Jesus said to them, be careful what you are hearing. The Measure [of thought and study] you give [to the Truth you hear] will be the Measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to youóand more [besides] will be given to you who hear (v. 24)
For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away [by force] (Mark 4:24-25 AMP).
Hi Faith-writers, Iím truly grateful to be back to share Godís Word of Grace with you. Weíve been on the topic of Grace and the Lord confirmed to me that I must continue to teach more about this topic of Grace. Picking up where we left off in the last article, ďThe Measure of Godís GraceĒ we understand that;
1. Graceóis (Godís Unmerited Favor) thatís demonstrated to us because of Jesusí sacrifice.
2. Graceóis also a Gift that was imparted to us when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior and we were saved and became children of God (Ephesians 2:1-9 NKJV).
3. Then Paul continued to teach about the Grace of God in Ephesians chapter 4 by stating we should walk worthy of our Calling by practicing some of the (Fruits of the Spirit). And in case we were wondering how? Paul wrote that God gave us a Measure of the Gift of Grace to live a godly lifestyle (Ephesians 4:1-7 NKJV).
4. Paul continues to take it up a notch and said the reason Jesus gave us Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors and Evangelist is so we may be train to grow spiritually to the full stature and Measure of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV).
5. Measure in Greek is Metronóand the word Metron; in the New Testament is connected with Godís Grace being Increased and or Measured (Given) to us to live out a Powerful Christian Lifestyle.
Connecting Jesusí and Paulís Teaching about Measure
One of the primary ways we can Increase Godís Grace in our lives is by taking heed to the Truth of Godís Word. The Measure of thought and study we place on the Truth of Godís Word we hear taught or preached at Church services is what Measure we will receive to apply the knowledge we have obtained.
When Jesus said this in Mark 4:24-25 The Amplified Bible; Jesus just finished the Parable of the Sower. We understand that the Parable of the Sower is a clear picture of how todayís believers literally respond to the Gospel (See, Mark 4:1-24 NKJV). Recapping the story we see that the;
1. The Sower is the Preacher or Teacher of the Gospel.
2. The Seed is the Truth of the Word of God.
3. The 4 types of soil represent the different responses to the Gospel.
Jesus spoke about people who react differently to the Gospel because they are in different mind-sets and readiness to receive the Truth of the Word of God. While some accept it, others seem to forget it and fail to make the appropriate applications to bring forth fruit in their lives.
Are we ready to Increase the Measure of Godís Grace?
Jesus went into great detail about Increasing Godís Measure of Grace in our lives. And I strongly believe if we take a closer look at the ďParable of the SowerĒ it will help us zero in and narrow down the reasons as to why we are being hindered from Growing in Godís Grace. Jesus took the time to explain this Parable to His disciples and He gave them so much insight that we need to examine so we wonít fail to receive and apply the Word of God and become unfruitful. Jesus said;
1. The way side people--The Message flew over their heads. They didnít catch the Message. The devil and his demons immediately snatched the Word out of their minds after they hear it.
2. The Hard-knocksósome people are hardened because of living a hard life. Itís hard for them to let go and let God touch them. Trials will drive them away again and they wonít consider applying the Word of God to overcome the circumstances. These are the rocky places the seed falls on.
3. The Shallow peopleóthese people donít pursue or have studied further the topic that was preached or taught to them. They joyfully receive the Message but the cares of life keeps them too preoccupied to allow the Truth to be applied. And wonít give time to God to work the Word deep in their lives.
4. The Productive believersóthese people are receptive to the Word of God and bring forth fruit 30, 60, and a 100% in their Christians lives.
The question is which group of people do we belong to when it comes to hearing the Word of God Preached or Taught? Does the Message fly over our heads? If so, why donít we take notes, or pay closer attention by turning off the cell phone and carefully hear whatís being said. Unless, the cell phone is being used to access Scripture we should be considerate and avoid using it.
Are we quick to give up when we experience trials? Let me say this respectfully, trials no doubt will challenge us to give up, but either way whether we choose to acknowledge and involve God in our trial we are presently enduring or ignore Himówe will be better off if we go thru it with God. Because we can clearly begin to see the Hand of God at work in our personal trial and how He brought us out.
Are we in the Shallow group? We need to study. We need to learn more and more about God. We have to do our Homework to be successful Christians. We cannot allow riches and a full-plate of responsibilities to keep us from learning about Our Heavenly Father. Once we have acquired the academic and vocational education to enter the career we desired to pursue, we must also acquire the Knowledge of God and begin to remain in-tune with Him throughout our career and profession.
