Holy Love On the Move!
“The God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10a) is a phrase that only occurs once in Scripture. This encouraging, hope-giving title of our God reminds us that His dealings with us are not based on what we deserve, but on His attitude and actions of love to us. As believers, no matter how painful the trial or how fierce our testing, we can always be confident that we aren’t now, nor will we ever get what we deserve – Hell.
Grace is usually defined as “unmerited favor.” This is a far too meek and mild definition. Grace is “the holy love of God on the move!” Pastor Sam Storms defines grace as, “God satisfying our souls with His Son so that we’re ruined for anything else.” Grace is the presence of God manifesting to us who believe His heart of love and hand of power in giving us all we need to enjoy Him and be employed in making His love known! Grace is not sought, bought, or wrought, but is instead a gift of Almighty God to His needy people. Considering this, the Apostle Paul can confidently declare that “all grace abounds to us, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, we may abound in every good work”, irrespective of how hard and painful the circumstances we find ourselves in may be.
Our salvation is because of His grace (1Pet 1:10). He called us before and so we would call on Him (1Pet 1:2). We have “tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1Pet 2:3), so we are not afraid of anything that He purposes for us. His grace is “manifold” (1Pet 4:10) and meets every situation of life. As we submit to Him, He gives us the grace that we need. Our God of all grace, “has grace to help in every time of need” (Heb 4:16). “He gives more grace” (James 4:6), and we must stand in that grace (1Pet 5:12).
This great, good, gracious, and generous God is more than a teacher, He is a Homeschooling Father who has all the riches of grace in Himself. He has treasured up a fullness of grace in His Son. He is the author of all the blessings of grace. These include such acts as that of electing, adopting, justifying, pardoning, regenerating, and sanctifying grace. He is the giver of the graces of the Spirit, such as faith, joy, hope, love, and repentance, and of all the supplies of grace.
Someone accurately said, “Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.”
The gospel of the grace of God is just as necessary and relevant after you become a Christian as it is before because the gospel doesn’t simply rescue us from the past and reserve our future; it also rescues us in the present from being enslaved to things like fear, insecurity, anger, self-reliance, works-based religion, bitterness, a sense of entitlement, and feelings of insignificance. It is when the word of the gospel of the grace of God in Christ grips our hearts, that we are set free and changed. The change is by grace through faith and not by the gritty determination of will-power to stop a wrong thing and start doing a right thing.
Grace is not our helper to assist us in measuring up or making it good or big in life. Grace is the sum and substance of our great salvation. What is begun by grace in us and for us is maintained and sustained in grace. Grace has given and will go on giving us the greatest gift of all – the mouth-stopping, complaint-ending, desire-deepening awe of God with us and in us and for us – both now and forever!
An ongoing experience of grace will result in an outpouring extension of grace to others. The Royal family that all Christians have been birthed into is designed by the God of all grace. It resides in a house built by grace, rules from a throne of grace, and relates to others out of a continual experience of grace. The higher we rise in the experience of God’s grace the lower we are willing to bow in humble submission to the exercise of His child-training lessons of life.
The ultimate fact about the God of all grace is that his character is sheer love and concern for the welfare of his people, even in their sufferings. He has called them to be his people (1 Peter 1:15), and his intention is that they should share in his own eternal glory. This promise clearly indicates all the grace-redeemed people of God will share in the glory of Christ.
Paul makes an astounding statement concerning the ultimate aim of his life in Act 20:24: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
In this verse Paul reveals that for him the gospel of the grace of God was more valuable and precious than life itself, and that his sole desire was to be able to finish his course testifying to this good news. To him the grace of God was the gospel and in it was the proof of God’s love and good-will to us, and a means of his good work in us.
In view of the marvelous way in which God overrules persecution and suffering for His glory and our good, it is little wonder that Peter bursts into this doxology: “To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. 5:11).
In conclusion, I am going “to say grace”:
By faith I declare that everything the God of all grace has promised to be for me in Jesus, he has been, is being, and will be! Therefore I will pray from grace, think in terms of grace, translate every event in light of grace, and talk of the grace of God in Christ Jesus!
I confess by faith that in happy times or hard times, in pleasure or in pain, in sickness or in health, for better or for worse, the God of all grace - our Father - is always with me, always in control, always good, always able, and is always victorious.
Therefore, I will not fear, or doubt, or despair. Now will I falter, fail, or fall from grace, because the same grace that has brought me safe thus far will lead me on and ultimately Home!
I confess that what the God of all grace says I am, I am. What he says I have, I have. What He says I can do, I can do by grace through faith! Therefore I will live and die in amazing, astounding, and super-abounding holy love on the move, always believing that the best is still ahead for me!
More in Pastor Wade's Blog
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