“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8)
The mercy of God withholds what we deserve and the grace of God lavishes on us countless blessings we do not deserve. As we appreciate what the mercy of God withholds and the grace God bestows when we believe the Gospel, we should be filled with grateful worship of our gracious and merciful God.
When Jesus gave His Great Commission He instructed the disciples to wait until the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them before they obeyed Him. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:4-5) After that happened to them on the Day of Pentecost, we read: “Great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33) This use of the word “grace” means there is such a thing as the anointing and energizing unction of the Holy Spirit upon us as we serve Christ. I use the word in that sense when I tell people that the grace of Christ outweighs my challenges (especially as a bedfast quadriplegic.)
Paul was declaring this dimension of grace when he wrote: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that you, always, having all sufficiency in all things may abound unto every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8) This is the most emphatic verse in the New Testament regarding the anointing and energizing grace of God.
Check out the superlatives Paul uses in this verse: All grace – abounding grace – he repeats all of you – all sufficiency – in all things – abound unto every good work – always! According to Paul we should all be able to make the claim that God’s grace outweighs our challenges.
Do you believe the grace of God can outweigh your challenges today?
Dick Woodward, 31 August 2012