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Today's Devotion (Thursday, Dec 18)

Day By Day By Grace - Bob Hoekstra (DBD)

Even More on Relating Rightly to the God of All Grace

"The God of all graceNot that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God…He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (1 Peter 5:10; 2 Corinthians 3:5; and Hebrews 8:6)"
If we are going to live by grace as God intends, we must get to know "the God of all grace." As we get to know Him, humility and faith develop in our lives. They are relational realities. They become real in our lives as a result of getting to know the Lord better and better. As we walk with the Lord in humble dependence, we are living by the grace of God. The Lord gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6), and faith accesses grace (Romans 5:2; 4:16). The Scriptures indicate that there are many ways to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith. In our previous meditation, we saw that living by the Spirit and living by resurrection power are two examples of this truth. Now we will consider two more examples.

Living by the sufficiency of God is a profound opportunity to relate to the Lord in humility and faith. This heavenly perspective begins with a declaration of our own inadequacy. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves." It is true that we disciples of Jesus Christ are so inadequate that we are unable to produce any of the Christian life ourselves. Jesus Himself taught this radical fact. "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5b). If we embrace this humbling truth, we are walking in humility before the Lord. The corresponding declaration points us to the source that we need. "But our sufficiency is from God." Only God's resources are sufficient to produce the kind of fruitful spiritual life that God calls us to live. Jesus taught this great truth as well. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit" (John 15:5a). If we accept this encouraging truth, we are walking in faith toward the Lord.

Living by the promises of God offers another significant opportunity to relate to the Lord in humility and faith. "He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." The promises of the old covenant of law (which are basically, "Do these commands, and you shall live"—see Leviticus 18:5) depend on man's ability and faithfulness. The better promises of the new covenant of grace depend upon God's ability and faithfulness. Abraham was "fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Romans 4:21). Sarah "judged Him faithful who had promised" (Hebrews 11:11). It is humbling to know that we can't perform well enough to enjoy the promises of the law. Contrariwise, it is faith building to know we can trust in the Lord to fulfill all His promises of grace.
"Dear Lord of all grace, I humbly admit that I can only live by Your sufficiency and your promises. By faith, I look to You to do for me and in me what You alone can do, Amen."