Saturday, April 14, 2012

Great grace

"The community of the first Christians" by Laurent de La Hire

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Acts 4:23-37

TO CHEW ON: "And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all." Acts 4:33

This Acts 4 glimpse into the life of the early church makes me jealous.

- Their preaching was powerful and accompanied by signs and wonders.
- Their prayer meeting was rocked by the palpable presence of God the Holy Spirit.
- Their words were characterized by boldness.
- The gospel had an impact in everything including their lifestyle when the wealthy sold property and brought the proceeds to the apostles to help care for the poor among them.

Luke sums it up by saying "great grace was upon them all."

What does "great grace" on a life look like? Here is a small sampling:
  • It is on display in the various ways God gifts us to serve - Romans 12:6-8.
  • We see it in the fact that we have church leaders with different abilities and roles - 1 Corinthians 3:5-10.
  • It is evident in God's help when we are weak - 2 Corinthians 12:9.
  • It is visible in generous giving of things (money and goods) - 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.

But how easily that grace-filled life is marred by sin. If we read on in Acts, we see that the "great grace" picture of Acts 4 is defaced in Acts 5 when Ananias and Sapphira try to twist a grace-act to their advantage (Acts 5:1-11).

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your greatest grace—the gift of eternal life through Jesus, and all the grace blessings you give me through the Bible, my church and Your kindness to me in my life. Help me to never be presumptuous of this grace but to accept it with humble gratitude. Amen.

MORE: Definitions of grace

[Grace: charis: "From the same root as chara - joy and chairo - to rejoice. "Charis" causes rejoicing. It is the word for God's grace as extended to sinful man. It signifies unmerited favour, undeserved blessing, a free gift. It is unmerited favour available to the sinner for salvation and the redeemed for victorious living.]

"...a biblical definition of grace is 'God's blessings through Christ to people who deserve His curse.' It is because of Christ and His sinless life and sin-bearing death that we do not receive the curse we deserve but instead receive the blessings from God that we do not deserve" - Jerry Bridges, The Transforming Power of the Gospel, Kindle location 1194.

Bible Drive-Thru

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...