There has been so much said and sung about the grace of God throughout the history of the church. The great apostle Paul even declared, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). He totally attributes everything in his Christian life and ministry back to the presence of God’s grace in his life.
Let’s be reminded for a moment of just what God’s grace is. The grace of God is His supernatural enablement or empowerment granted freely to those who live humbly before Him. “But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). God’s grace is therefore absolutely essential to live every day as Christ’s followers, but it is even more crucial when navigating those seasons of adversity in our lives.
This is why in the context of exhorting these first-century Jews who were the recipients of this letter, the author writes these words, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no one be like a bitter root springing up and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15). These Jewish Christians were struggling to continue following Jesus as the persecution, intimidation, and pressure mounted. There was a strong pull to retreat to the old sacrificial system and give in to those who were opposing them. Our author of Hebrews exhorts them to not give up all the spiritual ground they have already attained. There is nothing in their past that is of greater worth and value than what they already possess in Christ.
To further embolden and encourage them, the writer points them to God’s all-sufficient and sustaining grace. They are reminded that God is dispensing His grace to them. We know from the testimony of Paul’s own life that God’s grace is enough for us no matter what the circumstances. Please read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.
It is never a matter of God not supplying or furnishing His people with what we truly need at any given time in our lives. The issue always is will we receive it or will we reject it, pushing it aside.
The carefully chosen and inspired words of Hebrews 12:15 remind all that there is a time and opportunity to receive or seize upon God’s grace in every situation, but after that time has passed, there is the very real possibility that we come up short as our author says here. When we come short of something, we can miss it by an inch or a mile, but we still miss it!
Also, we are given a serious warning here in verse 15. If we fail to embrace and welcome the grace of God when it is offered, we can begin to develop a root of bitterness in our lives. We will discuss this more in tomorrow’s entry.
Be mindful dear friends that God’s grace is always given to us when we need it by God. It is a supernatural dynamic force that operates within us enabling us as believers to suffer and endure without grumbling or complaining and enables our weakness or suffering to be used for God’s glory. When we reject God’s grace, we must depend on our own power and this invariably leads to failure, disillusionment, and disappointment. Let’s open our arms to God’s grace today. His grace is enough for us!