Day by Day by Grace
by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
Saturday, December 3rd
More on Continuing in the Word of His Grace
I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance . . . receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (Acts 20:32; James 1:21)
Paul's exhortation to followers of Jesus Christ was to "continue in the faith" (Acts 14:22). "The faith" (in which we are to continue) is the word of God. Paul later called it "the word of His grace." Since God's word is permeated with His grace, it is able to do glorious things in our lives.
James wrote of "the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." God wants to plant His word into human hearts that the word might bear fruit therein. This is how the Lord began His work in us: "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (1 Peter 1:23). By communicating His word to us (through preaching, teaching, witness, or evangelism), God sowed the incorruptible, eternal seed of "the word of His grace" in our lives. As we believed on Him, the seed of the word germinated in our hearts unto everlasting life. Now, the Lord wants to continue sowing His life-giving seed into our lives that we might grow, mature, and abound in Him.
Our role involves a humble receptivity of His word. "Receive with meekness the implanted word." We are to continually take in the scriptures with a sense of urgent, personal need. Such an attitude would indicate agreement with the words of Jesus. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). We cannot truly continue in grace without regularly partaking of "the word of His grace." If we humbly take in God's word consistently, the grace of God at work through the word will demonstrate the transforming power of the Bible: "which is able to save your souls." This delivering work of the scriptures is not limited to justification (that is, saving us from the guilt and condemnation of sin). It also includes sanctification (that is, saving us from the tempting and controlling influence of sin in daily living). Jesus prayed for His followers concerning this sanctifying work of the word of God. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17). God's word is able to make our lives all that He wants them to be: "the word of His grace, which is able."
Lord God, giver of life, I thank You for planting in my heart the life-giving seed of Your word. I praise You for the changes Your word has already brought into my life. Now, I long to continue partaking of the word of Your grace, which is able to deliver my soul from all that is diminishing and destructive to all that is edifying and sanctifying, Amen.