Saturday, October 25, 2014



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)

Grace is the motivation to do what we would not do otherwise and the power to do what we could not do ourselves.  It is all that Christ is for all that I need.  There is certainly a grace that saves us from sin, a grace that sustains us in struggle, and a grace that secures us for Heaven.  But, there is also a grace that strengthens us for service.  That is what Paul is promising in 2 Corinthians 9:8.

We are to be channels that the grace of God flows into and then out of to accomplish His good work.  He has abundant resources available for us—and then this grace is shared by us as we labor for Him.

It is a labor of love.  We do not serve grudgingly in an attempt to earn God’s favor, but gladly in response to His favor already bestowed.   That is grace and not legalism.  

How can we experience God’s love and not desire to return it to Him?  The evidence I have experienced such love is that I will express love to those created in His image.  As I serve others, I am serving Christ.  When I do it to “the least of these” then I am rendering it unto Him (see Matthew 25:31-46).

We should read 1 Corinthians 13 and see how God’s kind of love is wrought through us.  It is more than a feeling, deeper than an emotion, greater than words alone.  Love is practical.  It puts on its work clothes, rolls up its sleeves, and inspiration yields perspiration.

Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.”  (1 Cor.13:7-8a).  Love will bear the burdens of others who would be crushed under life’s load if we did not lift them.  Love believes the best about others for it seeks the best for them.  Love will hope in the hopeless knowing that none are beyond the reach of the grace of God that reached us.  Love doesn’t give up or give out because it is as eternal as the God Who is love itself.  People may fail us, but love doesn’t fail—we always come out ahead when we love, even if such love is not returned.

Love enables us to see the incredible need around us, as Jesus did.  Hear His heart,

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”  (Matthew 9:36-38)

The need is great, but God’s grace is greater still!  One of the ways God’s grace operates is by raising our eyes to see opportunity and raising up laborers in response to our prayers.  God uses people—His resources are distributed by human resources as He works to accomplish eternal purposes.  There is more to be done than I can do.  Arrogance will lead me to try to do the job alone.  Humility brings me to my knees and God moves in response to my heart cry by moving in the hearts of others to partner in the harvest.  There is much to be done after we pray, but nothing can be done until we pray.

I serve Him because He first stirred me—doubtless, in response to the prayers of others.  Now, He will work likewise by my supplications.  He opens our eyes to see lost lambs wandering without a shepherd, easy prey for the wolves of this world that would drag them down to hell.  Satan prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking sheep to devour.  When we see this and develop a burden, God works in grace to call us to be His shepherds.  He opens our eyes to see the potential harvest.  His grace reminds us that unless that harvest is gathered before winter it will be lost forever.  There is a season of opportunity—and this isn’t about gathering grain, but eternal souls!

Let us pray that grace will abound so that in all things and at all times and for all tasks, God will equip is to do all He desires to do in and through us.  His assignment always brings His enablement.

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