May GRACE Abound
By Lashay Johnson
What does the Bible say about grace? I have to ask myself that question often.
Grace is the unmerited favor and power given to us by God.
I wonder how many times we are reminded that God extended grace to us and that we have the Holy Spirit on the inside of us, of which equips us to extend grace to others.
To some it may sound easy and for others it may sound impossible.
How do you extend grace to people that are not nice? Not like you?
Grace and Truth came through Jesus. The Holy Spirit equips us to act like Jesus.
I had a conversation with some friends and I shared with them that I struggle to love, to be kind, to be gracious to people that are not like me...to people that are unkind to me. Okay I know I am the only one that feels this way, but I want to be more like Him and I need to be honest; He already knows he is the only one that can help me.
While we were talking the Holy Spirit lovingly interrupted our time; and in that moment I was reminded that God extended grace to me and that the Holy Spirit guides me, teaches me, and empowers me to do things I am not able to do on my own; and that is to extend grace and love towards others.
To love is the greatest commandment. God has called us to love. God has called us to be gracious towards one another. When we love someone, we have the capacity to win them to Christ. Love can cause a person to transform into the version God has already predestined for them.
What would happen if we loved people to Christ?
Are you ready to love like Christ?
Do you think you are able to love like Christ on your own?
Grace may abound when HE abounds in Me!
I cannot love and extend grace unless I am full of HIM; and the only way I am full of HIM is if there is none of me.
The ability to love, express kindness, and extend grace requires me to be more like HIM. The way I become more like HIM is when I spend time learning HIS ways.
2 Corinthians 8:7 (CSB) Now as you excel in everything—in faith, speech, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us[—excel also in this act of grace.
Did you know the letters written by The Apostle Paul were written to church people. When Paul wrote 2 Corinthians he was writing to believers in the church he planted in Corinth.
Now you may be asking yourself why did I point this out? I pointed out the audience because the church had to be reminded to not just excel in faith, speech and knowledge, but to also excel in the act of grace. Yes, the church needed a reminder; Bible carrying, big hat wearing, won’t he do it, turn around and touch your neighbor, running up and down the aisles, waving hands and saying amen needed to be reminded.
Take a moment and take that in...Selah
As you read on to verse 7 it is the testing of our genuine love for one another. There it is, to extend grace is to love one another.
Is it possible to attend church, serve in your church, and not love God’s people? Not extend grace and kindness?
Take a moment and consider your church experience. Did GRACE ABOUND?
I cannot be full of HIM and full of me.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:31 (CSB) I face death daily. What does that mean? I believe the more HE has of me the more of me surrenders to being like HIM.
The more we are like HIM the greater chance we are able to love, be kind, and extend grace.
No fake hugs allowed (smile).
Grace may Abound when HE ABOUNDS!
Luke 9:23 (AMP) And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].
I am learning that transformation takes place when HE has more of me. The more I say yes to HIM, yes to HIS way, the more I become like HIM.
It is a journey that is so worth it!
This journey is personal and because it is personal it does not look the same for everyone. This is a great place to tell yourself to stop “comparing, contrasting, and competing “with others. (Discover Vibrant Living, Dr. Catherine Hart Weber)
Grace may Abound when HE ABOUNDS!
Remember a time when you met someone who was not a believer. How did you engage them? Did you try to clean the fish before catching the fish? Were your words seasoned with grace? Psalm 45:2 (CSB) You are the most handsome of men; grace flows from your lips. Therefore God has blessed you forever.
Let your conversations be full of grace. Each morning God extends new grace and we as believers are to pay it forward.
I want to encourage you, encourage myself and be reminded that Paul writes to the church of Colossae in Colossians 4:5-6 (AMP) when he says conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].
We can extend GRACE.
GRACE may ABOUND.
We have to choose to be wise, model after Jesus, let our actions and speech be filled with love, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in what to say when.
We have been called for such a time as this. We are living in a time when we cannot tell the difference between the believer and the non-believer. Let’s choose to treat everyone the way God has called us to, and that is with love, kindness, and grace.
When we lift Jesus Christ up...When we point to the risen Saviour…When we choose to be light in a dark place...When we are ambassadors in the earth...When we are gracious towards one another God’s Kingdom will advance.
Follow Lashay on Twitter @lifeisgood1172 and on Instagram @lashay109 and visit her website at lashayjohnson.com