Free and undeserved favor, especially of God. Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. Divine assistance in resisting sin. So says Wiktionary.
Grace is in my life, whether or not I’m conscious of it. I recognize it when a blessing touches me or when I touch upon a blessing. Like mercy to Shakespeare, the quality of grace is not strained… it falls on us like a gentle rain. I imagine it as nurturing seeds of grace that I can share with others: blessings, without the weight of cost or sacrifice or begging.
The Bible offers many messages about grace – 123 scriptures refer to it in the NSV. Most are clear about grace being an unencumbered gift from God. Yet some imply qualifying factors, right after saying it’s a gift. In Psalm 84:11 it’s given to “those who walk uprightly”. Does Acts 20:30 speak to “those who are sanctified?” Perhaps both were written to encourage people to be good. I’m not a Bible scholar, so I rest on John Wesley’s doctrine of prevenient grace: that grace precedes human decision and that it exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. Progressive Christians “find grace in the search for understanding.” We are blessed with grace, whatever system of spiritual belief or practice we identify with, from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and all the -isms in between, or none of the above.
Grace be to the seekers, and to those who simply be. God bless us all.