Grace is the term used to describe God’s desire to shower you with his favor, even though you may not deserve it. It is the gift of his love. And, of course, you can’t pay for a gift. All you can do is open yourself to accepting God’s undeserved favor. Can you imagine how offensive it is to the giver when someone tries to pay for his gracious act? Let me illustrate this by having you imagine that you invite me to your home for a meal. I accept. When I arrive I notice the front veranda light is on and your children are peeking excitedly through the curtains at me. I knock on the door and you all greet me in the foyer with kisses and handshakes and bring me into your warm comfortable living room. I am seated in the most comfortable chair in the house. The children crawl all over me. I am offered a glass of wine and told to kick my shoes off. We talk like old friends. Then the children head off to bed and we retire to the dining room. There is a table set for a king. The meal is brought forth and it is so magnificent that it speaks of hours of preparation. After the feast we talk for hours. In fact, the whole the night is devoted to talking about me. You show such interest in my concerns and struggles and hopes and fears. I just feel so at home, surrounded by warmth and love and acceptance. This is grace. Then when I notice the hour and realize it’s way too late to be taking up any more of your time, I jump to my feet, reach into my hip pocket for my wallet, and say, “What a lovely night. How much do I owe you for that?” How do you feel by such offense? What an outrage! What you offered me was your home, your family, your time, your devotion, your love, your esteem. I can’t begin to pay for that. And it is a gross insult for me to imagine that I could. This is grace—a favor that is undeserved, priceless. You can’t pay for such acts of grace even if you wanted to.
– Michael Frost, Jesus the Fool