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Seeds of the Kingdom


by Jill Southern

22 March 2012

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and it is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
Ephesians 2:8, NIV

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Grace’? Grace is a powerful word because it’s God’s enabling power in us.

Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we can’t possibly earn grace since ‘it is a gift of God’ which we simply receive through faith in God. We’re justified and made righteous by God’s grace. Jesus Christ paid the price to buy us back when we were slaves to sin. Someone has said, “Grace is something that costs the one who receives it nothing, but costs the one who gives it everything”. It’s up to us, to accept it. As Philip Yancey said: “A man who admits no guilt can accept no forgiveness”.

How then can we accept God’s grace?

First of all, we need to confess and admit all guilt and our own helplessness. We need to repent and let our minds be renewed. This change of mindset has to become a visible outworking in our lives – how we conduct ourselves and live in this world. Thirdly, we need to set our faith in Jesus Christ and lastly, receive Him as the Lord of our lives.

Grace is an incredibly critical and important doctrine of our Christian faith. It’s God’s love coming to us free of charge - no strings attached, absolutely unconditional. Although we don’t read of Jesus using the word ‘grace’ in the Gospels He did demonstrate it by His life.

We’re brought up on the idea that the harder we work the more we’ll receive. Matthew 20:12-15 tells the parable of the workers who got what they didn’t deserve. Trust in God’s grace. He freely gives it to us. It’s deep in our human nature to think that we can gain God’s love or that His love is based on what we do.

Some people think that we have a good bucket and a bad bucket of God’s love. But grace means that there’s nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there’s nothing we can do to make God love us less, and however much good there is in our good bucket it can’t cancel one sin in our bad bucket.

Grace means that God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possible love.

God’s grace allows for second chances.

That’s what God does for us. When we stumble, when we struggle, when we’re disobedient and unfaithful God’s always there to welcome us back, with open arms.

We’re taught mottos such as ‘The early bird gets the worm’, ‘No pain no gain’, ‘No such thing as the free lunch’. None of these reflect grace. But grace is the means of our salvation. In all the world religions salvation has to be worked for, but in Christianity free grace is offered through the cross.

So what do we do now with all this understanding of grace? Knowing about grace is one thing, living it is another. We need to show God’s grace to others. Grace is the best gift Christians can give the world because it’s the best gift we’ve ever received. Have you received the fullness of God’s grace in your life yet?

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You so much for the underserved gift of Your grace. Help me as I go through today to pause to think about what Your grace truly means to me. Help me to receive the fullness of Your grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jill Southern is the founder of Ellel Ministries Pierrepont and directed the work for 21 years. She has recently stood down from that role but still teaches on the NETS programme and has the passion to train and equip God`s people to fully walk in their destiny and calling. She is the Regional Director for Ellel Ministries International in South East Asia and China and is also on the Executive Leadership of the ministry.


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