Holy Week Tuesday Evening Devotional

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Holy Week Tuesday Evening Devotional

April 12, 2022

“Grace as the currency of the Kingdom”

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

On the cross we see a picture of pure, unadulterated grace from Jesus to the repentant thief.  But the grace of Jesus doesn’t stop with us.  It moves through us and beyond us as we interact with others. The book of James teaches us that as we draw nearer to Christ in grace, we are called to extend that grace to others. We cannot be double-minded about grace. It is either grace or it is not.  Grace leaves very little room for ambiguity. Most of us willingly and easily seek grace from Jesus, but we may find it harder to extend grace to others. It is a dichotomy that is particular to our sin nature.  Yet, the grace of Christ Jesus is never meant to be confined.  We cannot be only takers of God’s grace without also becoming givers of God’s grace.

The world is full of judges. No matter where you look there are people who like to make judgement calls about other people.  They pick apart actions, incorrectly infer motives, and talk and act as if they alone are the arbiters of what is right and good.  They celebrate those who agree and denigrate those who don’t. This world needs more doers, people who obey the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit, and less judges.  Grace and humility are always celebrated in the scriptures above pride and arrogance.  Can you imagine Jesus saying to the repentant thief, “You are right.  You are getting what you deserve.  Sorry, but I can’t help you now,”?  If you are like me, it is almost impossible to imagine because our knowledge of Jesus is so inextricably wound up with grace.  And yet, I can hear those same words in my own mouth very easily.

Grace is the currency of the kingdom, judgement is the currency of the world. It is a top-down spiritual economy.  The grace of God is so all-encompassing that it lifts all those who have experienced it.  It lifts them to the heights of being grace givers themselves. A person cannot be proud and full of grace.  One of those has to give. The goal should be for us to be as known for grace as Jesus is known for grace. Grace makes the wheels of the kingdom move. In an economy, if nobody spends or receives money, the economy freezes up.  In the Kingdom economy, grace is meant to be given and received and the kingdom marches on.  We have spoken much about receiving grace from Jesus this week.  Tonight, consider how much grace you are spending on others.

Pastor Robert Robinson wrote a worship text in 1759 that speaks to the power of grace.  He was only 22 at the time, but he understood that grace overwhelms us.  One of the strongest lines in “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is the prayer to “tune our hearts to sing His grace.”  May that be our prayer tonight.

 

Come Thou fount of every blessing

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Streams of mercy never ceasing

Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet

Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer

Here by Thy great help I’ve come

And I hope by Thy good pleasure

Safely to arrive at home

Jesus sought me when a stranger

Wandering from the fold of God

He to rescue me from danger

Interposed His precious blood

Oh, to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be

Let Thy goodness like a fetter

Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above