“9 And He (Jesus) said unto me (Apostle Paul), My grace is sufficient for you: 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.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
The effect of the manifested grace of God in one’s life is not to give us high thoughts of ourselves but high thoughts of Jesus. Jesus is the source and His Cross the means from which all blessings are received. Our faith in HIS atoning work is what gives the Holy Spirit the latitude to do that which He is commissioned to do…free us from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
In our zeal to grow in grace, religion will begin to give us rules to follow. Some of these “rules” are indeed Scriptural (prayer, reading Bible, fasting, the Lord’s Supper) and some are not Scriptural (Jewish feasts, traditions, ceremonies, humanistic psychology [40 days purpose, celebrate recovery, 100 ways], etc.). With the best of intentions, these rules are given to help one grow in grace. They become laws we place upon ourselves to receive or earn God’s grace. Sadly, we soon forget we are “justified FREELY by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24 emphasis added) and our faith begins to be placed on our doings (Scriptural or not Scriptural).
God’s grace, which was at one time sufficient for us and in reality continues to be sufficient, suddenly seems out of reach. His yoke, which was in the beginning easy starts getting heavy. The Sunday morning sermons of grace gives us high thoughts of ourselves that fade as soon as we get in the car. They are a vain attempt of humanistic psychology to overthrow that which only the Lord can do. The entertainment was merely a distraction.
The reality of what has happened is WE, yes We, with all of our good intentions and love for the Lord have placed ourselves under a curse. Yes, we are accursed.
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Galatians 3:10.
This not only pertains to the Mosaic Law but ANY law we place upon ourselves to receive God’s grace. The more we grow in grace, the tighter we cling to Jesus Christ and His atoning work on Calvary’s Cross. We don’t go past It. We can’t go further than the Cross of Christ and grow in grace. That feeling of insufficient grace and heavy yoke we begin to suffer from is not because God has changed but in our zeal, we have suddenly began to try and “earn” God’s grace through our good works.
When we eat our favorite food, that food is good. That particular food is not good because we eat it but because it is good. We are not good because we have eaten this food, whatever it may be.
God is good. God is not good because we partake in His Divine Nature. He is good regardless if we partake or not. We are given a choice to partake.
“2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as His Divine Power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 1 Peter 1:2-4.
God’s grace IS sufficient. His Yoke IS easy. Come back to the faith…the saving faith, faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He is good.
-Donna Clark Warren