God wants us to be Christian Doctors, Lawyers, Carpenters, Plumbers and Computer engineers and every other professional title thatís recognized in this life. And let me share this testimonyóif we learn to be in-tune with God in our profession we will be highly successful. In every profession that Iíve been blessed to be in I was always sought after more than my peers or associates. God blesses us further than the regular Joe at the job.
Finally, we must be Productive people. Always searching, seeking, finding and knocking on Heavens door for the open opportunities that God makes available to us to grow spiritually and become fruitful.
This teaching may sound far-fetched and impossible to attain, but let me assure you we donít need to learn the Bible over-night to be successful. God will work with us based on our personal growth and knowledge and hold us responsible to apply what we personally learned. So donít size yourself up with me. We must Measure up to Jesus (Ephesians 4:13 NKJV). The great part about the Gospel is that you personally get to learn things that took me 22 years to learnóin a few articles. I may be able to teach what I learned about the topic of Grace in 22 years and place it in 20 articles. The good part is you will learn it quicker and it will be ease for you to apply it. God just used me to take the guess work out of the topic of Grace and how itís ease to apply.
Praying to Increase the Measure of Grace in our lives
Part of Increasing the Measure of Godís Grace in our lives is to PRAY knowing that Jesus can sincerely identify with us as we are instructed to go to the Throne of Grace to obtain the Mercy needed so we may receive Godís Divine Grace in our moment of need. Then we can receive the Measure of Grace thatís needed to move forward as Christians despite our failures.
Jesus is the Great High Priest
Paul wrote, therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess (v. 14)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we areóyet without sin (v. 15)
Let us then approach the throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find Grace to help us in our time of need (v. 16) (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV).
Praying with Purposeóto obtain more Grace
1. No matter what we are going through we must firmly hold on to our faith in God. Faith becomes stronger when we are tested, tried and placed in the fire of lifeís trials.
2. The awesome part we need to see and understand is that Jesus encountered everything we went throughóbut He did not sin. Paul did not say this to make us feel bad but to clarify that Jesus overcame reject, offenses, smart and sarcastic remarks made by others. Jesus was tempted by satan in several areas of His known weaknesses but Jesus didnít give in to the temptation. So the moral of the example is that if Jesus did it so can we once we learn how to be victorious Christians in that area of trial or temptation.
3. Thirdly, Paul gave us instructions on how to obtain more Graceóby simply going to the throne of Grace in Prayer to obtain Mercy and Grace in our time of need to continue to move forward despite our falls or failures. This is where we need to see how Grace and Mercy works together to lift us out of our emotional complexes of failure and the thought that we canít do thisóto the fact that God is fully aware that we fell but we can get back up dust ourselves off with the Help of the Holy Spirit be forgiven and cleansed to move forward once again to become successful Christians.
Paulís example of Praying for Grace
Paul always teaches things that he himself applied. In the Second letter to the Christians in the city of Corinth Paul spoke about the thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV). Iím not going to get into the Theological debate of whether the Thorn was an eye sickness or a literal person buffeting (hitting or making Paulís life miserable). I want to focus on the Praying part of the situation with Paul.
Paul prayed 3 times for more Grace. This is my point! Now, we know based on Paulís explanation that God told him that Godís Grace thatís already in Paul is sufficient to deal with the issue of that particular thorn in his flesh (See 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NKJV).
Now, let me break something down that Jesus taught me about the Topic of Grace that I never hear taught. There are Levels or Dimensions of Godís Grace! I will teach on this in my next articles about the topic of Grace. The Apostles operated on Great Grace (See Acts 4:33 NKJV). My point is, we must listen to Paulís instructions to Pray for more Grace so we may obtain more Mercy and Grace to help us in our time of need to continue to grow spiritually when we fail or fall (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).
On the other hand, if we have arrived at the level of spiritual maturity where we know how to operate on the Level or Dimension of Great Graceóthen look out and be careful that your head doesnít swell with pride or arrogance because God is using you a great way and granting you an abundance of revelations. This is where I must be cautious of in my own personal life as a Minister because God does grant me a lot of Dreams and Visions so the devil may whisper to me ďhey, youíre the man look at all the articles youíre writing. Youíre a better teacher than so and so on TV and so onÖ The devil is slick and he always places stupid thoughts like this into my mind as well as other things. If Iím not careful I could fall and may get a thorn in the flesh myself. We all must be wise about operating in Godís Measure of Grace in our lives.
So Pray for more Grace and MercyÖand listen closely to the Messages that are preached and taught that is valuable to your spiritual growth. Jesus said, the Measure [of thought and study] you give [to the Truth you hear] will be the Measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to youóand more [besides] will be given to you who hear (Mark 4:24 AMP). May God bless you to Increase in the Measure of Grace He imparted to you in Jesusí name, Amen.