"Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).
Only the undeserved and unexpected favor of God - grace - can lead us to a life acceptable to Him. Grace alone changes the heart by enlivening and filling the heart with the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us and hath give us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work" (II Thessalonians 2:16-17).
A good friend often says, "There are two religions in the world, grace and works. But only grace works!" By this he means that God's salvation provided freely in Christ leads to the motivation and enabling whereby what we do proceeds from what our Lord has done, is doing, and promises to do forevermore. As the Lord Jesus declared of His faithfulness, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17). Any other means of seeking to consistently trust and obey God leads to frustration and failure. "Without Me, ye can do nothing" declared our Savior (John 15:5). Through Him, conversely, the Apostle Paul exulted, "I can do all things" (Philippians 4:13). Grace works, first in justifying the sinner, and then in sanctifying the saint unto a life of sincere motivation and faithful devotion to the glory and will of God. "By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace was not bestowed upon me in vain. For I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (I Corinthians 15:10).
Thus we do well seek ever greater awareness and understanding of God's freely and wondrously given favor in Christ - "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). The more deeply we descend into the soil of grace, the higher we ascend unto a life that heavenly life that is actually the life of Christ revealed in our trusting hearts….
"The remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward and bear fruit upward."
(II Kings 19:30)
"And now, brethren, I commend you to His grace, which is able to build you up."
Weekly Memory Verse
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.