The Christmas story has been put to the back of our mind until it’s unpacked again in November.Yet, the truth of the Baby-sized grace of God wrapped in eternal love lingers on:
‘You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.’
(2 Corinthians 8:9 NLT)
Jesus, the True Word & the Brightest Light became flesh & blood & dwelt among us. In John 1:16 we read how we have received grace upon grace from God:
‘For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.’
(John 1:16 AMP)
God has poured His grace into our lives- sending us a Saviour& giving us His Spirit.
‘By grace I am redeemed
By grace I am restored
And now I freely walk
Into the arms of Christ my Lord’
His grace is always enough:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.’
(II Corinthians 9:8 NKJV)
We don’t deserve God’s grace in our lives.He freely gives it to us when we trust Him.
‘I do not understand at all the mystery of grace- only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us’
Just like the manna from heaven that had to be gathered daily (see Exodus 16) God provides grace for today.
Daily grace, day by day.
Just enough for now.
Rend Collective wrote:
‘Gather for strength
Scatter for light’
I expanded that phrase as I meditated:
Gather grace for strength
Scatter grace for light
Gather grace,scatter grace
God’s extravagant grace can’t be hoarded. It needs to be shared. Freely received & freely given- extended to others who (like us) need grace most & deserve it least.
Last year at an OMF meeting, I watched Steve Saint on a video. Sixty years ago his father Nate Saint, along with Jim Elliot & four other missionaries were killed by Auca Indians in Ecuador. The infamous story is recorded in the book by Jim Elliot’s widow entitled Through Gates of Splendour.
The rest of the story Steve told was new to me. After the murders, Steve, his mother & aunt Rachel lived among the Auca tribe. In God’s time, many became Christians & the tribe actually shared God’s grace with Steve when he was a young boy . Steve grew especially close to Mincaye- the tribesman who killed his father. Steve said ‘Hurt people hurt people. But forgiven people forgive people’
God’s grace changes lives & creates (almost) unbelievable stories.
This is counter-cultural, other-worldly, amazing, downright outrageous grace. Such grace is birthed by God alone. Given by Him- gathered then scattered by His children.
When we see God’s grace at work in us & around us, we can encourage others & scatter God’s grace.
Tonight in church, we read this verse about Barnabas:
‘When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.’
(Acts 11:23 NIV)
Gather grace for strength today, then scatter it to encourage others.