Monthly Archives: February 2011
AS A BELIEVER, God’s grace is not passively received, it is a conscious asking, a conscious receiving and consciously worked out – “Work out your own salvation…” What God has worked in us, we are to work out right through to our very ‘fingertips’ where His grace is made a reality in the very ordinary, common and haphazard circumstances we find ourselves in.
We do not wait to feel the grace of God like some magic formula that drops on our head that instantly transforms us into some kind of super hero; we bank on the fact of God’s Word that His grace is sufficient for whatever predicament we’re in. When we need it we go to Him, to be with Him, spend time with Him, to be filled with Him – seeking first His kingdom instead of being self-orientated. From there, we walk tall in the circumstances no matter what they are; His grace is for every situation, good or bad. We are to prove, test – stretch the grace of God, you’ll never exhaust it. The height and depth of His grace is impossible to determine, infinitely impossible. Think of the entire world oceans – the mass of sea water. Our needs are comparable to a small empty bottle being plunged into its depths to be filled without the slightest notice of difference to what has been taken. Multiply that concept to infinity and we’re still far off to realizing the grandeur of God’s immeasurable grace.
We do not wait until we feel filled by His grace; walk and you will know it! An artist doesn’t wait for that moment of inspiration in order to draw or paint. He or she puts to use the gift they have – then inspiration meets them on the way. That’s where the wonder lies.
Do we confidently bank on God’s promise? We say we do and we’re all brilliant theologians on the mountain tops, in the moment of ‘ecstasy’. But what about in the actualities when the drudge of common place circumstances has none of the spark? Is God real then? Or do we crumble, put our theological convictions back on the shelf and say, “Maybe some other time…”?
That is the one great tragedy of today’s bible colleges, seminaries, and the passionate study of theology that has produced ‘text book boys’ rather than men of God. God’s Word is never to be ultimately studied – it’s to be lived! Don’t misunderstand that; of course we’re to study. Doctrine and theology is imperative. The trouble is that we replace God on the throne with theology – a very subtle wile of the devil the majority of reformed churches today aren’t even aware of. Barely do you find the fire of the Holy Spirit in current day reformed circles as you would have in the lives of John Huss, Luther and Calvin. The devil, I believe, left the plates of health, wealth, prosperity and other wild fire charismatic movements spinning by them selves some time ago. One of the very things the devil hates is truth on fire, and he loves nothing more than to promote a systematic, dead theology.
How are we in the grit of difficult circumstances? Adhering to a brilliant exegesis by Calvin will not sustain us. It may massage our intellect a little, but it will not keep us from going under. God’s grace is worked out when naturally we ought to fold under extraordinary pressure; as much as we are stretched, we are to stretch His grace.
To often we blame God for our failures, where as in actuality we fail to take hold of His grace that would have enabled us to overcome ‘that’ sin, or be calm under extreme strain when it would be the most rational thing to panic. We may not know how God is going to work out His solution to our perplexities, but by His grace we can be absolutely confident in Him so as to concentrate with His interests rather than our own. The grace of God isn’t so much to obtain peace of mind so we can sit back and relax – the cults will give you that – but rather, to walk and grow up into Him in everything no matter what the opposition. 2 Peter 1:3-4 states through God’s great promises, we may become partakers of His nature – not cash in a mega millions lottery ticket! We are more concerned about self-preservation. No wonder the church nowadays is ineffective. Biblical Christianity is losing our lives for Christ to really find it; the world’s way is to preserve it only then to lose it. It’s almost impossible to distinguish the mentality of the church from the world. At one time the difference was noticeable.
The most alive and free Christian is the one who does not regard their life dear unto themselves for the sake of Christ. They’re dead already – dead to the world and to themselves. Such a Christian is like the apostle Paul. You’ll remember the passage in Acts 26 when Paul was before King Agrippa and other great, prominent figures. What was Paul saying in verse 29, “…I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am – except for these chains.”? He was speaking nothing but absolute truth when he indirectly declared being freer than the king in all his riches and pomp, despite Paul being bound in chains as he testified before them. There’s a man who gloriously proved the grace of God.
The Christian while preoccupied with how they are going to survive will never venture to know and experience the limitless ocean of God’s incredible grace. As long as the Christian remains lukewarm and mediocre, they’ll never write their own song of what it is to be more than a conqueror through God’s abounding grace. His grace is for impossible moments and is never out matched by anything in all of creation.
The trial of our faith is to test, stretch and prove beyond limit the endless supply of God’s sufficient grace. We can count on it, take God at His word to face anything that attempts to frustrate and thwart His purposes for our lives. It’s about His honour, more than our victories. A faith tried will try His super-abounding grace and find it to be gloriously true. We have suffered long enough for the church not telling forth God’s wonders in our current day. By His sovereign and almighty grace, we can make further impacting church history rather than just read and marvel of what shook the world decades and centuries ago.