by Dr. Ed Khouri, Excerpts from the first chapter of the book, “Becoming a Face of Grace“.
[I recently read the book “Becoming a Face of Grace” by Dr. Ed Khouri and was most impressed. The importance of the development of healthy, mature relationships, in the context of Grace, is eloquently presented. This book is an essential read and highly recommended. – David Crabtree]
“Grace is an outrageously relational term.” – DR. ED KHOURI
God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. —Brennan Manning
Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. —Galatians 2:20
For people who follow Jesus—actually, even for those who don’t—grace is foundational for everything. Specifically, for those who call themselves Christian, grace is the launch point for each and every faith journey. It is how God loves, gives to, and guides us. Since I assure you, God is not some stingy, celestial miser, let’s table the notion that He designed His grace so you and I “get what we don’t deserve.” While it holds some truth, that way of thinking about it underrates the extravagance of His intention…
As long as I can remember, I had an awareness of God—it was an unwavering sense that He was out there and that He really loved me. I never questioned it for a second. God’s existence wasn’t a problem for me. Lying just below the surface of my immature faith, however, a program of performance, approval, and expectation continued to run. God was out there, somewhere, and—since my household ran on these dynamics—this was the subtle undercurrent of my understanding of Him. Accepting Jesus’ unmerited favor was my proverbial “fire insurance.” Heaven forbid that I make God mad.
You Are God’s Favorite
Charis is the Greek word for grace. In addition to expressing the idea that we have God’s undeserved favor, charis translates to mean, relationally and practically, that you and I are special and favorite to God without having to earn it. In other words, we are God’s favorite. Without doing a thing, we are so special to God that He is glad to be with us. Before we ever exhibit any change or do anything, grace is an ongoing invitation to live in response to the Lord’s divine delight in you and in me.
The amazing thing about God’s relational grace is that His love and care never diminish. Because of His infinite, unlimited capacity, we are each God’s favorite all at the same time. In actuality, our status as His favorite multiplies, allowing amazing things to happen “when two or three are gathered together” (Matthew 18:20 NKJV). Just take a minute to let your soul soak that in. If you catch the idea that you are God’s favorite, then that means He can’t wait for time with you. He is so excited about you! Out of delight, His attention is always rapt with you! Far exceeding a one-time salvation moment, grace offers us all a new way to live. Way beyond ego, those who discover this relational means for life with God soon realize their opportunity—in essence, we are meant to live this life in joyful response to shared love.
The above text is excerpted from the first chapter of Dr. Ed Khouri’s latest book “Becoming a Face of Grace.” This is a highly recommended book available on Amazon.com.