Strong in Grace - January 20, 2023
Friday, January 20th
Devotional written by Pastor Dick Thompson, Seasoned Adults Pastor
STRONG IN GRACE
For the longest time, I wondered what Paul meant by telling Timothy to be strong in grace. My long-held understanding was that grace is “unmerited favor.” That’s what we were told in seminary. So, I reasoned, if grace is unmerited, how can I be told to be strong in it? This made no logical sense until I learned a complete definition. Grace is unmerited favor and “the power of God at work in and through us to do what we cannot do on our own for His kingdom.” With this understanding, I checked out other passages and began to realize what they were saying about the power of God at work in us. You can too. For starters, check out Ephesians 2:8–9; 2 Corinthians 12:9–10; Hebrews 4:15–16; John 1:16–17; Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Titus 2:11–14.
The grace of God moves us beyond our fleshly selves into this world that Christ came to redeem with His life on the cross and resurrection power. Paul tells Timothy to be strong in God’s grace by stepping boldly into his work of ministry for at least two reasons. One is that the Spirit of Christ wants to use Him to spread the influence of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The second is that, as Timothy steps out beyond the edges of his own inadequate abilities and capacities, that is where he will experience the power of the grace of God at work! As a result of trusting in God’s grace, his confidence will grow stronger. And, as we follow the directive Paul gave to Timothy, so will ours.
If you want to experience the grace of God, take the next right step and watch how He makes more of your effort than can be explained by what you yourself have done. By God’s grace, 2+2=5 (or 6, or 7, or ?).
God of grace, Your Spirit dwells in every believer to help us do far more than we could ask, think or imagine. Amaze me today as I step out in Your name.