My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need. (Philippians 4:19)
- When have you received God’s grace with gratitude?
- When have you ignored God’s grace?
- What impact does God’s grace have on your life today?
Receive It. Grace must be received to be lived. We can know about grace. We can talk about grace. Knowing and talking can stay academic-minded, and that’s not where grace stays. Grace, when received, invades our hearts. It changes us. It changes our perspectives, and it changes the way we live. As Christians, we often give grace lip service. We acknowledge it, and we even share the facts of how God abundantly gives grace…but do we receive it? Do we think it’s something we were given when we first began a relationship with God and we rely on that “grace of the past” without fully realizing the impact it has on our lives today? We are in constant need of God’s grace, and we have constant access to God’s grace, but we must acknowledge the need and actively rely on God for grace. God gives us his grace freely, but do we sometimes leave it in the box instead of opening up the gift and using it every moment of every day?
When grace is fully received, it cannot be ignored. It overflows through our lives, impacting lives around us. We have to pay attention to how completely we are receiving grace, because it directly impacts our giving of grace. When we have a grace-giving problem, it’s usually connected to a grace-receiving problem. When we unhook from our source of grace, and we continue to try to give grace, we will run down, relying on our own strength, which doesn’t last long and is certainly not nearly as effective as God’s. Are you leaving God’s grace unopened? Do you know it’s available but have become content with looking at the beautiful package instead of opening it up and enjoying and using what is inside? How does your idea and assumption of grace differ from God’s truth about grace, and how does he want you to respond?
Live It. Unwrap a piece of hard candy today and savor it. Consider the difference between savoring the candy before you unwrap it versus after you unwrap it.