Grace to overcome.

Last week I briefly mentioned how God’s grace enables us to live virtuous lives. Titus 2:11-12 tells us how that works and it says, “God’s marvelous grace has manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. This same grace teaches us how to live each day as we turn our backs on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age.”

I love how that verse says that grace equips us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age. We live in a world where people are doing what seems right to them. People do what “feels” right and what makes them “feel good” not understanding that feelings come and go. We can’t live our lives based on what feels right today because tomorrow it is not going to feel right or feel good.

So then, our moral compass needs to be the word of God. The word of God is the mirror we look into to see what needs adjusting in our lives until everything comes into alignment. God gives us grace for that. He gives us grace to grow from glory to glory (see 2 Corinth 3:18).

Grace not only teaches us how to live each day, it also helps us turn our backs on ungodliness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.” Grace helps us tap into God’s unlimited resources of power when we are weak. We all have moments when we are unsure of ourselves, but God’s grace is sufficient for us.

Whatever your greatest weakness may be, God’s grace is sufficient to pour God’s strength into that area such that it no longer remains a weakness but you become strong in Him. We are not strong in and of ourselves but the mighty power of Christ is released when we live in Him and He in us.

Galatians 2:19-21 puts it this way, “But because the Messiah lives in me, I’ve now died to the law’s dominion over me so that I can live for God. My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine! So that is why I don’t view God’s grace as something minor or peripheral. For if keeping the law could release God’s righteousness to us, the Anointed One would have died for nothing.

Our salvation means that we were co-crucified with Christ such that the law can no longer have dominion over us. When Christ died for us on the cross, He didn’t just die for us He died as us. Such that when He was raised up, we were raised up with Him and in Him in newness of life. This new life that we have in Christ does not belong to us but it belongs to Him and He dispenses or pours out His life into ours and consequently empowers us to live lives full of faith in Him.

Why does God do all of this? To teach us, equip us and empower us to live lives that align with His word. Why is God so concerned with how we live our lives? Because there are only two choices in life. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 tells us what those choices are and it says, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!  You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

God wants us to choose life because He wants us to live. Sin brings death and destruction and that’s why God hates sin. It destroys the very people He died to save. So, because God doesn’t want any of us to be destroyed by sins destruction, He gives us grace which empowers us to be strong in places where we are weak and He equips us to live virtuous lives that we might find life in Him and live. Grace teaches us the difference between right and wrong. It takes our hand and walks with us in this journey of choosing life.

Now for someone out there, there is grace for you to come out of the cycles of sin that you have been in. Cry out to God in prayer and He will be sure to rescue you. Sometimes you don’t pray because you feel you don’t have the right words. Having the right vocabulary is not a pre-requisite to prayer. Having a tender heart helps, just be open to God and put your defences down. We don’t cry out to God or pray because we know what to do or say, we cry out and pray because we don’t know what to do or say. That is the very essence of having a heavenly Father. He knows you need Him and He knows you don’t always get it right but He will listen anyway because He loves you. There is grace to bring you out of the place you are in right now. Grace is reaching out to you, reach back in faith and receive it. Pray. Say whatever words come to mind first and take it from there.

I hope you are encouraged that God’s grace is sufficient for you, whatever your situation may be. Grace is a good teacher of how you are to live your life. Don’t just show up to one class and quit, keep showing up because grace has so much in store for you.

Love and blessings,

Melissa Tsingano.

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