Are You Forfeiting God’s Grace?

Posted on July 20, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

“I do not nullify the grace of God.” Galatians 2:21

Basic to the Christian life is the understanding that we are saved not by works or personal efforts to become righteous but by the grace of God. However, many fail to realize that we must live by grace as well; the strength and guidance for everything we do, and especially the ability to live a holy life is due to the grace of God. Paul often testified that his gifting and calling as an apostle was of God’s grace.

Grace is God’s unmerited favor; we are undeserving of His mercy, yet He has chosen to save us due to His love and kindness. Likewise, none of us are worthy of the grace that He continually pours out from day to day, but that is His nature. He has promised to provide everything we need to live a godly life, to endure trials and adversity, and to lead and empower us for ministry. While there is nothing we can do to cancel out God’s grace in saving us, we often forfeit the grace He continues to make available each day.

Some would recognize our focus verse as following Galatians 2:20 which speaks of being crucified with Christ, yet alive. But the life we live is no longer us; it is Christ within us. When we are aware of that, and by faith appropriate the Christ-life in all its implications of power and victory, the grace of God is flowing uninhibited. But we often forfeit or nullify that grace. The KJV translates this, “I do not frustrate the grace of God.” Can you imagine almighty, sovereign God being frustrated? Yet He is when we stifle the abundant outpouring of grace He constantly makes available to us.

How do we forfeit God’s grace? By failure to trust Him and walk by faith! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not into your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge HIm and He will direct your paths” (Pro. 3:5-6). We nullify God’s grace when we are distracted by worldly values and fail to live a cleansed and pure life, or fail to stay focused and single-minded in our commitment to the Lord. The Psalmist testified, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes…it shall not fasten its grip on me” (Ps. 101:3).

We deny ourselves the blessing of God’s grace when we are disobedient to God’s leadership and choose not to serve Him in leadership and ministry. When we fail to recognize trials and adversity are simply an opportunity for a deeper experience of knowing God’s all-sufficient grace we deprive ourselves of the blessings God provides.

Jonah makes an interesting observation regarding the people of Nineveh–”Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (Jonah 2:8). God’s grace not only saves us but is available for all of life’s needs. How tragic to cling to things of the world or depend on deceptive self-confidence rather than walking in faith and forfeit the the grace God desires to provide in every situation.

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