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Grace and Gratefulness

June 12th, 2013

He gives us more grace.” James 4:6 NIV.

Extending grace to others is your fitting expression of gratefulness for God’s grace.

My thoughts and comments today are about “grace and gratefulness.”

I have been blessed. Our life, family, and ministry have been blessed by the grace of God and the graciousness of people. I have received more than I could ever have earned from both God and others, and am thankful for every kindness shown me. Such recognition is a key to gratefulness.

Here’s what I have learned in life. When a person receives less than they were owed, they feel ungrateful. When a person receives only what they earned, they may take it for granted. When a person receives more than they know they have ever earned, or was ever owed, or would ever deserve, the Godly attitude is gratitude. The difference is not really how much is received, but rather your estimation and attitude about what was received. God initiates grace; your response is gratefulness. In your thoughts, attitudes, temperament, charity, efforts, involvements, relationships, and conversations, be gracious and kind. See Colossians 4:6 NIV. Extending grace to others is your fitting expression of gratefulness for God’s grace to you.

Grace cannot be earned, always charitable. Grace is expressed in unmerited favor and undeserved blessing, most appreciated when received as such. “The exceeding riches of His grace . . is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:7-9 NKJV. Words are insufficient to describe the daring generosity of God. That may be exactly what is often troubling about grace; people keep trying to earn it. Paul reasoned, “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” Romans 11:6 NKJV. Maybe people are awkward about accepting such a gift because grace obliges our gracious expression toward others.

Grace is never superfluous, a necessity for life.He gives us more grace. That is why the Scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourself to God . . come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:6-8 NIV. The surrounding context of James’ counsel is about times you struggle to do the right thing, when relationships are strained and disagreements arise. At that very time, God extends grace to you and simply asks that you do the same toward others.

Grace is always sufficient, plenteous in might and measure. Anyone who truly understands and embraces grace will testify of its abounding supply. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace after grace . . truth and grace came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:16-17. Paul, an apostle, struggled with a troubling circumstance he could neither resolve nor any longer bear, “The [Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’ . . that the power of Christ may rest upon me . . for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NKJV. Sufficient grace always strengthens and perfects.

God’s promise to Paul is His promise to you as well, “My grace is sufficient for you,” in all things, at all times. In eternal summation, the Bible closes with these words, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Revelation 22:21 NKJV. Grace can be the story of every man and woman’s history and destiny, yours included.

My prayer for you this day is that you will experience grace and always give the same.

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