Andy Hollifield 6-21-18
Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
There are no excuses for not working for the Lord. We all have a measure of grace. When Paul complained about a thorn in the flesh to the Lord, Paul writes, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” The word “sufficient” means “adequate for the purpose; enough.” “Grace” itself is defined as “mercy; clemency; pardon; a manifestation of favor especially by a superior. Favor shown in granting a delay or immunity.” Those are pretty good and accurate definitions of God’s grace. I have a couple more for you. The first is an acrostic: God’s Redemption At Christ’ expense. Another one is God giving us what we don’t deserve. Mercy is defined as God not giving us what we do deserve. One of my favorite bible stories is found in Mark chapter 9. A father brings his seizure ridden son to Jesus for help. He explains to Jesus that a spirit would tear him and he wallowed and foamed. Sometimes it would cast him into the fire or the water. The father asked Jesus, “If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” Jesus replied in verse 23, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” In verse 24 the father had to admit that he was struggling to believe and asked Jesus to help him with his unbelief. The spirit ravaged the boy once more but then afterwards came out of him. That was a demonstration of grace that God gave that man and thereby brought peace to the boy and his family. Even with his unbelief, this man was still given the grace he needed.
Another story I like is the one in Acts 12 about Peter when he was bound in chains between two soldiers in the inner prison. An angel came in and smote Peter to wake him up because he was sleeping so soundly. As the angel sat Peter up the chains fell from his hands. The angel then took him through two wards and out into the street and through another street. The reason for this result wasn’t because Peter deserved it but rather because some folks were gathered at Mary’s house, the Mother of John Mark, praying. The bible says that “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Just another measure of grace in time of need.
There are countless examples of God’s grace coming through in time of trouble and being totally sufficient no matter what the need was. Paul and Silas were thrown in jail and started singing. Can you imagine the grace that it took to sing after being beaten and put in stocks like common criminals. At midnight they began to sing and there was a great earthquake that caused all the doors to be open and the foundations of the prison shaken and everyone’s bands were loosed. If that wasn’t enough grace, when the jailor came in they stopped him from taking his own life fearing he had lost prisoners although none had escaped. He then asked Paul and Silas how to be saved and washed their stripes and brought them into his home and his whole family got saved. You talk about a measure of grace! Had Paul and Silas not have been arrested and thrown in jail, that whole family might have never accepted the Lord as their Savior.
In Matthew 14 when Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the sea but when he began to sink, Jesus immediately stretched forth his hand and caught him. The woman with the issue of blood who heard Jesus was coming and summoned her last ounces of strength to reach out and graze the hem of his garment and was healed. Maybe she was just mere feet from not getting close enough to touch him and all hope would have been lost but for God’s grace. The three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the den of Lions, Lazarus who was already dead and stinking called out of the grave by Christ. Blind Bartimaeus sitting by the roadside begging and when he heard Jesus was coming, cried louder and more and Jesus stopped the crowd so he could meet his needs.
Grace isn’t just a bible doctrine but rather God taking care of his people regardless of their circumstances. I would dare to guess that he has probably done it for you. Those situations and burdens that you can’t change; God has grace for them too. Whatever your situation is; rest assured that God wouldn’t bring you to it, if his grace couldn’t bring you through it. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 6-21-18