Thursday, April 19, 2007

On Grace

In my inbox each morning is a Scripture text from "Daily Manna from the Net." It is a nice way to focus my mind as I start work each day. Here was today's text:
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." Ephesians 4:2-7 NIV

The last part of this passage struck me. In our world, in our families even, we fight so hard to be 'fair' by giving equally. But God, who is perfectly 'fair,' gave us, as believers in Jesus,
--One Body
--One Spirit
--One Hope
--One Lord
--One Faith
--One Baptism
--One God & Father
--Apportioned Grace

Maybe we are only partially right in our efforts to be 'fair,' for while God gave Himself equally, He gives of His grace on an as needed basis. No grace ever goes to waste, 'cause we get just exactly what we need for that day, that trial. This reminds me of the Matthew 6 passage, which states:
"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (v.31-34) NIV

At one point in my life, when I was engrossed in an excess of worrying, God brought me to this passage and taught me that we only get the grace we need for today (think OT manna). We don't get tomorrow's grace early, but we always have enough for this day. There is no grace-borrowing. While we might (mistakenly) "borrow from Peter to pay Paul" in our finances, we cannot do that with grace. We can withdraw only what is apportioned for that day, but we can withdraw all that is apportioned to that day. (Which is why worrying is a waste; you don't yet have the grace to sustain you through tomorrow's difficulties.) To state the flip side of the last part of this passage, "Each day has enough grace of its own."

May we live this very day grace-fully.

(c) 2007

1 comment:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Wonderfully put!!! Wish I knew you wrote it BEFORE my post, I woulda just linked to you :)

Thanks so much for your prayers!