What is Grace? • Veronica Ilioi • Hawaii Wedding and Portrait Photographer

What is Grace?

what is grace? Bible devotional on Grace and Galatians

What is grace?

If you were to ask me what my favorite book of the Bible, I’m always going to respond James. That book, you guys. Since 2009, I’ve went through 3 different Bibles. My 2009 Bible is small and definitely my favorite because it reminds me of the mess I was in 2007-2008 and how amazing His love and devotion is for me. Sadly though, Abbie spilled water so it became a watercolor art due to all my little notes on the side of all those thin pages. I loved that Bible.

I eventually got a different Bible, a bigger one. Within a few years, I didn’t have any more space on the sides to write my notes, so last year I bought my first Journal Bible. Best decision ever! The book of James, is always the one that has the most notes. I’ve studied that book at least 3-4 times and they’re all different notes and it leaves me so speechless because it only reminds us that the Bible is not boring, and God will never grow out of style and that his depth is never-ending.

“The Bible is never boring…”

I recently just finished studying the book of James and went on to the book of Galatians. I’m not sure I chose it, but I believe God is telling me that the Bible is called more than just the book of James. As I’m reading and breaking apart the first chapter, I came to realize that it should be called the The Letter of Paul to Vero. It starts with Paul telling the people of Galatia, “You know that Jesus did for you when He died on the cross, why do you feel the need to prove your worth to Him? His death gave you the FREE gift of grace, take it!” You see, what happened is that these people would sin, and instead of returning to Christ and receive His grace, they went back and that tried to WORK for it.

Raise of hands, how many times did you try to work your way back to Jesus. 🙋🏼‍♀️ This girl right here, did it more times than I’d like to admit. As I was reading and studying the first chapter, I kept feeling that without even noticing, I’ve been rejecting grace. And by rejecting grace, I was rejecting Jesus’ sacrifice. I was pretty much telling Him, “Here’s the thing Jesus, thanks for dying on the cross and all, but I got this, I’ll show God how much I love Him and how much I deserve His love, all on my own.”

“I was rejecting Jesus’ sacrifice.”

I mean, what is grace anyway? Jesus painted this picture for me. Imagine that you are in the really tall building, 100 floors or even more. And the top floor is the presence of God. The bottom floor is rock bottom, not yet hell, because we’re of course, still alive. And there are 100+ flights of stairs. And right next to that, an elevator with the big words on top GRACE! Grace brings us straight to God. When we choose to press the button for the elevator the door opens and Jesus meets us exactly where we are, no matter the floor you’re on. Jesus meets you there, and takes you into the presence of God. Sounds too easy, right?

How many times do we look at the elevator, stare at that button and say “No, it can’t be that easy, I gotta prove my worth, I need to work my way back to God.” AND TAKE THE STAIRS. And we get tired, and weary, and depressed, and sore, and disappointed because there’s no way that this is how a relationship with Christ should feel like. So we stop walking, and we just chill on that floor and give up while grace is waiting there. Waiting to be taken.

Friends, take it. Grace is a free gift that Jesus is giving ALL of us. We just have to take it. He made the first move by dying on the cross and choosing us. It’s our turn. Take Jesus’ hand, receive the free gift of GRACE, and go in the presence of God. There’s absolutely nothing like it.



  1. Alissa Matthews says:

    Yes!! I love the visual you gave of the elevator. God is so good!

  2. Makaila says:

    So beautiful Vero! I’m so guilty of taking the stairs when that dang elevator is right there ready. Great post, I love your vulnerability!!

  3. Valerie Hall says:

    Amen ❤️ I always say I want to read the Bible more but always feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. What version of the Bible do you read and do you follow a devotional or just jump in and study yourself ?

    • veroilioi says:

      I read the ESV version. I do use a devotional/bible study because it helps me focus on a little bit everyday! I’ve been LOVING loveGodgrately.com for studies, and they also have bible app version plans 🙂 you can message me and I’ll give you more details 🙂

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