Theme: THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF HIS GRACE
DAY 2, Read 1 Timothy 1:13-14
THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF GRACE
Key Verse: “I was shown mercy… the grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly” (1 Timothy 1:13-14).
Yesterday we looked at the root word for grace. Grace is God’s undeserved and unmerited gift or favour bestowed upon man. Another definition says that grace is, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” This acronym points to Christ as the source and giver of all grace. Grace identifies you and lifts you up from where you are to a higher pedestal of life. Grace brings man from the cesspool of sin and connects him to a living and loving relationship with Christ. In his book, A Fellowship of Differents, Scot McKnight, reveals the meaning and power of grace in the life of the Apostle Paul.
“Paul was enemy number one to the first Jewish Christian community’s faith. They all agreed Paul was an enemy of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of the Christians. But God drew that man away from persecuting zeal into the church. Paul’s zeal for the Torah became a zeal for the Messiah. That transformation is grace….Paul knew he was in a place called grace.
Grace is the opening word that tumbles out of Paul’s mouth.
Grace is more than being lucky to be on God’s side.
Grace is God’s goodness showered on people who have failed.
Grace is God’s love on those who think they are unlovable.
Grace is God knowing what we are designed to be.
Grace is God believing in us when we have given up.
Grace is someone at the end of the rope finding new strength.
But there’s more to grace. Grace is both a place and a power.
Grace is God unleashing His transforming power.
Grace realigns and reroutes a life and a community.
Grace is when you turn your worst enemy into your best friend.
Grace takes people as they are and makes them what they can be.
Grace ennobles; grace empowers.
Grace forgives; grace frees.
Grace transcends, and grace transforms.
Grace turns a Christian-baiting, Torah-loving Pharisee such as the apostle Paul into a Christian-loving, Christ-following apostle. Grace turns persecutors into preachers. As the man himself claimed,
I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison. – Acts 22:3-4
Toward the end of his life he uses three terms for his pre-Jesus days: “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.” If we were to sum up Paul’s life in three words it would be these: zeal, grace, transformation.
Grace turns God-fighters into God-defenders.
Grace turns Jesus-haters into Jesus-lovers.
Grace turns Spirit-resisters into Spirit-listeners.
Grace forgives; grace heals; grace transforms; grace ennobles; grace empowers. Grace makes people in the salad bowl comfortable with another. Only grace can do that.”
PRAYER: Father, I shall forever remain grateful for the abundance of grace your Son Jesus has bestowed upon me and upon His Church.