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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The Manifold Grace of God


Grace is the unearned and undeserved favor of God that is offered to us in Jesus Christ. Peter says we are to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10). Being stewards of the “manifold grace of God means that there are facets to His grace that call for our response.


In Ephesians 3:2, Paul referred to his ministry to the Ephesians as a privilege of Christ's grace. In Romans 12:6-8, Paul spoke of the gifts of grace as something to be exercised in ministry to others. Grace is not only God’s unmerited favor but it is His power at work within us. Grace is the privilege God has given us, and it is our gift to share.


“As each one has received a gift,” Peter also said, “minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10, NKJV).  


The grace of God has appeared to all men but not all men receive it (Titus 2:11). Some believers spend their lives without experiencing the manifold grace of God. Grace asks for our response. When we don’t understand that God wishes us to respond to His grace by faith, we don’t experience His grace working in our lives.


His grace was nothing we earned. We had to humble ourselves to receive the salvation Jesus provided. We must also keep humbling ourselves to receive more grace He wishes to impart. God resists the proud.


“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, NKJV).


The grace of God is received in humility. If we don’t understand that humility receives the power of God, then pride in ourselves will keep us from experiencing His grace. James 4:6 also says God gives more grace. If it is possible to have more grace, then it is also possible to have less grace. God makes available His grace, we determine how much or less of it we will experience.


This world is performance-based. It rewards us for how well we perform. Pride keeps us competing to get ahead and be the best. God's Kingdom is the opposite. His grace is unearned and not based on us at all. The least is the greatest. Humility rests in understanding who we are in Christ and that it is impossible to perform well enough to receive God’s love, acceptance, and favor. Humility believes that God has loved, accepted, and favored us in the precious gift of His life.


Grace asks for us to believe these truths by faith. But sometimes do we find ourselves trying to win God's love and acceptance? Do we think that if we do more for God He will love and accept us more? That’s pride and seeking proof that God loves us. It is impossible to prove to God we are good enough for Him to love us. It is frustrating trying to prove our own righteousness because we have none without Christ. Jesus gave us the righteousness of God in His gift of love. There is no greater love He could have given us. We respond to His gift of grace by believing who He says we are—not by trying to prove who He says we are.


Grace asks us to respond to the love of God. We know we don’t deserve His love. Our minds may tell us His love is too good to be true. But it is true because it is the love of the Gospel. Our hearts can receive it. We respond in faith—not of our own efforts—but in humble acceptance of His power within us, believing that where God calls us, He is responsible for providing all that is needed. 


Humility doesn’t focus on self and its achievement. Humility surrenders to Christ’s achievement on Calvary. His grace is a privilege—His gift to us that we never deserved. We receive it by faith with a humble heart. When we understand that humility doesn’t exalt itself and doesn’t have to earn what has already been earned in Christ, we receive more grace to empower our lives. His grace in us will flow and empower us to minister to others. 


God tells us to be good stewards of His manifold grace. Humbly receive what He has won for you. Share His manifold grace as He humbly shared it with you.


© 2023 Lynn Lacher

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