Strong Grace

2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

Gyms, fitness centers, and homes are filled with equipment to aid in making us strong. We jog, run, lift weights, and bike to keep our bodies strong, fit, and healthy.

Our outward appearance reflects the work we put in toward our goal. Some fixate too much on the outer and neglect the more important part.

For the child of God, we are to keep our hearts more than our bodies.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

We seek to control our own hearts. Yet, God tells us we cannot trust ourselves to do so.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

We are to trust what God gives us and promises to do through us. His grace is all-sufficient for the task.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Paul saw that God’s work in the flesh could not accomplish what God designed for Him to do through us. It is by His grace, the unmerited favor of God, that we can do all that we are commanded. 

In our passage, Paul instructed young Timothy how to operate in the work God had for him. Often, we look at what God commands and think it impossible. Our loving, Heavenly Father puts all fear to rest.

Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

The active agent given to every child of God is His grace. It is by God’s grace we move and have our being.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

The battle to do the will of God comes down is to submit to the working of the Holy Spirit in and through us.

Our will versus God’s.

Our way versus God’s. 

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

It took grace to save us, and we need to continue in that very grace to obey and do the will of God. So, when our flesh rises up to do what it will, we must take control and tell ourselves that we will follow God only.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

As a child of God, we can operate out of indebtedness, love, or duty. I sometimes think it fluctuates between all of them. Forcing myself to do what God commands comes mainly from duty. 

Seeing the love shown me at salvation and the grace given to secure my home in Heaven causes thankfulness and gratefulness to rise in my heart. At those times, I do the will of God from my heart and out of love.

Ephesians 6:5-6 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;”

When we are given over to allow God to love others through us, we can experience a love we do not possess. I can love those close to me. We love those who love us. But when we are called to love the unlovely or our enemies, the task becomes nigh impossible.

Luke 6:27-28 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”

When we are dead to our passions, preferences, prejudices, and opinions, we can look past all that stops us and see others as God does; a soul for whom Christ died.

When we continually practice the crucifixion of our flesh and rest in God’s grace to do His will, we can see the miraculous.

We must allow God’s love to flow in and through us. Grace will become stronger when my flesh is weak. I can stand when my knees are shaking, my heart is pounding, and fear tries to grip my soul.

When we operate in the grace God gives, we can gather evidence as to the working of God in and through us. We gain confidence not because of past victories but through the continuous working of God in our lives.

Every day we must operate in the grace God provides to do his will. The battle comes when our flesh wants more than our spirit wants. Paul clearly stated that struggle in Romans 7.

Romans 7:18-19 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

In all honesty, we all struggle and sometimes fail at doing God’s will God’s way. Resting in the grace that God gives and knowing that is where our strength lies can draw us closer quicker when the temptations seem to draw us away.

Pray for discernment.

Pray, we are sensitive to the Spirit of God and His leading.

Ask for the grace to be strong in us and help us not to shrink when we are weak.

We can then testify the grace that only God can give for what we know we could not do.

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