Today I will continue with “Faith and Patience Volume 5 – Greater is Coming!” We have been studying the life of David. In our last message, I taught on purpose, vision, faith, grace, and God’s timing. If you have not read it, I recommend you do so. Those are five key aspects of our walk with God. We must get a revelation of each in order to fully maximize our purpose and potential while we are in the land of the living.
Today I am going to further emphasize the grace of God by focusing on two aspects of grace. In one sense, when God’s grace is flowing it has nothing to do with you. It’s like God is doing what He does without any regard for your performance. He is doing things FOR us. In another sense, when the grace of God is flowing, it has everything to do with our performance. God empowers us to perform beyond our ability, power, and strength. In this case, He is doing things THROUGH us. When this happens, it is clear to us and everyone around us that we are doing something we could never do without God.
I bring up these two aspects of God’s grace because, in order to stand long enough to see the promises of God manifested in your life, you are going to have to fully embrace the grace of God. On one hand, you have to accept the fact that God’s plans and promises have nothing to do with your performance. God gave you the promises by His unearned and undeserved grace. On the other hand, you also have to embrace the fact that God empowers you to perform. The Apostle Paul explained this well in his letter to the church in Corinth. He said:
“I am the least important of all the apostles. In fact, I caused so much trouble for God’s church that I don’t even deserve to be called an apostle. But God treated me with undeserved grace! He made me what I am, and his grace wasn’t wasted. I worked much harder than any of the other apostles, although it was really God’s grace at work and not me.”
(1 Corinthians 15:9,10 CEV)
Here are the two facets of God’s grace I will deal with today:
1. Grace where you don’t do anything:
This is the facet of God’s grace that most believers are familiar with. If you read the Gospels you will see account after account where Jesus blessed people, not because they did anything, or because they deserved it, but solely by the grace of God. The woman caught in adultery, for example, did not perform God’s will. She was clearly in sin. She did nothing to earn forgiveness or her breakthrough. However, she received forgiveness and redemption by the grace of God.
When Samuel came to Jesse’s house and anointed David to be the next king of Israel, it was not because David did anything to initiate the contact. It was purely by the grace of God. The author of the text I have provided for you, the Apostle Paul, terrorized the church. He worked against the cause of Christ with all his might. When God called him to the gospel ministry it had nothing to do with his performance. As a matter of fact, the call came despite his performance. It was totally by grace. This aspect of grace is undeserved, unmerited, often unexpected, and almost unbelievable. In this sense, God’s grace is amazing.
2. Grace where you are able to do what you could never do without God:
This facet of God’s grace is often not understood. Not only does God call us by grace, but He then graces us to fulfill the calling. Said another way, God gives us our purpose by grace (without us earning it), and He then gives us the grace to achieve it. In the scripture I have provided, the Apostle Paul acknowledged that God treated him with undeserved grace. Without grace, Paul could have never received such an awesome assignment. Paul did not deserve it, but God assigned Paul’s purpose to him before he was born, completely by grace. This is the part most people understand. But then Paul goes on to say that he had to work harder than the other apostles to fulfill his calling. This is the second facet of God’s grace. Paul put all his effort into maximizing his purpose and potential. But even then, Paul acknowledged that he was not really the one working so hard. It was the grace of God through him.
Without grace, Paul would not have been called to preach the Gospel. Also without God’s grace, he would not have been able to fulfill the call. God gave Paul grace before he lifted a finger to perform God’s will, and He then gave him the grace to fulfill the assignment he had been given. This is the facet of God’s grace that was in operation when David killed a lion and a bear with his bare hands. It was also the grace on David that enabled him to kill a giant with a slingshot and a stone.
Without an understanding of these two facets of God’s grace, we will never have the faith (to believe) or the patience (to endure) we require to become the men/women God called us to be.
So what does this mean for you today? I have already given you many nuggets this morning. Here are a few more:
1. God looked past your faults, flaws, and failures, in order to call you to your divine assignment. He knew all the mistakes you were going to make and He called you anyway. This is the grace of God.
2. God ordained you to a specific assignment before the world began. He did this with foreknowledge of your decisions. He knew what you would do right and what you would do wrong, and He called you despite your shortcomings. He called you based on His goodness, not your own.
3. Once you open your heart to God’s purpose and you answer the call, you quickly realize that you CANNOT do what God has called you to do. It is beyond you. God’s call exceeds your power, ability, and strength. This then puts you in a position that requires the grace of God. Not only did you have to accept God’s grace to be forgiven. But you must now embrace God’s grace to do what you were born to do because you could never do it without Him!
4. In Romans 11:6, Paul explains that you cannot work for the grace of God. If you work for something, then whatever you receive becomes payment and a not a gift. Grace is a gift. It cannot be worked for or earned. But while you cannot work FOR grace, you most certainly do work BY grace. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul tells us that once we are Born-Again and we are in Christ Jesus, we are supposed to spend the rest of our lives doing the “good works” God predestined us to do. Understanding this, you can enter every day focused on working as hard as you can, but also knowing that you are not the one doing all the work. It is the Father, who lives in you, He gives you the words and He performs the work (John 14:10). Living this way, you will work harder than you ever have, with a realization that you are not the one doing it all. God is living through you by His amazing grace!
5. God calls you by grace and He gives us the grace to fulfill the call. So receive His assignment by grace, knowing you could never earn it. And then walk out into your destiny by grace, knowing you will never be able to fulfill it without God. David understood this. This is how we went from shepherd-boy to sitting-king. It was all by the grace of God.
Today you learned two facets of God’s grace. Please apply both to your daily living.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I expect to become the man/woman You called me to be. My expectation is based solely on Your goodness towards me. Both facets of Your grace are in operation in my life. I acknowledge the fact that You called me by grace. I was completely undeserving and You called me anyway. Now that I have answered the call, You give me the grace to fulfill it. I have the grace to do everything You have called me to do and I declare that I will. Like Paul, I acknowledge that I am who I am by Your amazing grace. Your grace towards me shall not be in vain! I will leave a mark in this world that will not easily be erased. Not because of me, but solely because of YOU! You live in me. You give me the words and You perform the work. Therefore, I boldly declare that GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!