"A Place of Grace"
God made the human heart to be a place of grace, as the Apostle John illustrates in his account of the Lord Jesus Christ purging the temple of moneychangers.
"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables, and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father's house a house of merchandise" (John 2:13-16).
No buying and selling can be tolerated in the temple of God, which now constitutes our trusting hearts in Christ.
"Ye are the temple of God… For by grace are ye saved by faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should boast… As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (I Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:6).
We forever exist as supplicants and recipients of God's giving. His generosity transcends all understanding. He loves to provide, supply, and bestow. He loves for us to receive the innumerable expressions of His lavish liberality. "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). We cannot buy such favor and provision by bartering with our Heavenly Father. His gifts are too expensive. Our means are too meager. Thus, we must seek the Lord's aggressive cleansing of our heart's inner temple regarding any notion of relating to God other than by the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus. As the Apostle Paul writes in the passages mentioned above, the grace that began our relationship with God must serve as the same dynamic whereby we "walk… in Him."
A beautiful aspect of such freely given favor involves the truth that grace received becomes grace assimilated in our hearts, and then grace disseminated through us to others. "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). The Holy Spirit inhabits the inner temple of our spirits to initiate and progressively execute our becoming like the Lord Jesus. His purely and perfectly unselfish disposition more and more shines forth within and through us as we "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). Ongoing reception of freely given favor results in a love for God and humanity that can only occur in our hearts so filled that they overflow back to our Father and out toward others. "We love Him because He first loved us… And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men" (I John 2:6; I Thessalonians 3:12).
A place of grace. Our hearts became such a holy venue when we believed as our Savior purged the temple of our hearts from any notion of buying or barter. Let us continue as we began by realizing God's perpetual provision and our persistent need. Thereby the Holy Spirit empowers the life of devotion to God and others that only results when the Lord Jesus drives the moneychangers from the innermost temple of our being…
"Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear."
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:10)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and Thy truth's sake."