The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 9 - To Us, Through Us
How do we best know and grow in the grace of God as revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ?
"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).
First, we must never fail to be amazed by the grace we have personally received that, as the most familiar of hymns proclaims, "saved a wretch like me." Every believer should seek to follow the example of the leper who returned to give thanks in wonder that the grace of God found and healed him (Luke 17:12-19). Indeed, the more we know the undeserved favor that has come to us in the Lord Jesus, the more we will seek to serve as "good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (I Peter 4:10).
However, the most brilliant light whereby we know God's freely given gift of salvation and "the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus" involves not the grace that comes to us, but rather that flows through us (II Timothy 1:1).
"The Lord Jesus... said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
The grace we have "freely received" becomes the grace we "freely give" through the leadership and enabling of the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Matthew 10:8). Throughout our Christian life, people in our sphere of influence will need God's undeserved favor as administered through us. Be if family, friend, or foe, countless opportunities present themselves whereby the words of the Lord Jesus are fulfilled along our personal pathway:
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:43-45).
When we trust and submit to the Lordship of Christ, miracles of grace happen within our hearts whereby we find ourselves giving that which we have received. The Holy Spirit enables us to bestow grace rather than vitriol and vengeance. We may initially react to wrongs committed against us in old ways of the flesh. The Spirit of God turns us inside out, however, reminding us of Christ's loving presence in our hearts, and then enabling us to overcome fleshly response with godly resolve to be those "good stewards of the manifold grace of God." We find ourselves loving rather than resenting, blessing rather than cursing, and performing acts of grace we know beyond all doubt do not originate in ourselves. Wonder ensues, then worship, and finally the realization that the grace we received in Christ did far more than merely rescue us from sin. It also redeemed us unto growing conformity to the spiritual and moral image of Christ. "Walk even as He walked" (I John 2:6).
God could give us no greater gift than to make us like His Son. Only His grace accomplishes such transformation and triumph, and only His grace both rescues from, and redeems us unto. "From" will thrill us forever as we forever rejoice in the grace "that saved a wretch like me." "Unto," however, reveals even more the answer to "Why grace?" To make us like His Son - this is the ultimate purpose of God's freely given favor in Christ, and the way we best discover the glory and wonder of grace…
"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.