Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

June 21, 2013

A positive minute: G is for Grace

Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — G is for Grace.

Have you given thought to this word, grace? We often sing about it in songs like, “Amazing Grace.” I went to a dictionary and here’s the first thing it said for grace: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. In other words, we didn’t deserve the grace God has given to us, but because He loved us, He sent His only begotten son.  

Read John 3:16 in the Bible. The story really begins as God is creating this world. He wanted a family and we read in Genesis where He created man and woman and he talked with them in the cool of the day. When Adam and Eve failed through disobedience, it must have become obvious to God that He would have to do something else.

He still wanted a family so, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world. We celebrate Christmas every year as the time of Christ’s birth. He probably wasn’t born on December 25, but that is the date that was chosen.

Now, let me just say that if you have no desire to learn about the Lord and His amazing grace, much of what I am saying just doesn’t seem sensible. Last week, I wrote about faith and how it is a process that every believer comes to understand. Through faith we are saved.

I understand the hesitancy to believe much of what I have written here today, but I can tell you that the practice of Christianity, which tells us that grace is the unmerited favor of God, also tells us that we don’t deserve the love of God and His plan of salvation. God still wants a family and He wants to have fellowship with people so it is this process of grace that brings redemption to each of us.

When Jesus came into this world, He died for our sins after having spent a bit over three years of public ministry, teaching and helping people of every walk of life. Though He is not on this earth, but is now with the Father, we can have a relationship with Him by believing the story of His love for humanity.

If you just don’t believe, what hinders you from believing? And, what is it that causes you to believe the story of His grace? If there are obstacles in your life to hinder you from believing, here’s what Norman Vincent Peale has to say about that: Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You’ll find they haven’t half the strength you think they have.

There are so many stories of people whose lives have been changed once they believed the amazing story about His amazing grace and I am one of those who can say, I once was lost, but now I am found. Was blind, but now I see.

Maybe you have tried everything else in the world to find happiness. Have you tried God? You may not believe it now, but He truly does bring happiness to the soul.

The Most Rev. Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church and can be reached at 812-614-2160 or