As 2015 draws to a close and a new year beckons, we continue to check ourselves and our lifestyles.
Our decision to follow Jesus is a lifestyle decision, not a one-time one. It is a daily (and not weekly, monthly, periodical or occasional) exercise that Christ calls us to engage in in the act of following Him. Christ calls those of us who’ve made a decision to follow Him to do so on a daily basis. Luke 9:23 – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Hence the reason why we need to regularly check our lifestyles to ensure that we are abiding by that decision.
God’s grace is imparted to us via multiple avenues primary of which is our personal, individual walk and relationship with God. There are of course other avenues too of which four are principal and need to be adequately represented and firmly incorporated into our lifestyles if we are to enjoy an ongoing supply of God’s grace in our lives and not fall short of it. But the chief one remains that of our personal connection with God. It is therefore imperative that we give this element of our spiritual life priority over everything else if we are to access grace in sufficient quantity. But before we embark on the discussion of practical tools and aids we can employ in making a daily and personal time of connecting with God a reality in our lives, we need to cultivate and adopt a right attitude toward grace.
The need for grace in our lives is undeniable. The challenges this present age poses to our walk with Christ and God’s expectation on us “to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” (Titus 2:12) are insurmountable and unachievable without His grace. The same passage in Titus clearly communicates that it is grace that teaches, coaches and enables us to take a resolute and firm stand against sin and ungodliness. It is this same grace that trains us in the high ways of Holiness and Purity, righteousness and godliness. Grace is our key ally in our battle against ungodliness and worldly passions, in other words against sin; instructing and coaching us in denying it and on the other hand and in its place, teaching us to embrace and accept, uphold and successfully model Holiness. Grace is what enables us to overcome carelessness and a loose attitude towards sin which leads us to condone and excuse it, initially in others but eventually in ourselves too leading us to ultimately emerge victorious over sin and ungodliness. It is also this same grace that keeps us humble and prevents us from being judgmental and condescending toward others.
But we need to choose grace, we need to value and wholeheartedly embrace grace, make her our constant companion and ally in our daily battle against sin embedded in the old sinful nature and in the very fabric of the present evil age. And it is a choice we make as God has made grace abundantly available in Christ as we saw in one of the previous blogs. In Christ God has made everything possible for grace to be plentifully available in our lives and not be in any short supply. God made this grace available at an untold price to Him but offered free of charge to us in Christ. All it takes is our boldly drawing closer to Him “by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,” (Hebrews 10:20) in order to access that grace freely. It is in drawing closer to God through the many different and varied platforms prescribed by Him and made available to us that we receive grace for our lives. It is in ensuring that we are continuously plugged into and connected to the Source of all grace that we are guaranteed an unending supply of this grace in our lives that enables and empowers us in the ways of godliness and the highway of Holiness. Therefore, we need to value, respect and embrace grace proactively seeking to receive that which God has made available to us.
We must take care not to fall short of God’s grace, not to neglect, shun, dismiss or even reject it – whether intentionally or unintentionally. We must take heed not to reject, resist or decline (in thought or in action) the grace of God as defined in Titus 2:11-12 but accept our need for it in our life by embracing and actively endorsing the principal avenues of its availability or access in our lives. Take care not to be dismissive about God’s grace in your life but proactively foster and cultivate a grace-embracing lifestyle demonstrating how much you value and respect this precious gift of God for our lives here on earth.
Beware of falling into the trap of viewing God’s grace as unnecessary or surplus to need. Take care not to blank or walk over God’s grace that The Lord brings your way be it for your salvation or to enable you to live godly lives in this present evil age.
Embrace the grace of God wholeheartedly and determine to access her in your life at all costs. She is your number 1 ally in your battle against the ungodly trends and currents of this world and the demonic forces at play therein. In the next blog we will discuss practical tips and tools on how to successfully achieve that.