orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

January 19, 2013

“Draw near to God, He will draw near to you”

DAVID BERKHEIMER
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Understanding God’s grace is like trying to count the stars.

To try to explain it is both simple and complex. Someone has said that God’s grace is the unmerited power of God for every need that we have. And that may be the simplest explanation possible.

Paul wrote of making void, nullifying, or frustrating the grace of God. We might ask, “What could ever stop the grace of God from flowing in our lives?”

The first thing that comes to mind might be sin, since the Bible tells us that sin separates us from God. As bad as sin is, it can’t stop the grace of God, for where sin abounds, grace abounds more. (Romans 6:1)

Some might think that human weakness to the bondage of sin, addictive, and iniquitous passions that entangle us so that we are in bondage might be what separates us from the grace of God. But again I’m happy to inform you that the unmerited power of God not only forgives sin, it also breaks the bondage of it, for there is no habit too strong to hinder God’s grace.

So what is Paul’s concern?

First, he knew that self-effort and attempts to earn God’s favor are roadblocks to grace. And second, he knew that grace was only available to those who were in fellowship with God. Most people err right here. If God’s grace is so wonderful, they rationalize, then all one has to do is go through life trusting in it. Wrong! His grace is only available in Him. We have to be “in Him", fellowship with Him, and make Him Lord of our lives.

If we live our own life, make our own decisions, do only what we want to do, and walk a self-centered walk, we are our own god. Jesus has no place and we block God’ grace. But by prayer, reading His Word, fellowshipping with His people regularly, and talking about Him to others we allow His grace to do its work.

James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. There is no grace available outside of Him.

In His fellowship we have grace and outside of it no grace exists.