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APPROPRIATING THE GRACE OF GOD !

Appropriating the Grace of God!

“For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me (1 Cor 15:9-10).”

Pastor E.A Adeboye“Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily (1 Col 1:29)”


As we enter the Christmas season, we have been examining a new theme, “JESUS CHRIST: THE REASON FOR THE SEASON” using the popular Bible story of the “Good Samaritan” as told by Jesus himself in Luke 10:25-37. Last week, our emphasis was on how grace was able to help humanity where the law failed.

Now let’s see the work of God’s grace us. Luke 10:34 says: “And [the good samaritan] went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” Notice three symbolic elements that were applied by the “Good Samaritan” on the wounded and robbed man here. These three are symbols of the Holy Spirit and what the grace of God has accomplished on our lives:

One, he poured “oil” on him: This represents the anointing of God on your lives when you became born again. Psalms 23:5 says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over”. God’s oil on you makes you succeed in difficult and hostile work environment/situation (i.e. in the presence of the enemy).

Two, he poured “wine” on him: This represents the fulness of God’s Spirit on your life. In Ephesians 5:18, Paul says: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” So, the fulness of the spirit is here compared with being drunk with wine.

Three, he put him on “his beast”. The beast is meant to carry burden and used as a means of transportation. Friend, the Holy Spirit is the Lord’s burden-bearer. The moment you give your life to Jesus, he hand you over to the Holy Spirit to carry you through the rest of your life and lift your burdens. Jesus lift you up from the dung-hill and set you on the throne . He put you on His beast (the Holy Spirit) to take you to places in life you never imagined possible.

And I want to request that you should not lose sight of the work of God’s grace on you today. You already have the oil; the wine; and you are sitted on his beast – taking you to places you could not reach by your own effort and power. So, grace poured on you all that is needed for  victory and success in the journey of life.
However, we should not take this grace in vain, rather we must work it’s reality out. We will be living under illusion if we continue to live in sin and think that God’s grace would multiply (Rom 6:1). Or how can we ignore our responsibility in the natural in lieu of God’s grace?  In First Corinthians 15:9-10, Paul shows how we can appropriate the grace of God for success in our calling: “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” So, we see that when we are unworthy on our own effort and by human standards, it was grace that qualifies us and make us worthy of whatever position we occupy in life. You are what you are by the grace of God.

But Paul went further to show us how he succeeded and excel as an apostle under grace- he laboured more than others! Wait a minute, do you mean I still have to labour under grace? Yes brother!, Here is why? Grace is a gift available to all that accept Jesus, but grace remains a (dormant) potential until activated by productive labour in the natural. By combining the work of grace with diligent hard work, Paul shows us success and excellence in life and ministry becomes inevitable. No wonder Paul wrote the highest number of books in the Bible and almost two-third of the new testament; He also brought the revelation of how the New Testament Church should operate, even though the church had started long before he became a Christian and he persecuted them.

And I am concerned that many Christians today are so lazy in their calling and ministry under the pretense of depending on the grace of God. True dependence on grace would propel you to “labour more than others” and pursue excellence in your calling and ministry. Of course, the only difference here is that the motivation for success is not based on your “own work” but “the work he has done” in you (1 Col 1:29). Are you a pastor, a student, a business person or an employee, I charge you to work out what God’s grace has accomplished on your inside through pursuit of excellence in whatever you do, otherwise the grace of God  would be in vain on you.

Have a great and blessed day!

FAITH REFLECTION FOR TODAY:

The grace of God motivates a believer to labour more than others and pursue excellence in his/her calling/ministry.

CONFESSION FOR TODAY:

Please, boldly make this confession of faith:

“Dear Father, I thank you for your grace on my life. I am what I am today because of your grace – not because of any good works I have done. I recognize that you have placed me on your “beast” which is going to take me to places in life that are beyond my imagination. I, therefore, apply myself to productive labour and pursuit of excellence in my career and ministry, so that the work of your grace on me will not be in vain. I thank you Jesus because your grace is sufficient for my success in life (Amen).”

 
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