When we think of grace, we might think of a performer, a dancer, or a well-spoken orator. We might consider these people graceful. God’s grace, though, is more than appearance. It is more than what we perceive. God’s grace is often coupled with patience, longsuffering, and mercy. It is less about how God handles or presents Himself than it is about how He interacts with us.
II Corinthians 12:7-10 records Paul’s pleading with God regarding a physical affliction – a thorn of his flesh. God answers that His grace is sufficient for Paul regardless of his physical suffering. Like Paul, God’s grace is also sufficient for us. While suffering comes from the devil, grace is from God.
All Sufficient Grace
God’s grace is self-sufficient. I Corinthians 2:1-5 and chapter 3:6-15 tell of Paul’s efforts spreading God’s word in Corinth. Paul attributes any success from his work to God, and Paul speaks of a foundation built according to God’s grace. He preaches only what God reveals to him. We have sufficient grace in God’s word, and we need turn to no other for the grace of His message.
Grace is sufficient to open opportunities to us. II Peter 3:9 tells of God’s desire for all to turn to Him. He provides opportunities for His people to reach out to the lost. Numerous time in Acts, unlikely opportunities present themselves to God’s followers. These serve as examples of how God’s grace opens doors. He has given His word to all mankind, and we recognize the grace of that word when we reach out to share it with others.
In His grace, God looks over our needs so we can focus on His work. Philippians 4:10-20 records Paul expressing gratitude to those Christians who helped meet his needs as he traveled in his ministry. He also demonstrates gratitude to God who will continue to support them in their generosity. God finds ways to let us do His work.
All Saving Grace
God’s grace is sufficient to save anyone. Ephesians 2:8-10 speaks of our salvation through grace and our inability to earn that salvation without God’s intervention. Paul calls us God’s workmanship prepared to do His works. He wants us to come to Him, and nothing we have done can keep us separated from Him. His grace can span the gulf of our sins. All He asks is for our faith and obedience. When we submit ourselves to his will, we open ourselves to His grace – grace sufficient to cover our sins, ease our sufferings, and open doors of opportunity to do the work of our Lord.
lesson by Alan Miller