Many years ago when I was a young lady,a much younger girlfriend of mine said to me “Auntie, there is a very slim pick out there of men that are “husband material”. I just smiled and thought to myself that the men most probably feel the same way about the availability of “wife material” ladies. But I find that there are a whole lot of other things that are in very short supply these days besides “husband or wife material” men and women. In my country Nigeria, for example, good roads, schools (at all levels- primary to tertiary) that give quality education and the supply of electricity are just a few of those things are short in supply. As a matter of fact the supply of electricity is so short, most people generate their own power a whole lot of the time.
But there is one thing I know that never runs short. NO! NOT EVER! It cannot happen. The demand for it will never out weigh the supply of it. “…But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant”. Romans 5 : 20b NLT
Yes!! That ONE thing is called “GRACE”. The more people did wrong before God, the more grace was available to them to repent and turn from their evil ways. We are often told that “Grace” is favour – unmerited, undeserved favour. It is not earned because we cannot work for it. In fact grace is opposed to works. If it is by works then count grace out! If we enjoy God’s grace today it is not because we have done anything to deserve it.
However, I saw something the other day that made me understand grace in a new way. It made me understand that grace is entirely up to God. King Josiah of Judah was known to have instituted a lot of religious reforms in Judah. (2 Chronicles 35:18) The Bible actually described Josiah as a righteous king who “walked in all the ways of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2). He was also one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ in the gospel according to Matthew.” (Matthew 1: 10) These are remarkable reviews of this young King of Judah who did the will of God. He did great “works”. Nevertheless it appeared that all his good deeds did not count when in later years an act of chivalry (which was actually an act of disobedience to God) led him to his untimely death at the hands of an enemy king, Pharaoh Necho of Egypt; his death was so painful that the whole of Judah and Israel mourned him and even the prophet Jeremiah wrote a lament for him. (2 Chronicles 35).
Yet, the thief on the cross not only received pardon but also a place in paradise. Also Cornelius, a centurion in the Italian regiment was described as a devout, generous, prayerful and God – fearing man. “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” Acts 10:1 -2 KJV We are told that one day God remembered Cornelius because of all these things (Acts 10:4).
So here is the thing, we cannot afford to take this free gift of grace for granted. The thief who had done wrong was saved and so was Cornelius and his entire household. We also have learnt that “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 KJV What if the centurion had not done those good deeds? Would he still have been remembered by God? We will never know. So like Paul said, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6: 1 – 2 KJV
Cornelius’s deeds were of faith. He believed there was God and he feared Him and prayed to Him. The thief on the cross showed faith when he asked to be remembered. So let us activate our own faith too. For it is through our faith that we are saved by grace. And there is more than enough grace to go round.
Remember; HIS GRACE ABOUNDS it is UNLIMITED IN SUPPLY.
I pray that God’s grace will abound towards us all.
OLUYINKA EGO-MARTINS ©