Grace for others—What does it look like?
Grace is the third word in our BEG series, that challenges us to BUILD others up, ENCOURAGE others, and offer one another GRACE.
With the exception of some Eastern Orthodox theologians and a few Pentecostal/Charismatic teachers, most Christian groups have failed to emphasize a fairly prevalent teaching in the New Testament: We are invited to participate in the Incarnation.
Most believers are familiar with passages that speak of Jesus’ incarnation, like this one in John 1: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth.” However, many followers of Jesus are far less familiar with God’s invitation to us to participate in this great in-breaking of God, that God inaugurated to a new level in Jesus. Listen to the challenge of 1 Peter 4:8ff:
8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If you speak, you should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If you serve, you should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
What a challenge—to let our words and our actions be God’s grace! What if you and I begin to “BEG” God to incarnate us with his spirit, so that more and more, our words to others are God’s words of grace for others and our actions toward others are God’s gracious actions toward others? Wow!
This challenge does not take one scripture out of context. God’s desire that we become more and more the incarnation of his grace is a regular theme of the New Testament writers. Think about such phrases as:
“We are the body of Christ…”
“Christ in you the hope of glory…”
“…filled with the Holy Spirit…”
“I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions…”
“Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters…”
“It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Let’s ask God to help us willingly receive more grace so we can be more grace for others.
Grace and Peace to you,