Love with a “Stoop”

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness.—Hebrews 4:16

Grace is more than a synonym for love; it is a characteristic of the Deity which is quite close to love (and mercy) but yet deserves to be seen as different and distinctive. I heard an old Welsh preacher say: “Grace is a word with a’stoop’ in it; love reaches out on the same level, but grace always has to stoop to pick one up.” It was probably this same thought that an anonymous writer had in mind when he said: “Grace is love at its loveliest, falling on the unlovable and making it lovely.”

But it is to the great Puritan preacher Thomas Goodwin we must turn for the best clarification of the difference between love and grace: “Grace is more than mercy and love. It superadds to them. It denotes not simply love but love of a sovereign, transcendentally superior One that may do what He will, that may freely choose whether He will love or no. There may be love between equals, and an inferior may love a superior, but love in a Superior—and so superior that He may do what He will—in such a One love is called grace. Grace is attributed to princes; they are said to be ‘gracious’ to their subjects, whereas subjects cannot be gracious to princes.”

Grace then is God’s kindness bestowed upon the undeserving; benevolence handed down to those who have no merit; a hand reaching down to those who have fallen into a pit. The Bible bids us believe that on the throne of the universe there is a God like that.

Prayer

Loving and gracious God, help me understand more deeply than ever what it means to be a recipient of Your grace. I have some idea, but I long to realize it even more. Help me, my Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Dn 9:1-18; Dt 9:5; 1Pt 5:5

Is grace the result of righteousness?

Who does God give grace to?

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