Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
Welcome to 2013. Let us make this a year when God’s grace prevails for us. What do I mean by this?
The grace of God is not a ‘license to sin’ nor should it be used as a ‘get out of jail card’ – something we call upon as we knowingly walk into sin. Rather, the grace of God is the ‘God given ability and favour to live God’s way in this world’. The grace of God and the peace of God in the context I am using them here are referring to the same thing – God’s presence and guidance in our life.
When we talk about the grace of God prevailing it means that the grace of God is more powerful in our life and circumstances than any of the other opposing forces. The grace of God is the presence of God experienced by a believer that fills us with strength, joy and peace that neither hardship nor outside force can disrupt.
God’s grace will give you the ability to keep your emotions in line with God’s will; the strength to walk away from temptations; and the faith to walk through the storms of life. God’s grace will keep you from boasting when you see yourself living a victorious life, and will stop you from being critical of those you think are not as successful as you.
How can we receive the grace of God?
Firstly we must know God, or rather, receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and saviour, for no one can truly know God. This first step is the crucial foundation stone of God’s peace. But we should not stop here.
Secondly, we must believe by faith the promise of God. Do you believe that God has granted you the grace to go through 2013 embraced by His peace?
Thirdly, live as a Christian who believes in God. The worst thing that can happen to a Christian is to live as an unbeliever. When God gently nudges your heart to make certain adjustments to your life style, respond to his promptings immediately. It might be a bad habit He is asking you to abandon. Remember, when the Holy Spirit prompts you to do something He also gives you the strength to do it.
The Holy Spirit is going to prompt many of us this year to start giving more of our prayer, time and effort to other things within His kingdom. You may not realise it but being obedient to the leadings of the Holy Spirit will enable you to experience more of the grace of God. As you take the focus off yourself you will witness more of God’s peace and joy in your life.
God’s grace will allow you to walk though the storms of life surrounded by the peace of God. God’s grace will allow you to enjoy a quality of life that is blessed by the peace of God irrespective of the difficult circumstances that might be staring you in the face every day. Hebrews 4:14 -16 (NIV) helps put all I have said succinctly:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, give me the grace to receive your peace this year. Let me know what it means to be embraced by your Grace. Amen