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GRACE!: Living in Abundance, Jn. 10:10b. April 2013

Virtually every prayer session of Christians ends with “the Grace”. The fact that “the Grace” is such an important aspect of every prayer, even as demonstrated by the life, ministry and teaching of apostle Paul, should make it abundantly clear that Grace is an indispensable part of the life of every Christian.

Friend, I have come to realize that individuals, who have a perfect understanding of the Grace of the Almighty God towards us all, are likely to be better Christians than those who don’t; Those who understand what Grace is, are likely to have better relationship with others than those who don’t; I mean those who understand what Grace is all about would also have a better understanding of who the Almighty God, is.

In Heb. 4:16 the Bible clearly says “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”. From this scripture one thing that stands out, is that the Grace of God is directly linked to his mercy. It is impossible to obtain mercy without grace and vice versa. In Rom. 9:16 apostle Paul writing further explained the importance of mercy to us. He wrote: “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy”. He also said that it is God that will show mercy to whom he will show mercy. The implication therefore is that for us to achieve anything (even results of our hard and diligent work); for us to have anything we ‘Will’ or ‘wish’ for; we need the mercy which comes (compulsorily) with the Grace of the Almighty God.

In Jn. 15:5 Jesus spoke to his disciples and said: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Jesus said that just as the branch of any tree is virtually useless and without life, without the vine (stem and root), without Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we as Christians, can do nothing. Nothing means absolutely nothing! It means we cannot for instance pray successfully without Jesus. That we eat that meal well, without problems could only be by the Grace of God. Even when we provide any assistance to the needy in our midst, we were able to do so by the Grace of God. Are you able to evangelize? I congratulate you. But you were only able to do so because of the Grace. Brethren without Jesus we can absolutely do nothing! Now, the good news is that in Phil. 4:13 the scripture tells us, in the understanding of what Jesus also said in Jn. 14:14(“If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it”) that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us.

Therefore Grace to any Christian, is that extraordinary privilege, ability, power and favor, we possess to accomplish and to do things (that we would hitherto not be able to accomplish) due to the extraordinary, undeserved love, affection, kindness, and justification given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Often times we don’t deserve Grace, but we have it, all the time, through Jesus Christ. When he was crucified and he died on the cross for our sins, His Grace became available to, and for all those who believe and who would accept him as their personal Lord and savior. Little wonder Jesus told us in Jn 14:12 that we would not only be able to do the same works that he did on earth, but we would even do greater works than he did. All by His Grace!

Imagine this: Think of any good machine that we use today to lift any heavy object. Take the Forklift/crane for instance. The driver of the crane can’t lift several thousand times his own weight. Ordinarily there is no way any driver on this planet would be able to lift the kind of weight that a forklift or crane would lift. But the forklift/crane driver is able to accomplish the job because he got help from the machine. Without that machine that job would be completely impossible to do. Now when an individual was able to do a job with such help, it would be improper for the fellow to claim that he/she did it all on his/her own strength. Yet the Grace of God available to us by far exceeds the effective output and productivity of several heavy-duty cranes/machines, put together and functioning at maximum efficiency. The Grace of God is that essential element we need to achieve the impossible; to do the ordinary and extraordinary. There is absolutely nothing we can achieve in this life without the Grace of the Almighty God.

The understanding of this is very important in our appreciation of who we are in relation to God, and to others. If we understand that we are what we are today simply by the Grace and mercy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords we may perhaps have a slightly different  approach with respect to how we conduct ourselves here on Earth. For instance when we help others, in any shape or form, we should understand that we were able to do so purely by the Grace of God. I have heard some people say and boast that if not for them; a particular individual would not have been able to become what that fellow is today. I have seen and heard of people who virtually made other persons lives miserable due to one help or the other they did to them. That should not be so. If we understand that we were able to be of help because of the Grace of the Living God; if we understand that it is God that gave us the ability to do whatever we did, we should also give him all the glory for every achievement we made/make in this world.

Some people even boast of how greater they are, in terms of material wealth/achievement compared to others. Such people make fun of others who are not as “fortunate” as themselves. They call others poor (very poor); the wretched of the earth; indigent etc. Some holier-than-thou persons go to the extent of mocking others as sinners, fake and counterfeit Christians with the assumption that they themselves are the real deal. That shouldn’t be so. The Bible in 2 Cor. 4:7 tells us that it is by the Grace of God that we may better than other people. It is by the Grace of God that we are saved even from sin. If that is the case we shouldn’t boast over others, we shouldn’t condemn others. The reason is simply because we are what we are today, by the Grace of God. Rather our approach should be that of prayers and love; brotherly, sacrificial agape Love towards all.

How do we treat God’s Grace and mercy towards us? What is our attitude to Grace when we are in need? What is our attitude to Grace when abundance is all around us? I have noticed a trend.

I have observed that it is easier for humanity to appreciate the God of heaven when we are confronted with issues and problems; when we are confronted with the heavy weight(s) that we cannot ordinarily handle by ourselves. When problems come, many individuals feel the natural propensity to go to seek the face of God to obtain his Grace and mercy. However, the moment solution comes, and the problem is over, many individuals have the tendency to move away from God and believe that all will continue to be well. Why they do that is absolutely confounding to me. It is easier, for example, to get people to be humble and to go to church when they are sick. But the moment they receive healing, they would be expecting the pastor (and the entire church) to beg them to come to church. When people are facing difficulty in their finances, it is a lot easier to get them to go to church and obtain Grace; Talk to them about Tithe and they will promise to pay even more than 10%. However, the moment the situation improves, for good, you will no longer see them in church. Mention Tithe (and paying correctly) to them? Ahhh! they will literally go to war. It’s indeed a pity. Persons who act like that suddenly believe (erroneously) that they got their breakthrough only by their own individual efforts and not by the Grace and mercy of the God of heaven and earth. It is a huge mistake to deny that Grace helped us yesterday because we still need it today and tomorrow.

Friend, whatever we have; no matter what accomplishments we have made on this earth; it is important that we remember to give the glory to God, realizing that we are who we are today simply by the Grace and mercy of our heavenly father; Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late.

God bless you.

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

317 Woodpoint Avenue

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 09:41am