For the longest time Grace, to me,was just a middle-name.
In fact, I am convinced almost every girl’s middle name these days is Grace.
My parents are the world’s pickiest name-choosers. For my siblings and I, we all have equally interesting and extremely well though-out and meaningful names—four names, including our last name, to be exact.
There was a reason behind this—the name you are given has meaning, it has power.
What’s in a name?
In act two, scene two of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, Juliet says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Perhaps this is true, but I am also a great believer in speaking things into being, that the name given to us has already been written in the Book of Life and has been known to God since the beginning of time.
Isaiah chapter 49, verse one says, “Listen to me, O coastlands; pay attention, you peoples from far away. The Lord called me before I was born; while I was in my mother’s womb, he named me.”
Isaiah chapter 43, verse one says, ‘But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.’
When it came to my parents deciding on a name for me—which had already been given by God, they decided on Grace as a middle name, protruding the meaning of God’s divine grace.
From a child’s perspective, this is a lovely name, but from a now-adult-perspective, I am realising more each day just how meaningful this name actually is.
I recently heard a sermon at church where the pastor was talking about the differences between karma and grace. As Christians we just know how powerful grace is, but do we truly and completely understand the depth of its meaning?
Karma is all about getting what we deserve—life taking revenge on us for all that we have done. Grace is all about receiving what we do not deserve. I know which one I would prefer.
I have been through enough in my life to know a few things about God, and one of them is how gracious He is to us. We do not deserve even the slightest sliver of grace from Him, but He gives it to us anyway because He loves us.
1 Corinthians chapter 15, verse 10 says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
By the grace of God, we have been saved through faith—meaning Jesus’ sacrifice allowed us the chance to be saved, to be given a second life, and for the barriers of death to be broken so that we may be with God for eternity in heaven.
The Bible says in Ephesians chapter two, verses eight and nine, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
The kind of grace that, despite all I have done in my life, all the pain, mistakes, worry, and sin I have committed, God loves me enough to forgive that and overlook it and to see me as a new creation in Him. That is significant and divine grace.
So, what is in a name? Well, I would like to think that I carry a piece of God’s grace with me, both in my name and in my heart.
The way I treat people, forgive people, love people and so forth is a reflection of God’s love, goodness and grace that he has shown me numerous times when I did not deserve it. Why should I not show that same kind of grace and love towards someone else, deserving or not?
Some people are harder to forgive than others, but in God’s eyes He loves them all despite that.
Matthew chapter six, verses 14 and 15 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Forgiveness is true, but we must ask God to forgive us, not to excuse us. Our mistakes are our own. The purpose of grace is that if we have a genuine heart when asking for forgiveness, God will bestow His grace upon us, and we will be forgiven.
The Bible says in Jeremiah chapter 17, verse 10, “I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
My experiences have amplified the meaning of grace in my life. No one is perfect and no one ever will be, but they are still deserving of grace, just as I am in the eyes of God. And what better way to change someone for the better than to show them abundant forgiveness and love—they will have no choice but to accept it.
Ultimately, God shows us divine grace of which we do not deserve. But, now having a better understanding of what my middle name truly means, I can exemplify that kind of grace and love to others, because that’s exactly what God would want me to do.
2 Corinthians chapter 12, verse nine says, ‘And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’
Cartia Moore is a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She has recently graduated from her Bachelor of Arts degree and has completed an Honours in Screen & Media Studies. She is now going on to do a Master of Teaching (Secondary), focusing in the teaching areas of English and Film studies. She is passionate and driven to inspire and encourage others to seek and find their worth and value in Him.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html