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A Thought for the WeekóLiving in Godís Grace
November 5, 2007
"...looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears" (Hebrews 12:15, 17 NKJ)
God has grace for us to be what He created us to be and to do what He wants us to do. Godís grace is His enabling presence, favor and empowerment being extended to us in each moment of our life. Jesus lived this way. He was weak like us, when He took on a human body like ours. He was tempted in all ways like we are--by His flesh, the world and Satan. Yet, through the grace of God, He did not give in to sin. By relying on Godís grace He was able to know and do what His Father wanted Him to do. By the grace of God He was able to be all God wanted Him to be. The Bible says of Jesus, "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:40 NKJ). "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things" (John 8:28 NKJ).
We must diligently seek to have Godís grace so that we can know and do all He wants us to do. Esau, in the subject verse, sold His birthright for a meal. He gave up his right to receive from his father the blessing of the firstborn. Because he was hungry he did not look for Godís provision of food but gave in to the sinful desire of his brother and gave him his birthright. He missed receiving and living in the grace of God. Jacob also suffered because he tricked his brother. He was tricked by his uncle and was given the wrong daughter in marriage and had to work seven additional years for the woman of his choice.
I too have given in to the ways of men many times, rather than looking for the empowerment to do His will and the affirmation of my identity from God, Who gives grace to those who diligently seek Him. God has grace for us. We must seek Him for it and trust Him to empower us and to enable us to be who He created us to be--not what others think we should be to please them or to be accepted by them. God can redeem our birthright in Christ, so we can be who He made us to be. Only in that place and relationship with Him can we have eternal peace and joy. Let us diligently pursue His life-empowering grace.
Father, we rejoice in Your plans and purposes for us and for our lives. Help us to diligently seek Your revelation and empowering grace so we can be all you want us to be and do all for You. Amen.
A Thought for the WeekóReceiving Godís Grace
November 6, 2007
"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJ)
God has grace for us. He has an abundance of grace for us. He is able to help us to know that He has grace for us. He is able to make us know we need His grace. He is able to arrange the circumstances of our life so that we know our need of His grace.
He calls us to be holy, to be set apart for His service. He calls us to want to love Him with all of our heart, with all our emotions and desires. He knows our natural desires to want to do our own will and to live to please ourselves. He knows our natural desires to enjoy the pleasures of this world, to be like others and to receive honor from them. He calls us to be different. He is different! He loves what is right and pure. He loves what is in accordance with His moral standards and character. He wants us to abide in His moral standards. He wants us to love what He loves and desire what He desires.
He is this way because that is who He is--and He is very happy with His desires and character! He has provided a way for us to be partakers of His nature and character so that we become united with Him in our desires and actions. He has grace for us so that we can become this way, wanting what He wants and able to do what He desires. This is His grace for us.
Jesus lived this way, empowered by the grace of God. His nature was to do Godís will. He had sinful desires in His flesh; He was tempted by His flesh like we are. He was tempted by the world and its ways like we are. He was tempted by Satan and the spirits of evil like we are. Yet He did not sin. He overcame these desires by the grace of God operating in Him.
He spent time with His Father, meditating on Him, communing with Him in prayer, reading His Word and receiving strength from Him. Now He lives in heaven, able to make us partakers of His nature so that we too realize our need for Godís grace. Now He lives to make us partakers of the grace of God so we too can live for God, aware of His presence and desires for us in each situation. God is able to make all grace abound to us. This is what Paul is reminding us of in the passage quoted above. God is able to give us an abundance of grace so we can know and do all He has for us. Let us receive His grace and live in it as Jesus did!
Father, we rejoice in Your plans and desires for us. Help us to continually receive Your grace so we too can live for You and show Your love and mercy to others. Amen.
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