Romans 5:20, NIV “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more”
I went shopping at Costco, and they never give shopping bags to pack whatever is purchased at the store. So it is the shopper’s responsibility to bring his/her own shopping bag. Typically they have scrap boxes in the store that were formerly used to pack the products that were stocked. So it is a usual practice for shoppers to pick from these boxes to help with carrying the different things purchased which I did. After my shopping, I had a huge pile of different things to carry up to my apartment―getting it from the store to the car was easy because I had a cart. While struggling to carry all that I had brought home from the garage to my apartment, on the second trip from my apartment to my car, a nice gentleman walked up to me and said “Do you need some help with that?” My answer was “Yes!” What a relief it was to me because I had left the really heavy stuff for last. This somewhat illustrates the concept of God’s grace. When you’ve tried things in your own strength and it still doesn’t seem enough, recognize that God’s grace is available
The grace of God is God’s willingness to use His power, on behalf of man. Not that any action on the part of man is deserving of this, but it is God in His sovereignty demonstrating His love towards man. Since the fall of man, every good thing that man receives from God has been a manifestation of God’s grace; the greatest of all being the salvation of His soul. Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly reveals this saying “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” It is in the working of God’s grace that the one who comes before God through Christ, has his sin nature exchanged for the righteousness of Jesus. The old sin nature is destroyed and every sin as a result is placed in an account to be washed by His blood. This is God saying if you will look to me, I am willing to set you free from sin. Just as the death-grip of sin is broken by God’s grace, it is also expected that the believing Christian live his/her life by the grace of God. It takes living by God’s grace to live the fullness of life that God intends. In a general sense, to live by God’s grace does not mean to live with a sense of helplessness in all things, but rather to live a life conscious of the availability of God’s power to overcome every situation that we come against in life.
As a result of the first sin, every human being has a weakness of the flesh that they are dealing with. It is a battle that cannot be won in the flesh. It takes the drawing strength from God (God’s grace) to overcome these weaknesses. Not that the weaknesses disappear, but you have the strength available to overcome the urge to yield.
“7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Where there is sin (weakness) the grace (strength of God) abounds much more. No matter what the weakness is God’s strength is available to overcome. He is all the more willing to empower you to do what by the strength of your flesh cannot do. Paul in the Scripture above, when he came to the realization of this truth concluded saying “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” He was able to see that all of his weaknesses, distress, persecution, infirmities could be exchanged for the strength of God. He was able to see God’s willingness on His behalf. Jesus won the victory for him already, so all he needed to do was to identify with his victory in Christ Jesus to draw strength.
Jesus through redemption paid the price for your sin, weaknesses, sorrows and griefs (Isa.53:3-5). In identifying with His atoning sacrifice, you were reconciled with God (2 Cor.5:17-19). You became a partaker of the Divine Nature (2 Pet.1:3-4), and received His righteousness. By nature you are an overcomer. Your victory over sin is a perpetual fact. Just like your salvation was by the grace of God, you will overcome sin, limitations and weaknesses by the grace of God. To do this you must constantly identify with all Christ has done for you. Whatever you’re dealing with has been paid for. Search the Scriptures to find out, so you can be sure for your own self that it is true. When you see this to be true, you have the ability to trust God. You can release your faith to draw strength from God. Paul could rejoice in his weaknesses because he got the revelation of the sufficiency of God’s grace. Likewise no matter how heavy the burden may be, the grace of God is available for you to overcome. The problem is that many people don’t turn to God for help.
You may say “I have begged God so many times, but I just always seem to fall short”. The problem here is that you are not taking sides with God. He is stretching out His grace towards you, but you’re still asking for it. When you know it is yours, you’ll stop begging and instead reach out your hand (by faith) to receive His grace. You don’t have to feel helpless, but rather rejoice in the fact that God’s grace is available. It may be a problem that you have dealt with for 10 years, but where sin abounds, God’s grace is much more abundant in supply. Whatever you may have struggled all your life to overcome has its solution in you depending on God for the strength. God is looking over you saying there is more than enough strength for you, boldly come and receive it. The reality of this truth will awaken you to the fact that your challenges, weaknesses and limitations are no match for you because you are not battling in your own strength but by the strength of God. What you do cannot be enough for what God has planned for you. You need God’s grace.
Take charge of your life today and begin to identify with the fact that you have been made right with God by nature, and by default victorious in all areas of life. First, you must live a life of total abandon and surrender to the Lord. Jesus Christ paid the price for it all.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
You realize that your salvation was from Him in the first place, you owe your life to Him. He didn’t just stop at salvation, but He saved you so you can live a victorious life in Him. As you search out the Scriptures to find out all that God has paid, confidence will be developed. It is based on this confidence you can approach God for strength. Jesus went through the very same challenges you are facing, but He overcame (Heb.4:15). This makes Him sympathetic towards you so He says to come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy for wherever you may have failed, but not only that He will also give you grace for help whenever it is needed (Heb. 4:16). His victory is your victory. Identify with it today. The bigger the struggle, the more abundant God’s strength is, and the bigger the victory!
When you’ve tried in your own strength, but it still doesn’t seem enough, you have God’s grace. God’s grace enables you to accomplish things beyond your natural strength.
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