Blessings from Bellingham, Washington. The sun is shining and I hope to do some garden work today. It is a good day to enjoy God’s presence and experience life!
God’s mercy justifies us to live, but His grace empowers us to reign in life. Paul wrote in the book of Ephesians that we have redemption by the blood of Jesus and His blood gives us the mercy of God’s forgiveness in our lives (Eph. 1:7). Paul then wrote of the power of reigning in life. In Ephesians 1:10 Paul wrote of an administration that can sum up everything in Christ in life.
Ephesians 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him. (NAS)
The administration that sums up all things in Christ is one of grace. Mercy justifies us to come and find grace, but only grace can empower us to be transformed. This is the power of reigning in life by the power of God’s grace.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Mercy justified us to live, but grace empowers us to live. We can overcome all wickedness through Him. We don’t have to believe in Him to be justified to live. His death for us justified each of us to live, but we must come to Him and receive that gift of mercy to find the power to live. God’s grace at work in our lives is the power to live.
Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Salvation is not just going to heaven when we die. It is reigning in life. Reigning in life involves overcoming every wicked one in our lives. This includes our own weakness of desires, attitudes, and character. Grace empowers us to reign in life. Mercy ends the past and grace empowers the future. We need His mercy to end our past, but we need His grace to empower our future in Him. Human conscience can tell us we need to change, but it cannot truly change us. Law can inform us of our failures, but it cannot transform our hearts and minds. Grace is more powerful than mere conscience or law. Conscience can only convict us, but grace liberates our hearts and minds with new desires and thoughts. Law could only control us, it could only restrain us, but grace transforms us and liberates us. Law only demands excuses for our failures, but grace transforms our failed lives to significant ones of life. Grace is essential for life!
Grace is not just a knowledge that God loves us, it is the power of God’s love at work in our lives. We don’t have to change for God to love us. That is mercy. If we are living on God’s mercy our world won’t change. God will love us, but we will not be able to overcome the wicked one. Jesus is free, but Christ will cost us everything. The name Jesus means, God saves. He is our Savior, but He is more than our Savior, He is our Lord, our desire, our motivator, and our transformer. He doesn’t just want to get us to heaven when we die, He wants to get heaven in us. He wants us to be different. He wants to give us the power to see His inheritance increase in our families. He wants our children to know Him as we know Him, but in a fresh and increasing way. He wants the lives of the generations to change for His glory.
I believe that Jesus is our Savior and His gift of mercy to us was free in our lives, but to walk in grace we cannot just receive mercy, we must find grace. Jesus was a man of grace, that is why He could walk in the power of grace and show mercy to all men. He could only give mercy, because He was the embodiment of grace.
We must let go of some things we hold on to be able to find grace. There is a price to pay for that. The price that we pay ends up being an inheritance for others. It is an inheritance that our children receive. It is not free, it is only freely available. It is going to cost us everything, but it is so powerful it will change our world. His yoke is easy and His burden is light in it, but the task is horrendous. The task is hard, except for the grace of God! The change is impossible, except for the grace of God. The grace of God makes impossible things possible, but it doesn’t look like it is going to work. It requires faith. It requires hearing Him. It requires being intimate with Him and being hungry for Him. There is a price to pay. We cannot just be love, we must find the power to love!
Ted J. Hanson
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