If it were up to us, grace would have vanished long ago.
Humans are hard-wired for anger, pettiness, and spite. Just look around: we keep a “righteous” score. We don’t forgive. We even plot revenge on those who injure or insult us. Our code is built on protecting ourselves from a world of people just like us. We do by nature anything that pushes us ahead, above, and to the top.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine’” (Isaiah 55:8). “God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:17). “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all” (1 John 1:5).
Grace flourishes because God rules above our broken world. Everything that’s good and kind and healing comes from otherworldly love that will not let us go.
Believe in love. And stay in grace. -Bill Knott
“Does God still love me?”
When we’re alone and lonely, or in a crowd and overwhelmed; when the catalogue of condemnation keeps past mistakes before our eyes—no question ever seemed more urgent. Can God—will God—forgive our foolishness and pride? Is God, in fact, much kinder than we imagine Him?
An old hymn sings the truth:
“For the love of God is broader
than the measures of the mind,
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.”
The apostle Paul confirms the point: “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:32). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:19).
The last thing we need right now is . . . trust—trust that God is as gracious as He says He is.
“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea. . . “
So stay in grace. -Bill Knott
We get our guidance from the news—from trending headlines; self-help tips; from what we guess our peers are doing. “Be sharp,” we learn. “Dress well: stay fit.” “Be confident about yourself.” “Keep aiming for a higher star.”
And almost no one says, “Be kind. Be gentle. Walk softly with each other. Lift up the weak. Embrace the ones who never can reward you.”
Except Jesus. For in His grace, He plants in us a whole new way of living. Our deep absorption with ourselves becomes, with time, new seeing and new caring. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col 3:13). “He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves” (2 Cor 5:15).
Grace builds a whole new life for us—a focused life that matters for the here and the hereafter. Christ’s gift continues giving in our lives.
So stay in grace. -Bill Knott
The friend who quietly forgives my sin; the colleague who affirms when she could justly criticize—they make God’s grace more real than half a hundred sermons.
Grace is not just a distant, theological abstraction—a ledger cancellation in some far-off reckoning of sins. Heaven knew we’d never “get it” until grace became a human being whose words and arms and uncondemning love quick-bridged the chasm of our shame.
Give me one grace-filled Christian—holding, speaking, loving as did Jesus—and the future of the world begins to shift.
Night is swallowed up in morning. Fear evaporates beneath the blaze of grace. On such warm love the sun will never set.
And we shall all be changed.
So stay in grace.
One week ago, we sang as though we never could forget: “Christ the Lord is risen today!”
But Tuesday turned out rainy, in the skies and in our eyes. By Wednesday, all the grievances—both small and great—began their dread, familiar march: the pushy colleague who thinks only of himself; the rising price for food and gas; the memories of broken things that fill our thoughts when sleep won’t come. Whatever Easter meant has drifted to the margins of our days. The flowers fade. The bright, white light has dimmed.
And so we must remind each other of the power of good news: “You were once dead because of your failures and sins” (Eph 2:1). “But God forgave your sins and gave you new life through Christ” (Col 2:13). “By grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor 5:17).
Headlines rage and prices soar. Worries come and thunder roars. But one clear fact remains: Christ is alive, and walks a road near you.
So stay in grace. -Bill Knott
He breathes again.
The lungs collapsed by suffocating sorrow
Fill again with fragrant air.
The eyes still shut by Friday’s tears
Now flicker as the retinas
Anticipate the brilliant light that once was His.
And somewhere deep within,
This Man of Sorrows fully smiles
With hope delayed, now irrepressible.
All things are finished.
All things have just begun.
For one delicious moment,
Creation’s sovereign pauses, lingers,
Savoring the joy now rising in His mind.
Uncounted millions will awake
Some warm, spring resurrection morn—
Convinced of love, inhaling light—
And stepping out to life unbound.
He who prophesied
That we will rise
Now gathers lilies of His labor.
And He is satisfied.
Christ breathes again.
And so do we.
And so will we.
-Bill Knott
In every life, a moment breaks when we confront our poverty. We’ve spent our last ideas: we’ve used up all goodwill. We found that hope was stolen by the accidents of time and chance.
 
And so we turn to self-help books, to watermelon diets, to exercise extremes that promise to renew our bodies and our minds. We chase the grand illusion that we can mend what’s broken in us by learning business confidence, or losing 30 pounds in 30 days, or watching soothing videos before we sleep at night. Somewhere—out there—must be a fix for all that’s draining us.
 
