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Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Need a Lot of Grace

Ephesians 1:7-8 (ESV)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

I rode my bicycle to church this morning. It is 5:00 AM and very few people are on the road. I don't have to think about traffic because there is none to speak of. It was reasonably cold (27 F; -3 C) and incredibly quiet. I am riding under a full moon with no breeze. I began to pray for the morning worship service. I asked God to fill me with the Holy Spirit and I was reminded of the above verse.

I realized that I was forgiven by God's grace. I did not deserve this forgiveness and I am not perfect even with this forgiveness. Then, I realized what I was asking. I am asking the Holy Spirit to fill me without measure. No one deserves this less, yet filling me is exactly what the Spirit desires. That is an amazing grace.

The word in which the ESV translators gave as lavished is perrisseuo (please excuse my transliteration). Thayer (a lexicon on the Greek language)  says it means: "to exceed a fixed number or measure, to be over and above a certain number or measure, to exist of be at hand in abundance." It means that God has given me more grace than can imagine. He has poured it on me so that I may be in His presence. He has immersed me in it so that I can be filled with Him. He continues to give me grace when fail to meet His standard of holiness. He inhabits me even when I am a dirty vessel.

I can't speak too much of grace. God the Father has chosen me in His wisdom and insight. God the Spirit has brought me to conviction and is living in me now. God the Son died for me, paid the price of my sin and forgave me for all that I have done. Each of these is grace. More grace than I can imagine.

I suppose that there are some people who think they are earning their salvation. I wonder if they really understand what salvation is if it is can be earned. I wonder why they think they have the power to convince God to take them without His grace.

No, I don't deserve it. That's why it is called grace. And I have an abundance of it. And I know why. I need a whole lot of grace.


Anthony Chia said...

I could NOT have entered into salvation no matter how I had efforted or ever efforted, it was by His grace that I have entered; and I thank Him forever, for it.

I entered into salvation that I may go on to do good works God has intentioned that I do. Scripture said that I am to work out my salvation with fear and trembling, yet, even to do any of these, it is never independent of His grace, for it is God who works in me, both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (From Phil 2:12 &13).

We cannot merit God to work in any of us; it is by His grace that He chooses to work in you and I, to will and do for His good pleasure. You cannot appreciate how I can say this? In Luke 19:40, we can read of Jesus saying if the disciples were silent (not praising God), the stones would cry out. Now, if you were to go outside, do you hear the rock talking or singing? Of course, NOT. It is that God could make them, which cannot speak or praise, to do the very thing they cannot do. Scripture said what is impossible with men, it is NOT so, with God, for everything is possible with God. God can make the rock to cry out praises to Him; so, is it NOT, it is by grace that He works in us (He could have chosen the rock) to will and to do for His pleasure.

Then as I will and go about doing, for His good pleasure, I have to do it juggling other commitments and responsibilities of life. I have challenges: and I have troubles, without His grace, I could not manage all of these; and daily, I need His grace as a "juggler". NOT only that, some of the things to be done are against much odds, themselves, not anything I can do without divine help; some others, are not anything men can do! Those signs and wonders and miracles, though came through my hands, so to speak, they were the Spirit's works. It was purely by His grace He did them through me.

Praise and worship unto Him, this too I managed to do, by His grace. In my life, there has been ups and downs, some really difficulty ones; how could I have managed to even lift a song to Him, if NOT by His grace and enabling, in those times. In my life's most difficult period, I was like a rock which was NOT expected to be praising, yet He made this "rock" praised Him. Oh, how good has my God been, that in my most trying times, He poured out so great and abundance of grace that I moved buoyant by His grace, and by His grace alone.

Sure, in life, we are to effort, and the overall counsel of the Word does NOT teach against appropriate effort, in fact it is against laziness, yet it does NOT advocate "doing in our own strength". It exhorts "doing IN THE LORD"; and "doing in The Lord" does NOT mean we effort NOT, but is that we do our part, in faith and reliance on God, believing that as we do our part, in love, and in truth and righteousness, God knows and will do, the part that is His.

We need His grace on-going, as we follow after The Lord, in this world, until the day He brings us home. I need His grace, you need it, too. Though grace cannot be merited, you and I, can live our life in such a way as to attract His grace, for God does give out His grace for a purpose.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Craig Godfrey said...

People who ride bicycles to work at 5am on winter mornings deserve lots of grace...what where you thinking? ;)

Someone once told me that

Justice is getting what you deserve
Mercy is not getting what you deserve
Grace is getting what you don't deserve

That's why it's so amazing!

Prentis McGoldrick said...

I have heard that God watches over fools and little children. I say this with no disrespect for little children.