Full of Grace
Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given (John 1:16).
The ups and downs of life tend to drain us. Physical challenges deplete our energy. Conflict can consume our emotions. Financial stress sucks the life out of our sense of security. The loss of a loved one leaves a hole in our heart. An empty nest is quiet; so quiet that it's loud with loneliness. Like a well-traveled car risks running out of gas, so we can run ourselves into spiritual, physical, and emotional emptiness. But God has provided the fullness of Christ to fill us up!
Imagine our heart like the soil of a well-watered potted plant. A smart gardener regularly and precisely waters the dirt until it is moistened—but not flooded. In a similar way God applies His grace to our thirsty hearts, ones even bordering on dehydration. He gives us grace upon grace—not too much to drown us with spiritual pride, and not too little for us to labor in our own power. The grace of our Lord is a regular stream of strength for us to appropriate by faith.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness” (Colossians 2:9-10).
How do you receive the grace of God? You take hold of it by faith. You reach out to receive His ongoing gift of grace initially at salvation and continually as a maturing follower of Jesus. Imagine your faith as an unused rubber balloon with small capacity; once it expands by multiple breaths of air, its capacity grows. Similarly, the Holy Spirit desires to breathe in grace upon grace into your expanded faith. Your grace filled life protects you from the pain of burnout.
The more your grace capacity enlarges, the more you are able to live graciously and serve others. A grace-filled life does not want; since its needs are met it is able to meet the needs of others. It's a lifetime of continually taking hold of and receiving the Lord’s grace by faith. To bear fruit for Jesus is worth the test of perseverance. Why are some you know so free to give of themselves for God? Most likely they are fresh from experiencing the fullness of His grace in Jesus Christ. Your Lord is the fullness of grace, so you can be full by faith. Empty self and fill up with your Savior.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my capacity for Your grace by growing my faith in Christ.
Related Readings: Romans 3:24; Colossians 1:19; Ephesians 1:23; 1 Timothy 6:19