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THE INFLUENCE OF GRACE, FAITH AND LOVE AVAILABLE IN CHRIST


WEDNESDAY 16 MARCH 2022


Paul showed his heartfelt gratitude for God's grace upon his life. He acknowledged that the surface of God's mercy towards him is abundant grace, while the underneath is made of the faith and love found in Christ. So its not just the workings of grace, he was full of the inward and outward experience of godly faith and love. Today, this same grace of God, which is His unrestrained, luxurious favour and blessing, can flow out to us in superabundance, with the faith and love which are available in Christ Jesus.


Reference: 1 Timothy 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) "And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus."


Paul made it clear that grace, faith and love can flow together. In other words, true grace mixed with faith and love can overflow in our lives because they are three dimensions of Christ's manifestation in us. They properly equip us attend to our kingly and priestly office and to see that nothing is lacking in our Christian service. They help us to hold fast to what is good and to carry out our various duties and assignments in the body of Christ successfully. To understand these dimensions, we can consider them one after the other.


Grace: The grace of God is exceedingly abundant in Christ Jesus and the understanding of it's operation uplifts us and propels us to succeed in our Christian walk. The Bible says that Christ is full of grace and truth (John 1:14 NIV), and out of His fullness, we have all received, and grace upon grace (John 1:16 NASB). This grace is received and established as our inward and outward experiences. By receiving God's Word with meekness and putting it work, grace becomes inseparable from the reality of our Christian life because we grow in it.

Faith: The Bible says, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). Faith is central to pleasing God. In the first place, without faith in Christ, nobody would have a restored relationship with our heavenly Father. More so, our faith in Christ and His finished work empowers us to partake of all the blessings which God has made available for us because of our union with Christ. So we partake of all those privileges and benefits of the salvation Christ has purchased for us, by exercising our faith muscles and laying claims to them. In fact, our faith is the condition on which the possession of our inheritance in Christ depends. It is the right door to our boundless blessings in Christ.


Godly love: This love is the tremendous nature of Christ and it can only be sourced from Christ because it is only available in Christ. Good fruit, godly desires, and righteous living stem out of it's treasure. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 reads, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again" (NIV). This implies that godly love is a huge compeller and enabler. For instance, it compels us to always abound in the work of the Lord as we live for Him. It drives us to pray for others and enables us to resist strife, to overcome evil and slander, to withstand worthless notions of the unspiritual mind and to pursue the salvation of souls.


When you arm yourself with the love of Christ, the only hatred in your heart becomes the strong disapproval for evil, injustice and wickedness. By exuding the love of Christ in you, your desire will always be for God and by the enabling power of the Spirit, you'll keenly disfavour what God hates and forsake whatever the enemy of your soul offers. In line with apostle Paul's experiences, this love inspires us to respond to sinners from God's perspective and reach out to deliver them from the domain of darkness by sharing the Word with them, agonizing and interceding for their salvation. Shalom!


Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:13.


Guided Prayer: I thank you Father for the abundant grace you've bestowed upon me in Christ Jesus, recalling before you, the workings of faith and the treasures of your enduring love operational in me. Lord, you are graciously generous to me and I possess all I need and live by through faith. I practise the love of Christ and I'm driven by it to influence the world around me in a positive way in Jesus' Name, Amen!



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