GOD'S RICHES AT CHRIST'S EXPENSE
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us 2 so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. Psalm 67:1-4
What does the true understanding of God's daily blessing look like? I know that as we look throughout the Bible, blessings were given to the first born members of the families to carry on the legacy and the name sake of the family. The eldest child was seen as the heir to the family name and there was great importance to the blessing that they received. It was well known of the calling that was placed on their lives and the importance to live out a life that was honorable to the family. As the years progressed, we suddenly began to see the power of Christ to bestow a blessing on the world. As the Son of God, Jesus was given the legacy to go and bless them with the greatest gift that we could ever receive.... GRACE or God's Riches At Christ Expense. This blessing has gone on throughout all generations since the death of Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. This blessing through Christ carries a very important name sake that also provides a connection to God in a very intimate way.
GRACE... what a wonderful word that helps us to see the full intention of God towards His creation from the very beginning of time. God knew that there had to be payment for the sin that had entered into the world in Genesis 3, we are able to see God's plan, God's revelation begin to be revealed. How do we receive this understanding of GRACE? Do we look at this gift as something that we are to receive without any effort at all? Have we grown into a culture of expectation that we can now get something for nothing because we did not choose to be born. Many people call this entitlement, and even though we are watching more and more generations grow up with this idea, I am starting to wonder if we are doing the same with the free gift of GRACE we are offered. Now hear me out. I know I say this a lot,
but we really do have to understand that GRACE is a free gift from God that is offered, but there is an action on our side to receive and apply God's blessing in our lives. The whole understanding of receiving a blessing was that the person that was blessed had to step into the calling that they had received. The same is true for us. Just because GRACE has been offered, we cannot say that we live in the shelter of grace if we are unwilling to receive and apply it to our lives. If we expect that we receive this grace because we deserve it because of who we are or what family we have been born into, we have stepped into the realm of entitlement, and that is definitely NOT the way that God intended this gift to be received.
Reading the words of the Psalmist, we must be able to see the humility that the writer is using to convey this request to God. "May God be gracious to us and bless us." May the God who is preparing to send us the greatest gift of all time, help us, those who will not experience the life of Jesus, to be given grace and a blessing to know that God is with us and providing a way to overcome the sin and evil of this world. The Psalmist is praying to God that this blessing of GRACE may be seen and experienced by ALL who are on the earth. That God will find a way to open the eyes of those who are still walking on their own path to see and praise God in the same way those who have connected with God are praising God. For us we are able to understand this as the different stages of God's grace. Prevenient grace is the power of God's blessing that surrounds us even though we have not yet connected with God. It is the grace that we experience through the love of a parent, friend, or even a mentor, teacher, coach or possibly a stranger. It is the ability for God's grace to protect us in the times that we have not opened our eyes to the power of God' blessing. Justifying grace helps us to finally connect with God in a way that we ask God to come into our lives. We fully accept Jesus to be our Lord and Savior and we begin our journey to deeper understand God's blessing in our lives. Finally, sanctifying grace, is the ability for us to move on to perfection in Christ. In other words, we have finally fully received God's grace and we are made perfect in the eyes of God. This is the fulfillment of the journey and the final application of God's blessing that has restored us completely in the eyes of God.
But notice that throughout it all there is a call to action for all of us. Even though we may not fully know or understand God in the beginning stages of our journey, God is continuing to provide this blessing of GRACE in our lives. We read in the Bible that Jesus came to die, one for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous that we may have live and have it more abundantly. The price was paid at the cross and the blessing was able to restore the connection between us and God, BUT we have to apply the action into our lives for the blessing to truly take effect. If not, it is no more than a badge that we can wear on our jacket that really has no
meaning at all. See the blessing of GRACE is God sharing the greatest gift that he has, Jesus, to a world that has been lost to sin and chaos. God was willing at the moment that mankind fell, to prepare the opportunity for the world to be restored. God was willing to pay the ultimate price that we may once again have a chance for eternal life with GOD. But just like the Psalmist is saying, there are people who praise you, but please show us a way to help ALL the people praise you. Help us to reconnect the disconnected in a way that they find gladness and joy. Your GRACE is AMAZING because it is the living blessing of the life of your SON, JESUS, that is offered to us all. We can only experience this blessing if we are willing to reach out and apply in our lives. Funny how we all say that we want something for free, but we are not willing to do the smallest things to attain it. God has provided the blessing to be bestowed on ALL who come and profess Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. For anyone who is willing to receive this free gift, your lives will never be the same. For those who are just waiting for it to be given to you without any steps on your part, you may be in for a long journey ahead.