GRACE (חֶסֶד, chesed; “grace, mercy, steadfast love, compassion”; חֵן, chen; “grace, graciousness, kindness”; χάρις, charis; “grace, favor, graciousness, goodwill”)Lexham Bible Dictionary
Sometimes we do not realize the manifold layers of God’s grace. What I mean is when we think about the grace of God, sometimes we only think about it regarding our salvation. But according to scripture, it is God’s grace that supplies us with what we need, at the moment we need it, for all things daily, and at this very moment in time. In fact, below is a message for you. For you who, like me, need this message today.
Whatever our gracious Lord and Savior has called you (specifically) to do each and every day, through the Holy Spirit and according to scripture, He will provide the power, ability, strength, support, peace, motivation, comfort, joy … in other words, “the sufficiency” to accomplish it. According to the testimony of the Spirit, by the grace of God, expressed in what you read above, KNOW that you do NOT have to do anything more, or anything less, than what the grace of God has provided for you to do. Now, did you notice I wrote, “not … anything more, or anything less” than what God has given you to do? It is true that for you, or me, to even KNOW what God has equipped us to carry out each and every day, we MUST be walking in His “general” will. For if we are not walking in His general will (His will for all His children) then we cannot find out His specific will for us individually. His general will consists of loving Christ first, then as an extension, loving one another. We do this through keeping short accounts with both God and with others. An excellent prayer to pray, even daily, regarding this is, “Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Ps. 139:23-24). This kind of prayer keeps our hearts soft towards the Lord and towards others.
The apostle Paul wrote this regarding what the Lord had called him to do: “…Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,” (2 Cor. 3:5). He also said, regarding you: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). I intentionally pointed out the “him and you” for one reason only, it is because the sufficiency is individual and depends solely on what God is presently requiring of you or me. Paul was called and therefore equipped, to carry out his call. You are only called to carry out what God has equipped you to do, both in ministry and in daily life. It has always comforted me to remember this important truth: the Lord Jesus knows me and in knowing me, He, therefore, knows both my strengths and my weaknesses and therefore supplies exactly what I need for the task ahead. I am unique in some ways which you are not. You are unique in some ways that I am not. You have strengths that I do not have, and I have strengths that you do not have. And in truth, God designed it that way so that we would be ONE. One giant Body-of-Christ united in love, benefiting and blessing one another. And never forget that whether we are at church, home, work, or anywhere, we are still the Body-of-Christ on earth and individually members of that Body. This does not change until the Lord calls us home or when He returns.
I want to use an example of God’s varied grace here: Say there are two Christians. One has studied the Bible for years and has been through Bible college. Also this person is blessed with a keen mind. And they are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. They were raised with godly parents who loved them very well. And they have grown in their relationship with Christ continually, etc. Now the other individual is a brand-new believer. They are in recovery from drugs and alcohol. They were adopted from an orphanage when they were young. They struggle emotionally and psychologically. And they never graduated high school. Now say Jesus called both to produce the same results spiritually, emotionally, relationally, mentally, physically, and financially. Would this meet the definition of a gracious God? NO. This is why we all desperately need God’s individualistic grace applied to our unique circumstances daily.
I want you to know how I must live, myself, every … single … day. The only way I survive is because I view myself literally as a clay pot. A clay pot can do absolutely nothing on its own. It is empty and fragile in its own strength. In fact, I have this, 2 Cor. 4:7 tattooed on my arm. I must be filled with the Potter’s Oil (Spirit) daily in order to just be “okay” in my life. And this is okay with me. It is because I am a cracked vessel and need the Potter to hold me together. And when I walk this way, daily, not only am I blessed but others are blessed too. But if I allow the demands of others apart from the demands of my Lord to take over, then no one is blessed. They may be frustrated or disappointed by my decisions. But I have learned to just let them be, because I KNOW whom I serve, and I KNOW what He requires of me.
Finally, I want to leave you with this to meditate on, beloved child of God: That it is, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6b). This is what is required of you, beloved, simply to be a vessel of clay. For it is CHRIST “IN” YOU which is your sufficiency and … nothing … else.
Note: The photo with the message at the top is credited to Roy Lessin from His Footsteps, My Pathway