faith and love from Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 1:14 NIRV)

1. What do you think “grace” means?

For Christians, “grace” is a very special word. You’ve probably heard the word but may not know what it means. Grace means “undeserved favor.” God’s grace is His undeserved favor abundantly poured out on those who desperately need Him.

You may know some girls or women named Grace or Gracie. A lot of churches have the word “grace” as part of their name. And, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most well-known songs worldwide. It’s written by a man named John Newton who understood the immensity of God’s grace in his life.

John Newton lived in England over 200 years ago. When John was a little boy, his mama taught him Bible stories and prayed that he would grow up to become a minister. Sadly, when he was only 6, his mama died. Poor John! His father was a ship captain who would be gone for months or years at a time. His new stepmother didn’t want him and ignored him. So, John was lonely and angry. He started acting very badly. It looked like he forgot everything his mama taught him.

One night, John was kidnapped. He tried to escape but some men dragged him onto one of England’s war ships, threw him into a dark hole, and forced him to work on the ship. That made him angrier. He refused to follow the captain’s orders so he was often whipped and put in chains. His bad attitude and bad language were worse than that of the other sailors. And, John made fun of anyone who believed in God. He thought that life had treated him badly, so John decided to be cruel to others.

John Newton got his own ship and became a slave trader. A slave is forced to work for someone else without pay, against her will, often in chains, without any freedoms at all. John Newton kidnapped African people, chained them in his ship, and sailed them to North America to be sold as slaves. The bad boy became a bad man, didn’t he?

Then, one day, a violent storm began to rip his ship apart. John felt helpless and very afraid because he couldn’t swim. Suddenly, he remembered Bible verses his mama had taught him. John cried out to God, “Lord, have mercy on us!” But, then he thought, “What mercy can there be for a wretch like me?” A wretch is a wicked, unhappy person. John told God he was sorry for turning away from Him and for doing so much wrong. The storm ended, and John’s life was spared. He knew it was God’s doing!

So, John found a Bible and read how Jesus could forgive him for all the bad things he did. John Newton trusted in Jesus to forgive him. Over time, he stopped using bad words, stopped being angry all the time, and stopped being a slave trader. In fact, he joined others who fought against the slave trade in England. Before he died, it was outlawed. That was great news for John.

Remember that his mother prayed for him to become a minister. God answered that prayer with a, “Yes.” John became the pastor of several churches, traveled around England telling how God saved a wretch like him, and wrote lots of songs including “Amazing Grace.”

As stated at the beginning of this lesson, the word “grace” means “undeserved favor.” In the Bible, grace is God giving favor to someone, not because they are good enough to deserve it but because His love chooses to do so.

Did John Newton deserve God’s favor? No. He even called himself a wretch—a wicked, unhappy person. Yet, when he trusted Jesus, God’s grace saved John from death, completely forgave him for all his sins, and gave him a brand-new life.

His story is much like the prodigal son in the Bible. Jesus told the story of a family with 2 sons. The younger son told his dad one day that he wanted to take his share of the family money and go away to see the world rather than stay home and help his dad run the farm. So, he did. But, he was very reckless with his money and spent it all while doing bad things—like John Newton did when he was away from home.

Anyway, this younger son got a job feeding pigs, but even that wasn’t enough for him to buy food to take care of himself. He was miserable. So, he decided to go back home and ask his dad to let him be a servant. What do you think his father did? Was he angry with him for leaving in the first place and spending all his money? Or, was he happy to see his young son again? Let’s find out.

2. Read Luke 15:11-24.

  • Focusing on verse 20, what was the father doing?
  • What actions did he take when he saw his boy coming home?
  • Did his dad have just a little bit of love for his boy or a lot of love?
  • Why did the father celebrate?

Wow! Did you expect that? The prodigal son didn’t deserve his father’s favor. He had done some bad things. But, his dad was looking for him to come home. That is a picture of God’s grace. The Bible says that God’s grace is so abundant it’s like a cup overflowing.

3. Read 1 Timothy 1:13-14.

  • How does Paul describe his own worthiness?
  • How does Paul describe God’s grace?
  • What do you picture in your mind when you think of something being poured out abundantly?

Paul, the writer of the letter, was describing himself, but doesn’t it also describe John Newton and what God did for him? No longer was John the bad man, the slave trader. Now, he was John, the beloved child of God, the one who taught many people about Jesus and wrote songs to praise Him like “Amazing Grace.”

That song has become one of the favorite songs of all time. When John Newton was writing the song, he remembered that terrible storm and how wonderful it was to be right with God at last. He praised God for His grace. This is what he wrote:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

4. When he wrote “the hour I first believed,” when was that?

He was thinking of that time when he was so afraid, wasn’t he? None of us deserve God’s favor because we all do bad things called sin.

Remember how that prodigal son’s father was so filled with love he was ready to forgive his son for all the bad things he did and welcome him home? That’s how Father God welcomed John Newton home to Him. That’s how your Father God welcomed you when you trusted in Jesus.

God’s grace is His undeserved favor abundantly poured out on those who desperately need him. His grace overflows to you every single day. You are completely forgiven and covered in God’s grace. God gives His favor to someone not because they are good enough to deserve it but because His love chooses to do so. We all receive it when we trust in Jesus. Isn’t God’s grace amazing!

Trusting Your Father God

1) Bible verse to learn:

“Our Lord poured out more and more of his grace on me. Along with it came faith and love from Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 1:14 NIRV)

2) Response in prayer & praise:

Reread 1 Timothy 1:13-14. Make these verses personal. Replace Paul’s experience with your own experience. Use any creative means to express gratitude for God’s amazing grace toward you—drawing, painting, prose, poetry, song, or prayer. An extra page is added at the end of this lesson for you. This is your praise to God today.

3) Discover God the Father:

Spend a few minutes each day reading these prayers and reflecting on how each prayer reveals someone’s understanding of and trust in God. Get to know Him well—this One who loves you dearly.

  • Read Psalm 103. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Psalm 116. Reflect on what you read.

Related Topics: Character of God, Women's Articles

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