And we are then both wrong and right. There is no secret skill in us that will revive our hope—not wealth, or sleek physique, or social capital. But there is Someone who has pledged to give us His abundant life—where shame and doubting are no more. Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
 
“You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich” (2 Cor 8:9).
 
Receive the grace that gifts you Christ’s abundant joy.
 
And stay in it. -Bill Knott
Above the brightest stars of sport; beyond the galaxy of those whose notoriety is redder than their carpets; through all the rags-to-riches tales of newly-minted billionaires, we honor those who give themselves for others.
They run toward fires, not away. They reach the helpless, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. They risk the worst diseases to care for those most ill.
Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
And He did more than run through fire or speak inspiring words. The Hero of all ages laid down His life for each of us—became the sacrifice we couldn’t make—to save anyone who might become His friend. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Grace is the love that rescues us. It was intentional: it still is free. Now let the greatest hero carry you to joy.
And stay in grace. -Bill Knott
We cringe for things that happened long ago—for memories so sharp and clear we blush whenever we recall them. Perhaps it was a foolish comment in a crowd, an insult that we slung and never dared retrieve. Perhaps the mind clings to an old relationship, where friendship, faithfulness, or trust corroded into bitter rust.
 
It is our shame, and just behind our bright bravado is the guilt that always trails after. A hundred times we beat ourselves, but neither tears nor lectures to the mirror can lighten what we carry.
 
Hear what the gospel offers: “God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin” (Rom 3:24-25). He who had no cause for shame, who never knew regret for something He had done, took on Himself the guilt of generations. “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). Only grand, audacious grace could lift the burden from our backs and free us from the tyranny of shame.
 
Grace is God’s answer for regret. The shame can end: the blame can cease.
 
Embrace His grace. And stay in it. -Bill Knott
“Help us to have a good time going to heaven.”
 
The child’s nervous prayer in church left all the worshippers amused. The urgent business of “going to heaven” is almost never paired with having “a good time.” We’re more accustomed to images of struggle, dark and painful pilgrimage, or battle with our vices—or ourselves.
 
But Jesus announced a different—better—way of going to heaven. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” He said (John 10:10). “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed“ (John 8:36).
 
The grace made possible by Jesus will energize your here and your hereafter. If joys are never sweeter, if love is never deeper, if no laughter rises from your heart as you walk toward God’s new city, it’s a potent sign that you aren’t living in His grace. He who played with children and healed the broken and threw His arms around each prodigal intends your journey to His kingdom to be the best, most satisfying time of your whole life.
 
Grace makes the journey anything but grim. Re-learn Christ’s joy as you go walking with Him.
 
And stay in it. -Bill Knott
We call a cottage “gracious” if it boasts verandahs, sweeping lawns, and well-trimmed shrubbery. And what we mean is “easy on the eyes.”
 
We call a hostess “gracious” if her dinner party brims with well-dressed, laughing guests—if music is well-chosen; hors d'oeuvres are tasty, and waitstaff all attentive. And what we mean is “effortlessly elegant.”
 
But what when “gracious” equals “hard,” or “agonizing,”—even “deadly”? The Lord who lived His graciousness suffered pain and mocking, nails and death—to win for us a freedom neither elegant nor easy. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6). Jesus drank the bitter cup till it was dry; endured the shame, the thirst, the cross; and earned the right to thus define what humans mean by “grace.”
 
Grace isn’t easy. It’s embracing. Accept the grip of hard-won grace. And stay in it. -Bill Knott
The boss rolls out incentive plans for all whose sales climb 8 percent. And so we dig into the numbers, the sales calls, the lonely hours when others sleep.
 
The piano competition’s crowning moment offers hours or days of shiny fame. And so we hide ourselves in practice rooms until Bach or Brahms is memorized, or nearly so.
 
A vision of ourselves atop the podium, hoisting silver-plated trophies to the sky, will make us sweat and strain till muscles scream. Nothing comes without effort.
 
And so we learn the wrong theology, believing in our core that heaven is a prize for those who pray or fast or do good works beyond the measure of their peers. “Faster, Higher, Stronger” pushes out the grace that saves through faith.
 
“I am the way, the truth, and the life” Jesus said. “No one can come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). “By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8).
 
All that’s done will never earn what grace has won. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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