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 laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me (1 Corinthians 15:10, KJV)
One of my daughters in the faith heard me teach about grace one day and later said to me that grace seems to mean there is really nothing else we need to do since God gives to us not based on us but on His kindness. Truly, the message of grace might appear to be so on the surface, until you fully understand what it is. Does grace mean there is nothing else for us to do because God has done it all? Should we live in sin, for example, because grace has already made us holy? Should we not bother to learn to create money, get a job, properly manage our finances, etc. because God by His grace “provides all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus?”. Certainly not!
Paul tells us above that “I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me”. Did you catch that? Grace was laboring in Paul to win souls for Christ and build up the Church. Grace is put to work by human actions. In fact, grace can be made void or empty if people do not respond appropriately( Gal. 2:21). This human response in our works is essentially what faith is all about.
The power of the Holy Spirit is in you as a Christian. Correct? Yes, that is what we have been taught and it is true. So why bother praying or investing time with God in the scriptures? The grace of God( power in you) works in your life as you take steps obeying and doing what God has commanded. Yes, God is our Provider and grace has been given for financial abundance. But if we fold our arms, doing nothing or mismanaging our finances or not being a giver, poverty will attack us as a thief!
I have come to realize that the primary reason behind this confusion about the grace of God comes from the fact that many believers do not yet understand the difference between the works of the law( which cannot save us) and what God calls good works. The works of the law cannot save us, but we are saved unto good works such as righteous living, serving God, loving people, diligence in what we do, etc. There are some of you with business ideas worth millions of dollars who might be sitting and “waiting for God” to do something about your finances. However, all you will need to do is just to step out do something, such as start that business idea. Until you step out, the financial grace in your life will be empty and void. Grace has to labor in and through us.
How does grace labor in us? Is it possible for a believer to frustrate God’s grace by their actions and attitudes? ( Gal. 2:21)
APPLY THE WORD
Grace requires us to respond. Learn to activate the grace of God by responding appropriately. This is the reason why diligence, for example, in what you do and an attitude of giving matter in your finances. It is not that these things we do make GOD love us more. No. They rather GIVE EXPRESSION to God’s grace in your life. Do not frustrate God’s grace in your life. Learn to respond. Learn to allow His grace labor in your life!
Thank the Lord for the wonderful blessing of the abundant grace in Christ.