Today’s Scripture: Philippians 1:7
“You are all partakers with me of grace.”
All of us need grace, the saint as well as the sinner. The most conscientious, dutiful, hardworking Christian needs God’s grace as much as the most dissolute, hard-living sinner. All of us need the same grace. The sinner doesn’t need more grace than the saint, nor does the immature and undisciplined believer need more than the godly, zealous missionary. We all need the same amount because the “currency” of our good works is debased and worthless before God.
Grace considers all people as totally undeserving and unable to do anything to earn the blessing of God. C. Samuel Storms has aptly written, “Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit. Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human demerit. [Grace] is treating a person . . . solely according to the infinite goodness and sovereign purpose of God.”
This description of God’s grace cuts both ways: It can neither be earned by your merit nor forfeited by your demerit. If you feel you deserve an answer to prayer or a particular blessing from God because of your hard work or sacrifice, you’re living by works, not by grace. But it’s just as true that if you despair of experiencing God’s blessing because of your demerits, you’re also casting aside the grace of God.
I seldom think of merit on my part, but I’m often painfully aware of my demerits. Therefore, I need to be reminded frequently that my demerits do not compel God to withdraw his grace from me, but rather he treats me with no regard whatsoever to what I deserve. I’d much rather stake my hope of his blessing on his infinite goodness than on my good works.