1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”
Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”
Would you wait in line for 13-cents-a-gallon gasoline? Many drivers in a small town in Massachusetts did. More than 100 cars lined up along Route 12 a couple of hours before one gas station opened. The owner had advertised his gasoline at a price that was almost an outright gift. He said he was trying to give his customers a break. In 1 Peter 4, the apostle wrote about another kind of gift that shows the generosity of the giver. It is the “manifold grace of God”. Grace is undeserved favor – the free kindness that comes from the Lord. We experience His grace not only as the favor of His forgiveness but also as the energy and ability He gives to help us live the way He wants us to. Grace depends on the giver totally. God is the grace giver; all we have to do is receive it. Accepting and using this gift of grace has some far-reaching effects. It brings blessing to us and to others. But above all, it honors the name and kindness of the Giver. Peter urged his readers to use and express God’s grace by being watchful in their prayers, showing love, being hospitable, and ministering through the spoken word. Gasoline for only 13 cents a gallon – that’s almost a give away! However, the grace God gives us to serve Him is absolutely free! It surpasses anything this world has to offer and it’s ours for the asking.
Isaiah 55 states that God causes the cypress tree and the myrtle tree to flourish where once thorns and briers encumbered the ground. This analogy should remind us that God can bring forth beauty and grace where evil once flourished. My brethren, where cynicism once grew, hope and optimism can begin to emerge. Where sarcasm thrived, gentle words of healing can appear. Where lust grew rampant and unrestrained, pure love can spring forth. This, a transformed life, is the living and lasting sign of God’s work. Do you long for this kind of transformation in your life? If so, then “seek the LORD while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6). There are moments when we grow tired of the evil within us, and our heart aches for holiness. This is God calling, reminding us that He is near. At such times we must sink our roots deep into God’s Eternal Word and ask Him to conform us to His likeness. The most inspiring acts of human love are only a shadow of the immeasurable gift our Savior has given us. The apostle Paul wrote, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ Jesus left His glory in heaven and died on the cross for our sin so that we could be forgiven through faith in Him. His sacrifice was based on His love, not on our merit. All we are and all we have are the Savior’s loving gifts of grace to us. The question remains:
(1) Have you received God’s gift of grace, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ?
(2) Is your soul thirsting for God?
(3) Do you need the cleansing and refreshment He offers?
(4) If so, He is waiting there to satisfy you with the “living water” of salvation and the gift of everlasting life.
God can transform a sin-stained soul into a masterpiece of grace.