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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Bob Hoekstra :: Day By Day By Grace :: December 31st

The Manifold Grace of God

The manifold grace of God…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (1 Peter 4:10; 2 Peter 3:18; and Galatians 6:18)

The manifold grace of God is such an appropriate truth for our concluding meditation. It is both humbling and faith-building to be reminded of the majestic diversity of God's grace.

God's grace is manifold. It is like a heavenly diamond with innumerable facets. Every vantage point reflects a new insight into the gracious resources of our Lord. From some biblical viewpoints, the justifying grace of God is seen: "justified freely by His grace" (Romans 3:24). Yet, our devotional studies have concentrated upon sanctifying grace, grace for growing. "But grow in…grace." Many scriptural vistas display this sanctifying grace in its manifold beauty. It can be seen stabilizing the inner man. "It is good that the heart be established by grace" (Hebrews 13:9). It can also be seen in its edifying ability. "I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up" (Acts 20:32). From another angle, God's sanctifying grace can be seen for its strengthening capacity. "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1). It can also be observed in its fruit-producing role: "and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth" (Colossians 1:6). It can also be seen in its ministry-developing function. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Corinthians 15:10). From still another viewpoint, the sanctifying grace of God can be seen sustaining through the agonies of one's "thorny impossibilities." "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9). What heavenly riches await us in a lifetime of observing, and appropriating, God's manifold grace.

What final words would be fitting for us now? The closing benediction in so many New Testament epistles would be perfectly suitable. "Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit" (Galatians 6:18). Ultimately and essentially, grace is found in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and it is experienced through His work in our hearts, as we humbly seek to know Him more and more. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Dear Lord of manifold grace, I earnestly yearn to grow in every aspect of Your grace. Lord Jesus, I humbly desire to find increasing intimacy with You. Please work Your grace deeply into my heart and manifest it fully through my life, in Your matchless name, I pray, Amen.

Psalm 138:2

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