Grace is a big word in that it has many definitions and facets. The old traditional definition, “God’s unmerited favor” is fairly narrow and really only applies in a few references. Some other definitions that apply are, “God doing for us what only He can do”, and “God’s enabling power”. Some words that are a part of the whole definition would be, “mercy”, “power”, “patience”, “forgiveness”, and “enabling”. A definition that many claim, but is totally false is, “The freedom to do what I want with no consequences”. I often say, “Grace isn’t the freedom to do what I want, but the power to do what God wants”. When I was a kid we had a hand pump to get water, but before you pumped the handle up and down you had to prime it by pouring about a pint of water down the well. You could then pump the handle up and down and get pots of water. If you poured the water down the well and waited to long the water would leak out and the water would be wasted. In a very real sense God primes us with grace for salvation, for spiritual growth, and for service, but we can ignore that grace and it will have been given to us in vain.
2 Corinthians 6:1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—
God will stay just ahead of us priming the pump of our soul and as we respond, obey, and do something He will continue to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.