Grace and Karma

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17 KJV)

If you’ve been around church very long you’ve probably heard grace defined as “God’s undeserved gift of love or kindness,” which is right, it’s just incomplete. To seek to define grace fully is like trying to define Jesus Himself. The above verse in the New Living Translation says: “For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.”

Strong’s Concordance expands the definition: “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness.” And further it says of grace: “of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian values.” What’s my point? Grace is a whole lot more than we can think or imagine!

Photo by Denitsa Kireva on

Grace is like the billions of gallons of water held back by a massive dam. It has so many manifestations of expression we hardly do it justice saying it’s “God’s undeserved gift.” Look around you – yes, literally – stop reading and look around you. Everything you see is a gift from God. Your sight is a gift from God; your ability to read, write, think, move, work, drive, have the material things that you see. The list is endless of the ways God shares His life and love with us.

We’re alive by grace, find hope in Jesus by grace, worship by grace – there isn’t a single detail of our life that we enjoy and appreciate that didn’t come from God. “Yeh,” you might think, “but I bought this house, I paid for these nice pieces of furniture, the groceries in my cabinets, the cars in my garage, the beautiful landscaping in my yard, the cloths in my closets, the luxuries I enjoy.”

Oh, I forgot, you mean with the money you earned with the energy, knowledge, and ability the Lord gave you? You mean because of the education He provided, contacts and other benefits He led you to? The point is, we couldn’t exist on this planet without the grace of God. And He doesn’t just extend His grace, mercy, kindness, and love to “believers,” those who profess faith and trust in Him.

Even the faith we use to seek Him in the first place is a grace gift from Him! See Ephesians 2:8-9, especially the part that says in reference to our “saving faith”: “…and that NOT OF YOURSELVES!” Remove the grace of God from this planet and you know what you have left? Hell! The absence of God’s presence and the absence of the influence of His mercy and grace would bankrupt civilization.

A lot of people today speak of karma. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary it means: “the force generated by a person’s actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence.” In it’s broader context it is largely understood to be the equivalent of the common expression “we reap what we sow,” or “what goes around comes around.” Or, in other words, “you get what you deserve.”

Josh Howerton wrote: “Grace is the opposite of karma. KARMA: you get what you deserve GRACE: you get what you don’t deserve.” While it’s impossible to separate the grace of God from ANY life, whether someone is walking with Jesus or professes to be an atheist, the activity of God at work in human life is evident in numerous ways.

My main point today is simply this: you can entrust the outcome of your life to chance (karma), or be assured of your outcome by yielding your life and allegiance to Jesus and by receiving what only He can provide (grace, forgiveness, mercy, newness of life, and an eternity with Him in heaven). To me it’s a no-brainer: I’m hanging with Jesus in this life and the next!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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