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Friday, March 22, 2024

The Manifold Grace of God



Grace is God's unearned and undeserved favor that is offered to us in Christ. However, many Christians spend their lives without experiencing the benefits of God’s grace. 


The grace of God calls for our response. When we don’t respond to His grace by faith, we miss the experience of His grace working in our lives.


In the Word, grace is more than just unmerited favor. In Ephesians 3:2, Paul referred to his ministry to the Ephesians as a privilege of the grace Christ had given him. In Romans 12:6-8, Paul spoke of the gifts of grace as something to be exercised in ministry to others. 


“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 “manifold grace of God” of which Peter speaks is defined as something which is “various in character” (Strong’s Concordance). It has several facets. Grace is not only God’s unmerited favor but also His power at work in and through us. Grace is also our great privilege and our gift to share.


The grace of God has appeared to all men but not all men receive it (Titus 2:11). 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” to experience the power that is ours in Christ.


“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 with humility. If we don’t understand that humility releases 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, but 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 exact opposite. His grace is unearned and not based on us at all. The least is the greatest. Pride craves affirmation. Humility doesn’t. When you know who you are in Christ, you know that you don’t need to perform well enough to receive God’s approval. You know that His grace has already loved, accepted, and favored you on the cross.


Do we think if we work harder and harder for God—do more and more for Him—give and give more to Him that He will approve and favor us more? That is pride in us seeking approval God loves us. We don’t have to prove that He loves us. Christ proved that on the cross. There is no greater love He could have given us. We respond to His love by believing who He says we are—not by trying to prove who He says we are.


Grace asks us to respond to a revelation of love that seems almost too good to be true. But it is true because it is the love of the Gospel. 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 faithful to do the work. 


Humility doesn’t focus on self and its achievement. Humility surrenders to Christ’s triumph. It places the well-being of others ahead of its own. When we don't need to exalt ourselves or try to earn what Christ has already earned, we receive more grace to empower our lives. 


“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16).


Out of His abundance, we have all received one grace after another, spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, and favor upon favor. We are complete in Jesus (Colossians 2:9). The Christian life is not trying to obtain more from God but rather renewing our minds to what we have already received through Christ.


Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Take advantage of the privilege you have been given. Open the gift of grace by faith, and allow it to work in you, conforming you to the image of the new person you are in Christ. Use the gift of grace in all its multiple ways to benefit others for the glory of God. You shall be a good steward of the manifold grace of God in all its tenderness and power.


“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14).


© 2024 Lynn Lacher





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