Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weekly Devotion: Manifold Grace

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10

The word “manifold” simply means diverse or various. You could also think about it like you would the exhaust manifold on a car whereby “many” cylinders are exhausted into one fold / source. Unlike the car manifold example of many into one, God’s grace flows from one source (Him) into many applications. Our adversary, the devil, conducts his efforts in much the same way; he is the source of temptations but has “many” avenues by which to distribute them.

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” 1 Peter 1:6

If we are going to overcome the many-fold “temptations” that face each of us, we must learn how to tap into the inexhaustible (some pun intended) grace of God! There are basically three ways that the scriptures tell us that we can have God’s grace applied to our lives. The first way is through “faith”. Believing what the Bible says is fundamental to acquiring God’s grace; in fact, “…without faith it is impossible to please him…” (Hebrews11:6).

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1, 2

Grace is defined as unmerited favour, we need it to be saved / justified, and we need it to fulfill God’s will for our lives. The next thing we need to realize is that “our works” frustrate God’s grace.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21

We can’t become righteous by the works of the law or else Christ’s sacrifice was in vain! Lastly, God’s people must “humble themselves, and pray” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Our pride is an obstacle to God’s grace in, it is like trying to open God’s door of grace the wrong way, and he resists it.

“…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5b

These three avenues of accessing God’s grace are how to overcome all that is in the world, i.e. “…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” (1 John 2:16). By applying God’s truth to each situation / temptation in our lives or the lives of others is the point that ministry takes place. So, God has “manifold grace” to combat Satan’s “manifold temptations”, but we need God’s “manifold wisdom” to execute these truths in real life application. Friend, begin today to separate yourself from the world through desire, and seek to intermeddle with all wisdom (Proverbs. 18:1).

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” Ephesians 3:10

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