The Exceeding Grace of God in you
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” Colossians 1:27-28
Brethren, it is that period of the Year once again when we gather in one accord at the “Glory Summit” – Season of the Ministry of the Word of God. By His grace and divine enablement, the theme for this year’s Glory Summit is “The Exceeding Grace of God in you”. It promises to be, an awesome period at the feet of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
As a prelude to Glory Summit 2013, I will like us to examine together the purpose of exceeding grace, the key to operating in such an awesome dimension of grace and how to activate it.
A common definition of Grace is “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. It has also been defined as “the unmerited favour of God”. "Grace" is the English translation of a Greek word Karis which means "that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune." It is from the Greek word ‘Charis’ the modern word Charity is derived. A unique characteristic of Grace from both the Old and the New Testament perspectives is that grace is a divine enablement to operate in the power of Holy Spirit (God’s love) such that one is able to fulfil divine purpose in a way pleasing and acceptable to God.
Meanwhile, before we proceed to look into the purpose of exceeding grace, let it be mentioned here that: Grace is not by works! (Romans 11:5-6, John 1:16-17). Exceeding grace is a limitless grace, wonderful grace, surpassing grace, extraordinary grace or simply put - grace that exceeds the ordinary dimension.
Also worthy of note as with all things is the acknowledgement of God as the source of grace. Grace is the divine enablement to do so many wonderful things which we would not have ordinarily been able to do, mainly the ability to respond rightly to God’s divine invitation. Grace therefore, commences its good work in you when you give yourself totally to God. This is amplified by the Churches of Macedonia in 2 Corinthians 8: 1-5 “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much in treaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord and unto us by the will of God.” Giving is an attribute of God. Man naturally is selfish and always wants to be on the receiving side. For you to give as a way of life, you need the grace of God. God is able to make the giving grace come on you abundantly. It is a fact that as a result of the present state of the economy of nations, unbiblical attitude to money, greed, self-aggrandizement, and discontentment, the act of giving as we know it today is a far cry from that practiced in the Bible. It is my prayer that God will give us a generous heart towards others and the fullness of grace that will draw others to learn of His exceeding grace in us.
The exceeding grace of God in you is a gift from God. It is freely given to as many that desire it. Grace is such a glorious gift that Apostle Paul as highly educated, broad minded and rich in words that he was, at best could only describe it as indescribable, unspeakable, inexplicable, free gift. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says “For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” Once it is not freely given nor freely received, it cannot be grace! And because you yourself have freely been given, the same mystery allows you without labouring to freely give all things – “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” 2 Corinthians 12:15
Coming to the purpose(s) of exceeding grace, let us see together what we can glean from the Churches of Macedonia:
1. The ability to live the life of Christ in total Obedience: We were saved by grace through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ so that we can live for Him. 2 Tim 1:9 – “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”. As established above, the people of Macedonia first gave themselves to God in total obedience and as such, they did not find it difficult to give their substance willingly.
2. The ability to love others Christ’s way: Grace unlocks depths of compassion and a generous spirit. "Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality" (2 Corinthians 8:1-2). The love that took Christ to the cross is the same love that grace enables us to express towards mankind. (John 3:16, 1John 3:16)
3. The enablement to labour tirelessly, sacrificially and continually: As a result of the release of grace upon the Church, there was an unending flow of riches of grace borne out of labour of love. 1 Cor 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” Gal 4:19 “My little children, for whom I labour in birth again until Christ is formed in you” Heb 6:9-12 “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labour of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises”
As we have been saved by grace, salvation brings us into a covenant Father-son relationship with God by adoption. (John 1:12, Romans 8:15). Son-ship gives us access into all that the Father has including exceeding grace. (Romans 8:14-17) However, activating exceeding grace requires:
A. Humility: James 4:6 “But he gives more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
B. Faith: Faith opens us up to the reality of God’s existence and thus connects us to the workings of His grace. Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”
C. Obedience: A life yielded to the Spirit of God & Obedience positions us as recipients of exceeding grace. Abraham obeyed God and he had access to abundant grace. (Romans 8:14, Hebrews 11:8)
Grace is the beginning of everything for us, and with us, so Grace is the continual basis of everything to the end. What is true at the beginning is true throughout the whole life of the child of God What Grace begins, Grace carries on, and Grace crowns.
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”. 1 Peter 1:13 - Grace is brought by revelation; Revelation will propel Restitution, Resurrection, Repositioning, and Renovation.
Prayer Focus: Dear Lord of exceeding grace, I thank you for generously sharing the riches of Your grace with me. Lord Jesus by Your grace, please give me a generous heart towards others and flood my life with such fullness of grace that others will be drawn to learn more of Your exceeding grace in me. Amen