“It is God Who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phili. 2:13)
A couple of days ago, we mentioned that the tendency for many (most?) Christians is to start by receiving God’s grace, but then turn to a life of human effort to do a bunch of things that (we think) pleases God.
If you are constantly struggling with feeling guilty about your “performance” before God – or struggling to feel loved by God (usually because of all your “mess-ups”) then the solution to your issue is found in grace.
Yes, grace is always available (in unlimited supply). The Biblical truth is that it is nearly impossible to ever do anything that cannot be covered by God’s grace.
But grace is bigger than that. Not only is it in unlimited supply. It comes with unlimited power. Grace is bigger than any sin. Grace is bigger than any failure. But grace also has the power to enable us to live completely as God would have us live.
Grace is not only God’s unmerited favor – it is also His unlimited enabling.
What we so often tend to forget is that God did what He did so He can live inside of us – and through us… doing all the things that He did when He came to earth 2000 years ago.
It’s like this… Grace was poured out to us through the sacrifice of Jesus. Once that grace is received… God comes to live within us (through the Person of the Holy Spirit). From then on, this is God’s plan…
Now that He lives in us, He wants to work through us – to accomplish things, through us, that go beyond human ability. (This is exactly what Jesus was telling us in John 14:12) We become living, breathing vessels of God’s habitation – so He can do God-kind of things from within us.
You did nothing to earn this privilege. You did nothing to gain this honor. God did it all (through Jesus). And it was all that needed to be done for each of us to become worthy of being God’s Temple.
It was such an amazing act that God could only offer it to us freely.
Here’s the way it works… Grace came to us (unearned and undeserved) through the gift of righteousness offered through the all-sufficient work of Jesus (His suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension). Grace came to us… so that grace could fill us. And grace fills us… so that grace can overflow on everyone around us.
This is why love is the fulfillment of the Law. The Law is what God wants from us and what God really wants from us is to love Him (with all our hearts, souls, strength) AND to love our neighbor as ourselves (our neighbor being whoever is right in front of you at the moment!).
Grace is LOVE in motion. Grace TO us. Grace IN us. Grace flowing FROM us.
The whole idea is that God’s grace did everything to make you acceptable and pleasing in His sight – so now we can get about the business of just loving Him and loving others (so they can know His love too).
The true Christian life is never about our efforts (even in pleasing God) it has always been, and will always be, about God’s efforts covering our past, filling our present, and fulfilling our destiny because He dwells within us.