If you have ever raised vegetables in a garden most likely you would have included some kind of beans, cucumbers, watermelons or some other type of vegetable that produced a vine in order to bear its produce. You would also have provided some means to support the vine if you didn’t allow them to grow along the ground. As the vines grew they would become entwined around the support and even around itself. They might also become entwined with another vine from a different vegetable. When the growing season was over and you began to clean up the garden it was a difficult task to remove the vines because of their attachment to the other vines and the support structure. You couldn’t remove one without affecting the others.
The five wonderful words of life that we have considered are much like the vines above. They are so entwined with each other that it is almost impossible to separate them. The order in which we presented them was random. But it became obvious that as we considered each one it became difficult to appropriately describe the word without relying on the others. In other words, one became an adjective for the others. All five words are so fundamental in our faith in Jesus Christ that we find them in separable. But with that said I want to make an attempt to put them in some kind of order so that we can see the full wonderfulness of them. So here goes.
When God completed His work of creation the Bible says in Genesis that He saw that it was good. He then created man to take care of His creation and to have an intimate relationship with Him. The Bible then says He saw that it was very good. I believe that we see here for the first time that God loved what he had created and especially man. Therefore I believe that because of His love and out of His love all things came into being and exist today.
When man disobeyed God while in the Garden of Eden it gave birth to what we know as sin and resulted in the loss of that intimate relationship that God had intended. Man was separated from God without any hope of having that relationship restored because there was nothing he could do on his own to earn it. This is where God’s mercy takes over. Because of His love for us and His desire to have a relationship with the creature He created He invokes His mercy on us and provides the means for restoration.
So enter grace! God new from the beginning that man would sin and would not be able to do anything to restore himself to a relationship with Him. As we have learned, the word grace literally means unmerited favor and that is exactly what God provided for those of us who have said yes to His call. That call is extended to all men but all will not answer. But for those who do, His grace becomes the means by which salvation is given. All we have to do is place our faith and trust in Him and His promise. There are those who say that man doesn’t have a choice in the matter but it is obvious to me from my study of God’s Word that man had a choice in the Garden and still has a choice to make today. But it is by God’s grace that we are saved.
One of the greatest benefits of God’s grace on our lives is the peace that it brings. We are not only at peace with God but we have the peace of God that allows us to live a life free from fear and worry. It gives us a great sense of confidence that everything is alright between us and Him and that He will provide the grace needed for any situation we find ourselves in. It is an indescribable peace and goes beyond all comprehension.
Following close behind peace is joy. We can have joy in all that we do although we may not necessarily be happy. There can be great confusion between joy and happiness because the world teaches that happiness is the ultimate goal of success. But we know that happiness is more of an emotional feeling. Joy, on the other hand, is more of a spiritual matter and, according to Paul in his letter to the Galations, is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is joy that others can readily see in us and therefore bears witness of a transformed life.
In conclusion, let’s regard love, mercy and grace as inseparable words in our understanding of God’s saving work. Let’s also live in a continual state of gratitude for the peace and joy we have in Him. I hope these five “Wonderful Words of Life” have brought a new light to what it means to be a child of God.