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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The God of All Grace Developing Our Lives


But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus...perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (1 Peter 5:10)

We have been considering God's grace as "much more" (Romans 5:17, 20), as "exceeding" (2 Corinthians 9:14), and as "exceedingly abundant" (1 Timothy 1:14). These terms appropriately lead into our present meditation, which looks at "the God of all grace." The true and living God has all kinds and all measures of grace, and He wants to impart that grace to develop our lives. One purpose of God's grace is to allow us to dwell forever in His glorious abode: "who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus." This is ours through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, our mediator. "He is the Mediator of the new covenant (of grace), by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant (of law), that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15). Meanwhile, until He returns for us, He wants to develop our lives spiritually during our pilgrimage here on earth.
Part of His plan is to perfect our lives. "May the God of all grace...perfect...you." This speaks of God completing what is missing and equipping us for service. "Now may the God of peace...make you complete in every good work to do His will...And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry" (Hebrews 13:20-21 and Ephesians 4:12). Part of His plan is to establish our lives. "May the God of all grace...establish...you." This has to do with the Lord stabilizing our Christian walk, keeping us steadfastly moving in His direction for our lives. This word was used to describe Jesus' unswerving commitment to head for the cross, resurrection, and ascension that awaited Him in Jerusalem. "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51). Part of His plan is to strengthen our lives. "May the God of all grace...strengthen...you." Our calling to serve God requires strength that we do not have in and of ourselves. The Lord wants to teach us to draw upon His mighty power: "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16). Part of His plan is to settle our lives. "May the God of all grace...settle...you." This involves being increasingly grounded in God's ways: "that you, being rooted and grounded in love" (Ephesians 3:17).
Dear God of all grace, I am eager to be with You in glory above. Meanwhile, I humbly beseech You to develop my life spiritually. Please complete what is missing, stabilize my walk, empower me within, and ground me in Your love—all by Your grace, Amen.