“Grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” Augustine
I maintain a spiral notebook where I jot down meaningful bible verses under various topics – not just the bible reference like the topical index in the back of a study bible, but the complete verse. I’ve been doing this for many years and, in doing so, my collection has expanded to about thirty different topics (like salvation, judgment, obedience, Holy Spirit, pride, sin, love, giving, faith, praise, etc.) and many hundreds of verses. Doing this for so many years, one would expect that all of the potential topics, by now, would be included in this notebook. Yet, from time to time, I will identify another topic that had not yet been listed. This morning, I discovered – somewhat to my surprise – that GRACE was one such topic. So this revelation took me on a 60-90 minute study of the numerous references to grace in my study bible, adding a number of related verses to my notebook and, ultimately, to this devotion. We’re all familiar with the term “grace”. Most likely you think of grace in terms of what is presented in Ephesians 2:5 “It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved” But read the quote from Augustine again at the beginning of this devotion. Also, Romans 12:6 which says: “In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” Also, in Hebrews 13:9: “..your strength comes from God’s grace” Do you see a theme here? I think many of us look at grace as follows: GRACE = FORGIVENESS That is part of grace, but it is more: GRACE = through faith, the power to do GOOD WORKS Well known Christian author, Max Lucado, ties faith and grace together well when he states “Faith is learning how to receive what grace gives. And faith is also trusting that when I receive from God and respond, He’s going to do something.” Most of the active members of St John’s have recently participated in the ABLAZE program. The program certainly challenges us to look at our Ministry at St. John’s and our personal contributions to supporting our Lord’s ministry here in Williston Park. (By contributions, I’m not just referring to financial, but our time, our talents and our prayers). Our mission statement states that we are to REFLECT HIS LIGHT. He has given all of us abundant grace, and a pool of collective gifts/talents to do just that. I pray that we all, through prayer and in faith, ignite a passion to work together to REFLECT HIS LIGHT outside our church walls in accordance with His guidance and His will for our congregation.
“Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus” 2 Tim 2:1