This changes things... forever. Acts, 45. Acts 13.42-43
Imagine that you have just had a visit from someone you love and respect and as he walks out the door, he turns back to say ‘Continue in the grace of God’. What in the world? What would you make of that? Such was the case when Paul was leaving the synagogue after his first sermon.
Right out of the gate, you would have to know what he meant by grace, right? And in the context of the Jewish synagogue, that the notion of grace was a new thing--the people were used to having to earn their way to God through upholding the Law. But. Jesus. Changed. All. of. That.
Ah, grace . . . There is nothing in this whole world that is more precious or abundant than the grace of God. Grace defies all logic and knows no bounds. If we accept God's grace, if we allow it in, it radically changes us. It even gives us the ability to give grace to others. At least, that certainly ought to be the way it works -- God freely gives us grace ---> it flows through us ---> out to others. May I ask, are you a grace giver?
I think 'continuing in the grace of God' may also mean 'keep growing ... don't ever be satisfied that your relationship with God has plateaued and you have now 'arrived'. I am not suggesting a move toward a works-based faith, but instead a heart that just continually wants more of God.
Because 'the unexamined life is not worth living,' I asked myself some questions and I am passing them along to you. I pray that you will get alone and consider these questions and even pray about them.
CONTINUING IN THE GRACE OF GOD, ARE YOU?
Let me unpack it a little. . .
~Are you more like Christ today than you were one year ago?
~Where do you struggle
or what is your biggest challenge?
~Would God say of you, this is 'a man or a woman after my own heart'? (Remember He said that of David because he was obedient; he did what God asked him to do.)
~Do you have a set-apart time with God daily? Does it include Scripture, prayer and a time of listening?
~Would you say that you are full of joy and contentment? Why, why not?
~What would your mate (or closest friends) say are your priorities?
~Would you say that you are operating from a life flowing from grace or are you tapped out, lacking patience, wisdom and creativity for others? Hmmm.
Then the question is - if you are tapped out or not walking in the grace of God - what can you do about it?
This might help. The other day someone told me he had read the Parable of the Sower that Jesus taught--you remember where the seeds of the Word of God or Gospel went out, some landed on rocky ground, some on thorny ground, and some on fertile ground. He realized his life has become like thorny ground...uh-oh, how to change it? First, the realization; second, the desire to change and get back to where you were! Third, consider if you are spending time with your Savior--every morning-->in the Word and in prayer. Herein lies the power.
One more thing. We are commanded to come together in worship. Hebrews 10.25. Are you meeting physically if at all possible with a body of Christ followers? Commanded. Blessed. Irreplaceable.
Let us "continue in the grace of God". . . for there is no richer life to be had.
'Would love to hear your thoughts on these questions if you'll take a moment to write me. . .