Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Grace - God's Ability

Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts. 'What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"'" Zechariah 4:6-7

Man, by God’s design, is capable of great accomplishments.  But in that design, to which we are fearfully and wonderfully made, man is capable of even greater things because of God’s grace. When we think of grace, we often think of God’s favor, or His mercy.  Yet grace is even more than that.  Grace is God’s ability; an excellence or power granted by God.
God never created us to accomplish any work without His grace.  If He had, we wouldn’t have needed Jesus!  We could have saved ourselves through our own works.  But God didn’t set it up that way.  Ephesians 2:8 says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”  In other words, we were saved by God’s ability and our faith in that ability.
God wants us to depend on His grace, His ability, in every situation in our lives.  We’ve spent way too much time trying to accomplish everything in our own ability rather than spending time in the presence of God and doing it through His power!  Without His grace, we can burn out.  But God doesn’t want us to quit or burn out.  He wants us to depend on His grace!
In Zechariah 4, Zerubbabel had a great project ahead of him.  His project was to complete the task of rebuilding the temple in the face of opposition from the neighboring Samaritans.  Additionally, the people he had to work with were greatly discouraged, apathetic and many had turned away from the Lord.  Certainly, it would have been extremely difficult to accomplish the task in their own strength.  But God, in His great love, laid out the plan on how the temple was to be rebuilt…”Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,”
The plan on rebuilding the temple was to be accomplished not by their own strength or power, but by God’s power – His ability, or his grace.  The task that seemed like a mountain would become a plain.  What seemed so difficult in the natural would come forth by shouting grace to it.   What tasks are we facing today that seem so difficult that could not change if we only shouted grace to it?
Now notice the following verse in the same chapter.  Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. Zechariah 4:8-9
In verses 6-7, God lays out the plan to accomplish the task by grace.  Yet in verse 9, it says that Zerubbabel will finish it with his hands.  Zerubbabel couldn’t just throw up his hands and say, “Ok God, you do it” and sit back and have a lemonade!  No, God’s way has always been to work through us.  The difference with grace is the power working through us, which is His Spirit. 
Whatever we do in life, we need to depend upon his grace; otherwise we are laboring in vain.     Laboring in vain means that we might work ourselves into the ground and still not yield the desired outcome.  When we rest on His ability, the outcome is always fruitful.
Scripture to Claim:
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.  Romans 11:6

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