Monday, April 2, 2012

Grace Upon Grace

The beach is one of my very favorite places.  I truly love it.  If I allow myself to daydream and wish, I can find myself pretending I have a yellow cottage right by the ocean where I could spend summers unencumbered and free.  That's the way my heart feels oceanside with the constant sound of lapping waves, the blowing breeze, and all the beauty of surf and sky.  Free.

Yesterday morning my dad was preaching on suffering.  Jesus suffered and died for our sins, and we often recall that in very specific ways this time of year.  Most of the great heroes of the Bible suffered beyond what we could imagine...they truly knew Christ in the "fellowship of His sufferings" (Philippians 3:10).  Yesterday's message specifically looked at Paul, and asked the question, "Why Do We Suffer?"  Four of the answers we looked at were...

We need to encourage others. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Proverbs 12:25)

We need to trust Him. (2 Corinthians 1:8-9, Job 13:15)

We need to focus on the eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:8,9,17,18)

We need to learn about His grace.  (2 Corinthians 12:1-10, John 1:16)

John 1:16 says, "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace." 

You've often heard me write about the concept of fullness, but I was caught by how my dad explained what the phrase "grace for grace" means.  The literal idea is grace upon grace.  An illustration for the meaning is waves at the ocean.  If you were to visit the beach and sit by the water, you would see and hear a wave...followed by another....and another...and so it would continue.  Wave upon wave.  Never ending.  Constantly flowing.  That is the idea here - just as the waves flow onto shore one upon another, so does God's grace flow into our lives.  Grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.

I will remember that the next time we take a day trip to be seaside.  As I hear the constant sound of lapping waves, I will recall the lavish, unending, constant gift of grace God bestows on my life.

He has given me grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.

He suffered for me.

I have experienced His fullness.

I am thankful beyond words.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is so true. What a precious God we serve to be full of such unending grace! I love your illustration of the ocean waves.
    Thanks for leaving me a note on my blog! I'm ready to see what else God has for me to do!! Also, I can't get across enough how faithful God is to see us through the end of this medical school and on the other side. It's been tough at times, but He is a redeeming God! Thanks again for being so supportive and happy for me!
    Happy Easter!