I have a confession to make. I only understood part of God’s truth about grace. My misunderstanding kept me dwelling in fear for more years than I can count. If you struggle to understand grace; if you struggle with fear; if you struggle with worry, this post is for you.
Grace is God’s unmerited favor to us in the person of Christ.
“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him…” 1 Corinthians 1:4-5
We can’t earn grace; we’ll never deserve it even if we were given ten lifetimes to live. We can only receive grace by faith as a gift.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
In order to obtain eternal life we simply believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. Grace is amazing because the sinless One died for the sinner and offers them eternal life as a gift that isn’t merited and cannot be purchased or earned.
I have enjoyed the security of my eternal life for almost 30 years. I never wonder if I will go to heaven. I know where I will spend eternity and I rest securely in His gift of grace knowing I put my faith in His finished work on that cross on May 8, 1983.
But what I haven’t rested in was His grace for my daily life. In fact, I did not understand it at all until recently and now it is all I can think about. The knowledge of it has honestly changed my life completely and I hope it does yours as well!
I believed and have taught that Jesus is our all in all; that we have everything we need in Jesus; that He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. But while I knew that and while He had proved Himself over and over to me, I lived in paralyzing fear that I may not obtain what I needed from Him for my daily life.
I assumed incorrectly that to get what I needed from Him I had to do my part.
My equation was: Debbie + God= All that I need.
I’m realizing now that my incorrect belief was on an unconscious level because I never did teach it that way or say that way. But I must have believed deep down in my heart that I had to do something in order to get what I needed from God, but was terrified I wouldn’t be able to do it, which explains why I have always struggled with fear.
But there is no part for me to do! There is no part for you to do. Obtaining grace for daily life is no different than obtaining grace for eternal life. It is a gift that is not merited and cannot be earned but can only be obtained by faith.
“And God is able to make all grace about to you, so that in all things at all time, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
The correct equation is: God + Nothing=All that you need
I want to laugh out loud for the sheer joy of it all!
Let me give you an example of what this grace for daily life might look like.
Picture a warehouse that measures 20 miles long by 20 miles wide. Let’s call it The Grace Warehouse.
As far as the eye can see, aisle after aisle, the shelves are stocked with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You also see massive quantities of power, wisdom, endurance and perseverance, along with humility.
But The Grace Warehouse is not a building at all. It is a person. It is Jesus Christ Himself!
The Grace Warehouse is Jesus, Who is the storehouse of all grace, and Who lives inside of us by His Spirit! The source of all that we need is in us!
“…but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14
We can actually go “into” Jesus and take His peace.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27
The shelves are stocked not with new improved versions of our puny power, or peace, or joy, but His power, His peace and His joy. In fact all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places are found in The Grace Warehouse.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
And what is the price of His peace and joy and all of the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places?
Nothing. Not a dime. It is all free. It is the gift of God by grace, freely given without merit to anyone who asks by faith.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
How have I missed this?
Have you missed it too? Why would we not constantly partake of all that Jesus so freely offers to us?
The answer is simple… you and I do not want what Jesus offers. We want Him to bless us materially and physically, but spiritually, not so much.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul asked God three times to remove his thorn in the flesh. Paul wanted physical healing and He asked God for it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking God for healing, but we must realize He does not always give it.
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you for power is perfected in weakness.’ ” 2 Corinthians 12:9
He will, however, always give grace to meet our every need. Paul found God’s grace to be more sufficient than healing!
“Most gladly, therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Paul wanted healing, asked for healing but received power, through grace, to endure his infirmity instead. Paul found God’s grace of power in his illness worthy of boasting about!
How do we get this daily grace?
We ask for it.
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Perhaps you need God to change your marriage, or provide a much needed job, or perhaps you, like Paul, need healing for yourself or a loved one. Ask for it, but don’t stop there!
He may not change your marriage, or provide a new job and that’s where our fear comes from because in reality we can never know if God will give us material or physical things. He certainly does give us material and physical blessings and I have been the recipient of many and they too were gifts of His grace. But He never promised them to us.
What we are promised, however, is that we can have His peace in the bad marriage. We can have His power in our weakness. We can have His joy in our fiery furnace. We can have anything and everything we need in Christ by grace through faith, for the asking.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…” 2 Peter 1:2-3
What does partaking of His daily grace look like?
It could be compared to a skin diver using his breathing apparatus to take in life giving oxygen. But take note, the air can only be received breath by breath, moment by moment.
When you are anxious and need peace you ask Him for it and then you “take in” His peace for that moment. When you need His peace for the next fearful moment, you ask again and so on and so on and so on.
Partaking of His grace moment by moment is nothing more than abiding in Him.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
We must stay connected to Him every second of every minute of every hour of every day to receive all that we need to live our daily life moment by moment.
Since moment by moment living is the only way to obtain daily grace, the evil one loves to keep us focused on past regrets where the moment to receive grace is now gone. Or he keeps us focused on future fears where grace cannot yet be received since that moment has not yet arrived.
Obtaining His grace moment by moment could also be compared to obtaining your favorite drink sip by sip through a straw.
Sometimes our thirst can be quenched with only a sip while other times we must drink in gulps to be satisfied. God knows what you need at every moment and will lavishly give you all you need, whenever you need it.
“…according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us.” Ephesians 1:7-8
Lavish in the Greek means to have more than enough.
Wester’s defines lavish as: very generous or liberal in giving or spending, often extravagantly so; more than enough, very abundant; prodigal.
Webster’s defines prodigal as: exceedingly or recklessly wasteful; extremely generous; lavish; extremely abundant; profuse; a person who wastes his means; a spendthrift.
God is a spendthrift my friend! If He were a human and spent monetarily as lavishly on His children as He spends on us spiritually, we would call Him a dysfunctional enabler!
He will withhold nothing from you. Whatever you need to live this life, He will give to you in Christ. We are guaranteed to obtain all that our souls need to make it each day.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
The problem is that we want to obtain all that we need physically and materially.
Oh that God would give us a taste for what He offers in Jesus!
Oh that God would make us crave the power of Jesus, like we crave food or alcohol!
Oh that God would make us long for every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Jesus!
I want to drink from the well of grace, swim in the ocean of it, eat from the banquet table of it and wear the jewels of it. I want to be so full of grace that it is hard to tell where I end and Christ begins.
This Easter, as always, I am thankful for His grace by which He gave me eternal life in Christ. But this Easter I am also thanking Him for His amazing grace to meet all the needs of my daily life. No longer do I feel impoverished or lacking in anything, for I am the well loved, well provided for daughter of the King and I will live my life by grace through faith here until I see Him face to face there.