In many circumstances walking in grace requires great strength. Strength to not say the thing you’d like to say; strength to say the thing that needs to be said. At times, grace requires us to behave in a way that isn’t always the easiest. For most of us it is something very simple: we cannot give grace where we have not personally experienced it for ourselves.
Does that mean we need to go out and put ourselves in tragic situations, or participate in activities we know are harmful or dangerous just so we can relate and give grace to others? As Paul might say it, “by all means, NO!” What it does mean is to have a deep understanding of how much we are loved by our Savior. Paul says in this passage, “I pray that you, being rooted and FIRMLY ESTABLISHED IN LOVE, may be able to comprehend with ALL the saints…” Comprehend what? “…comprehend…what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love…” Comprehending His love for us will allow us to brave grace with those around us. For instance, if I am fully convinced of a thing, it is much easier for me to communicate that conviction of love with passion. It just so happens that the words, convince and convict find their roots from the same Latin etymology (the origin of a word). There is a marrying of sorts happening when we become so convinced of our conviction that we would be able to share that with others in grace. Once we grab hold of this love, this deep intimate love that the Father has lavished on us, it is impossible not to impart it to others.
Love translates to grace when it is filtered through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul prayed that we would be strengthened with power in our inner man through the [Holy] Spirit, and then goes on to say according to the power that works in us. This power is not there to help us conjure up feelings of confidence in ourselves or to give us warm fuzzy feelings so we have self-worth. This power is in us so we are able to show grace to those around us. What is on the inside of us eventually spills over onto others. Not to sound like Huey Lewis here, but if we walk in the power of love, HIS power, we walk in grace toward people. We are able to relate on a level that supersedes – or goes above and beyond all that we ask or think – our own natural abilities or experiences, and allows us to walk in the power of the Spirit inside of us!
You guys, that is GOOD NEWS!!!
Why is that such good news you may be wondering? Well I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted in and of my own ability to love others and brave grace with others. If I had to depend on my own power, I would fail every time! Even with the privilege of tapping into the power that dwells inside of me I still tend to lack grace in many situations.
Are you able to think of time when all you could do was pull from the deep well of God’s love for you in order to show grace to someone else?Personal Reflection Moment
Share that experience in the comments.
Braving grace does not require us to experience every single thing other people experience, Jesus did that for us. Jesus told us that He would be going to another place so that He could leave us a Comforter (the Holy Spirit). Because being omnipotent or omniscient is reserved for the Triune God, we are able to trust that what He has imparted to us through His riches in glory, we are able to walk out what He has already experienced through the Holy Spirit. It allows us to love others and impart grace more freely. If the Son of Man, while we were yet sinners, was able to lay down His life for us, certainly, we can embrace the conviction that His grace produces power with a result of loving others well.
So on that, GO! Brave Grace. Blessings.
To study on Your Own:
- Read Ephesians 4
- Highlight the following words: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher. Circle words that could have meanings of maturity or influence.
- Memorize Ephesians 4:11-13
- Search scripture to find other passages or verses that correlate with Ephesians 4:1-16
- In the comments below, share your thoughts and something new you learned in this week’s study.
- If you don’t have a good study Bible or study supplies hop on over to our Bible Study Supplies page and see what we suggest; links are available for your convenience.