12. Continuing Grace

Grace Short Meditations: 12. Continuing Grace 

Acts 13:43 “Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.”

Following on from yesterday, think of life as being lived in an environment of grace. I think Luke in Acts simply meant that having received God’s grace at new birth, Paul and Barnabas were encouraging the new believers to live their lives, experiencing that ongoing same grace.

We stop doing that when we make life full of rules or ways we OUGHT to live but, think back to the moment of your conversion, you had nothing of that in your mind then, you were just full of the awareness of God and His call on your life and everything else you left up to Him to work out in you. And then time passed and we complicated it. But living ‘in the grace of God’ is living in the light of His glory filling your mind and vision. Let’s get back there!

OK, like yesterday I hear some crying out, “Living in the light of His glory filling my mind and vision? You’ve got to be joking. You just don’t know my life!” No, I agree with you, I don’t know your life and I don’t know the pressures upon you, but isn’t this series about just this – receiving His grace in all circumstances? It’s not only the kids, the business, the job, the family, health problems, money problems and so much more. All of those things are very real in a fallen world, especially a world so packed full of things, of people, of information, or activity, as it is in the West in the twenty-first century. But isn’t that the point, because of those things we NEED His grace even more?

The person who lives in a part of the world where food is really short, where there are warring factions in their country, where water so often runs short, when medical facilities are fifty miles away, they don’t have the time to have your worries, the grace they need is just to survive. Be honest, we in the West are clueless most of the time, we don’t know how well off we are and, yes, we have earned our position and worked really hard for it, but perhaps because of that position we need God’s grace just as much as the child in poverty stricken, war torn, disease ravaged, parts of the world. God warned Israel about the perils of affluence when they entered the Promised Land because self-sufficiency can so easily become an idol, we something worship. So, imagine this spectrum of lives in the world from those who struggle with pride and self-sufficient idolatry in the West to the person in places where simple survival is the name of the game. No, they are not the same but we all need this grace, we all need to receive it, grow in it and be seen to be full of it. The differing circumstances simply show the differing needs for it. We all need to continue in it.     

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