Saturday, December 28, 2013

Grace: Reigning as Kings 2

"Grace to you and shalom [peace] from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah.  Praised be ADONAI [God], Father of our Lord Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven. [4] In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence. He determined in advance that through Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah we would be his sons—in keeping with his pleasure and purpose - so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace he gave us through the Beloved One." - Ephesians 1:2-6 (Complete Jewish Bible)
Every spiritual blessing is ours, He has held nothing back. He is the good Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children. These promises are so amazing, it's hard to comprehend them.  In His good pleasure and purpose He called us to be sons and the purpose of sonship is to bring Him praise in equal measure of the glory of the grace He has given us through Jesus Christ.  In Part 1 we looked at John 1 where the glory of God was manifest in Christ by grace and truth. This same glory is ours by the same grace and truth.

These spiritual blessings will also manifest as material blessings, but the material blessings are not what we are after. When we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness all the material blessings will be added, but it is only the unbelievers who pursue material blessings.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"  - Romans 8:28-32 (NKJV)
Paul adds to the picture of the grace-filled man in Romans 8 where he says that all things work together for our good. Nothing can happen to us unless the Father allows it and even then it's purpose is for our good.  It can be difficult to see the full outworking of these promises, but if we look at Jesus' life, nothing happened to Him that wasn't what He intended (and His intentions are one with the Father) which is why He made sure to tell us that He willingly laid down His life.  It was His choice.  Pontius Pilate thought Jesus' life was in his hands, but Jesus told him that he would have no power if it wasn't given to him from above.  Jesus could have called a legion of angels to deliver Him. Before His time had come He just slipped through the crowds that wanted to stone Him.  No one could force a situation upon Him that wasn't of God.

Jesus being the firstborn of all of us set the example for the grace-filled man. Nothing can happen to us that is outside of God's will.  All that we desire will be accomplished in accordance of the promise of singleness of heart and action which is by grace for the humble.

This is not to say that there won't be hardships, but I am of the opinion that most hardships are the result of our own pride in that we seldom submit to God.  He in His mercy allows circumstance to bring us closer to Him so that we can receive His grace and avoid most of the hardships. There are hardships and trials that must come even if we are covered with His grace, but they will scarcely be perceived as such. John and Peter left their first beating rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer for His name. There is also a suffering for His name that He allows which is for our own heavenly glory.

"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)  How could we not reign as kings when the Father of the King of kings has promised to freely give us all things.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Submit to God and watch His grace surpass all that you can dream or imagine. Through the grace He gives, give Him praise.

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