Grace Upon Grace – a reason to be thankful

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:14,16)

As Thanksgiving nears, it is commonplace for churches everywhere to exhort their members to be thankful for God’s provisions in their lives. This is good practice. It should actually be done more often. We can never spend too much time acknowledging the Lord for His good gifts, for our homes and families and jobs and churches. But let’s go farther than just what our eyes can see. Let’s praise God for gifts that not only make our temporal lives better, but let’s also offer thanks for the eternal graces that He has given.

John 1:14 describes Jesus as full of grace and truth. Verse 16 says that from His fullness we have received grace upon grace. The Son of God is always at every minute filled with grace; it is part of who He is. What is amazing to consider is that from His completeness, from His fullness, we receive grace upon grace. He continues to pour out on His image-bearers His divine, unmerited favor. Yet, He never runs low, and is never in danger of exhausting His supplies of grace. It’s stunning. And I’m thankful for it. I hope that you are as well.

So this Thanksgiving, I’d like to offer 5 graces that the Lord gives to all his children. These are universal gifts, given to all Christians all over the world and they are far more precious than any material blessings. Those will, of course, pass away. These are priceless and endure for eternity.

 Five Graces that God Gives Every Christian:

 1. The grace of election.

Before the very foundations of the world, God has chosen his children (Eph 1:4). Nothing in us has constituted our election. It is of God’s own volition.

 2. The grace of new birth.

It is by God’s gracious will that our hearts are regenerated – softened from stone to flesh and prepared to hear the gospel.

 3. The grace of hearing the gospel.

Have you ever considered all the events that had to transpire, at just the right time, for you to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ? God, in His sovereignty works all things together, including the moment that you hear the message of the cross.

 4. The grace of saving faith that professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Paul says in Ephesians that this is not our doing. It was a gift of God so that no man can boast (Eph. 1:8-9).

 5. The grace to continue on in the faith till the very end.

Jesus says in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” And in John 10, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:29 ESV)

If you are a child of God’s today, you are as secure in him now as you will be in eternity. Lord willing, we all have many years left. It is likely that they will be full of trials, heartbreaks, and tragedy; of many events and surprises that shake our faith. But the God who has graciously saved us will keep us through to the end. And not only keep you, but by God’s grace we will grow in our faith, conforming in greater degree to the image of his Son.

These are not acts we can do on our own. They require our effort, don’t get me wrong. But our effort, our desire to even want to grow and persevere is an act of grace. Our sanctification and our preservation are grace-fueled efforts – sustained by the fountain of grace, Jesus Christ. Paul captures both of these truths beautifully in Colossians:

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:11–12 (ESV)

So there you have it: five good reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving. Can you think of more? We’d love to hear them. Just use the Leave a Reply box below. If you’re reading this in the Newsletter, click here to go to the website or you may email them to me at jcooley@emmauswylie.com.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving,

Jeremy Cooley

 

 

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