Grace & Truth: twin pillars to prosperous living
A prosperous person will keep growing in understanding and wisdom and at the same time humbly depend on God and the council of others. Truth relates to insights and wisdom that bring enduring abundance and prosperity. Grace relates to the divine confidence to walk in that truth. How do we keep increasing in wisdom and maintain a healthy dependence on God?
We could see the twin pillars at work in Jesus’ life. These are like wings of a bird; two must operate together at the same time. Hence, we must always keep in our view the truths and the grace of God. Truth is likened to a route map towards glory and prosperity. Grace is the power that fuels us on the route of truth. It is impossible for one to walk in the truth without the grace of the Spirit. For he will be saddled with fear, ill-confidence, negative sentiments and other human limitations. On the other hand, it is impossible for one to discern the way to prosperity when he doesn’t know the truth and grace is just a coping mechanism for disappointment. A person lacking in one of the pillars cannot experience the full measure of abundant life that God has ordained for him. Let’s see in Jesus’ life the truth and grace in action.
In the raising of Lazarus, truth directed Jesus to return to Bethany even in the face of danger for the Jews were looking for Him. Jesus said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (John 11:4). Jesus knew that the task of raising Lazarus posed much risk as much as its potential to glorify God as many people had already gathered at the funeral. Now, we see grace at work when Jesus lift up His and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” (John 11:42-43). When Jesus gave thanks to the Father, grace consumed Jesus and He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” If Jesus would not return to the Bethany, there would be no grace to raise Lazarus.
In another occasion, Jesus was at the Garden of Gethsemane, where He appeared to be struggling with obedience to the truth. Jesus was fully man, being subject to human emotions and physical weaknesses that could hinder Jesus from obeying the truth. What laid before Him was a path of shame, injustice, sorrow, and immeasurable suffering that no human being could bear. Jesus knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Your be done.” (Luke 22:42). Jesus’ prayer revealed His resolve to obey the truth, which is to go to the cross; even though He could not fully comprehend the Father’s will nor did He had the strength to obey. Immediately, the grace of God descended upon Jesus through an angel from heaven that appeared to Him and strengthening Him… He rose from prayer and encouraged His disciples (Luke 22:43-45). The grace of God empowered Jesus in His spirit to walk in the Father’s will. Luke 22:44 spoke of Jesus’ agony that His sweat became like drops of blood, falling on the ground. The agony were premonitions of shame, injustice, sorrow and suffering that were about to engulf Him if not for the grace of God.
God’s grace is immediately put into operation when we acknowledge God’s ever presence to help and resolve in our heart to obey the Father’s will. Prayer is the exercise of humility, of recognising our shortcomings while being filled with God’s power to do His will. How do we know what to do especially in critical and complex situations? When we discipline ourselves to study the Word diligently and to meditate on it daily, the Spirit immediately brings to mind what we should do in any situation. Hence, believers should never compromise but read the whole bible and every word of it. Because therein lies the truths that will give us a concrete direction when nothing seemed to work. Some passages in the Bible may sound irrelevant at the point of time, but the truth that was embedded in your spirit will reveal precious insights during times of confusion. Truths has foundations, where the more profound truths that gives insights for financial investments and problem solving are build on elementary ones like keeping the Sabbath Day, tithes and offerings, honoring our parents, and refraining from covetousness. Our wisdom and understanding increases when we grow in obedience to God’s laws.
How do we receive more grace of the Spirit? By reading every word of the Bible! Jesus said to His disciples, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63). Anyone who reads and meditates on the Word will at the same time receive the grace of the Spirit to walk in the truth. Truth and grace always come together. When truth is received in humility, grace is never far behind.