“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly,
along with the faith and love
that are in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Timothy 1:14)
If there are three words that characterize God’s relationship with us they are these – Grace, Faith and Love.
God’s love is the foundation.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God’s grace is the fruit of His great and boundless love. It is by this grace that our salvation became possible and a living reality in Jesus Christ.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24)
God’s faith is His gift to us so that we might believe and be saved into an eternal and living relationship with Him.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
All three are God’s gifts to us and, as Paul says, they are poured out ‘abundantly.’ John puts it slightly differently but uses another word that overflows with meaning.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
The only limit that is placed upon this abundant and lavish outpouring of God’s love is our preparedness to receive, respond and rejoice in an ever increasing and deepening way. They are not gifts that we receive like medals and pin to the outside of our lives. They are spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit to our spirits – there to grow and bear fruit from deep within us, and to influence every aspect and part of our life and living.
But we can restrict and impede their development. We do this by our refusal to respond and by our persistence in focussing on our problems and the pleasures, values and provisions of the world. We do it also by limiting Him to the level of the understandings of our minds. As a result we miss out terribly on the joy and potential of our relationship with the Lord, and on who we could be as His living sons and daughters.
Ask God in – practice walking and talking with Him through the days – and breathe in His love
Lord, please help me in allowing You to become a greater part of my life – and my becoming a greater part of Yours. Amen.