First: Grace Unlocks the Gates of Heaven
- Because we have all “sinned, and come short of the glory of God” and because “there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God,” every one of us is unworthy to return to God’s presence.
Admittance into heaven is not earned. It is granted to us by a loving Father who has allowed his Son to assist us in our return.
- We cannot earn our way into heaven; the demands of justice stand as a barrier, which we are powerless to overcome on our own.
God expects something greater from us than just being forgiven of our sins. He wants us to change our souls and become like Him.
- If salvation means only erasing our mistakes and sins, then salvation—as wonderful as it is—does not fulfill the Father’s aspirations for us. His aim is much higher: He wants His sons and daughters to become like Him. With the gift of God’s grace, the path of discipleship does not lead backward; it leads upward.
Second: Grace Opens the Windows of Heaven
- Though we all have weaknesses, we can overcome them. Indeed it is by the grace of God that, if we humble ourselves and have faith, weak things can become strong. Throughout our lives, God’s grace bestows temporal blessings and spiritual gifts that magnify our abilities and enrich our lives. His grace refines us. His grace helps us become our best selves.
Accepting God's grace into our lives requires actions on our part. We are to be obedient and live our lives the way He wants us to.
- Do we understand our indebtedness to Heavenly Father and plead with all our souls for the grace of God? When we kneel to pray, is it to replay the greatest hits of our own righteousness, or is it to confess our faults, plead for God’s mercy, and shed tears of gratitude for the amazing plan of redemption? Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience; it is purchased by the blood of the Son of God. Thinking that we can trade our good works for salvation is like buying a plane ticket and then supposing we own the airline. Or thinking that after paying rent for our home, we now hold title to the entire planet earth.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ cause change within us. It helps us become more like Him. It helps us know the path we need to take to return to Him.
- As we walk the path of discipleship, it refines us, it improves us, it helps us to become more like Him, and it leads us back to His presence.
When we live the gospel, it becomes easier to be on the right track. Daily decisions in our lives become easier to make as we are supported in our efforts by the Holy Ghost.
- Living the gospel faithfully is not a burden. It is a joyful rehearsal—a preparation for inheriting the grand glory of the eternities. We seek to obey our Heavenly Father because our spirits will become more attuned to spiritual things. Vistas are opened that we never knew existed. Enlightenment and understanding come to us when we do the will of the Father. Grace is a gift of God, and our desire to be obedient to each of God’s commandments is the reaching out of our mortal hand to receive this sacred gift from our Heavenly Father.
But not living up completely to God's standards makes us human. This is the reason we need grace in our lives. None of us will be perfect but through God's grace, we can become clean and worthy.
- Many people feel discouraged because they constantly fall short. They know firsthand that “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Don't be discouraged. God's grace is for all of us and He wants us to find comfort in His arms. As we come to God, we will find peace and joy through His grace.
- Today and forevermore God’s grace is available to all whose hearts are broken and whose spirits are contrite. Jesus Christ has cleared the way for us to ascend to heights incomprehensible to mortal minds.
Grace is a gift from God. It allows us to not stay in our sins but to triumph over our weaknesses and become more than we ever dreamed of becoming. We have a loving Heavenly Father who has our joy as the center of his purposes. As we are obedient to the commandments, His grace will provide comfort that after we do our part, He will make up the difference and allow us to return to live in His presence. We don't earn our way to His presence. But we need to leave to accept His gift and fulfill all that he asks of us. As we do, we will be on the true path of discipleship.