Sunday, February 24, 2013

Applying Grace

Have you ever met a person of true grace? A person who doesn't hold anything against anyone? A person who has the ability to see people as God sees them; victims of a nature they cannot change? They are amazing people and we should all be like them. Unfortunately we too often forget that this same grace is applied to us every day. We often think it is applied once but we are far from perfect. I can't even imagine what the list would look like if I was to see what God's grace overlooks in my life every day.

I think we just have very poor memories. We forget that we are trophies of grace. We forget that we are not so much examples of how to live a perfect life but an example of how a perfect God lives through us. As such, we should be constantly applying that grace to everyone in our life. It means we never keep a list of wrongs. It doesn't mean we don't deal with the wrongs when they happen. People need to be aware of the consequences of their actions. But grace says that we forgive and we don't remember that offense again. It means every day is a new day with a new slate. It means a decision we take and it means we need the anointing of God to live his grace.

Apostle Paul was in a bad place. Under house arrest, many of his friends had abandoned him. He wrote of one person to Timothy, but he did not state what this man had done to him. Instead he chose to remember the blessings he received from the man:

May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. (2 Timothy 1:16-17)

All Paul could pray for this former man of blessing was that God would show him mercy. No list of wrongs. No angry words. No instruction of vengeance. Instead, a pray from a man who desperately needed people to pray for him:

May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. (v. 18)

If you have ever faced the pain of rejection, the hurt from being stabbed in the back, you will understand the amount of grace such words take. But Paul was never concerned for himself. He never worried about how people perceived him. He was never looking for followers and supporters. Paul`s concern was where people were with Jesus. Perhaps with such an attitude in life grace flows easier. When we allow things to become personal; when we absorb them into our being; when those words and actions are allowed to take on more importance than they have in the Kingdom of God, grace slips away.

I believe the secret to the advancement of the Kingdom in the hearts of men and women has nothing to do with church marketing and everything to do with grace. If we would only ask for a greater revelation, a greater anointing, a greater application by us in the lives of others, people would begin to see God's heart toward them. No angry or hurtful words from our mouths. No complaining. No words that tear down. Only words and actions that build up, that encourage, that cover. This is the Kingdom I belong to, that I love, and of which I serve.

No comments: