Use up your Grace today

Burn out.  All of us get to that point.  We get frustrated or desperate with our life, so we work harder in our own strength using what we know to try to get across the finish line of each day.

As Christ followers, if we shift our view of how to do things, if we stop trying to lean our own knowledge and skills to figure life out, and instead depend more on God’s gift, we would start viewing each day with joy.

The concept of “grace” isn’t something that we think about a lot.  I think especially in our culture where we need to show everyone how self-sufficient we’ve become, grace is something that doesn’t even enter our minds.

If you know about the Israelites leaving Egypt and wandering in the wilderness for forty years, you’ll remember that God gave them something every morning to eat.  Manna appeared every morning.  As Numbers 11:9 describes it:

“When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.”

But the manna only stayed good for one day.  They could collect all they wanted, but any extra would turn bad the next day.  The only exception was for the Sabbath.  On that day, the manna they collected lasted two days.

Just like the manna, God is giving us enough grace for each day.  It is our daily bread – it is our daily strength.

When we understand grace better and lean on it more than ourselves, we will still get tired but not “burned out”.  I can’t explain how that happens, I’m just describing what happens.  It’s a paradigm shift that followers of Christ need to grasp.

John Ortberg states that “we have reduced grace to the forgiveness of sins”.  But if we began to live in grace on a daily basis, we would understand it’s fullness better.

I want to encourage you to use up your grace today.  What you don’t use today won’t be any good tomorrow.  Tomorrow you will have another portion of grace to lean on.  Paul wrote about struggling through everyday and asking God to remove his struggle.  God’s response was:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

I read the following lyrics at the Southbrook staff meeting this week.  It’s an old hymn written by Annie J. Flint.  The words will mean nothing to you unless you’ve experienced exhaustion and pain.

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.


2 Responses to “Use up your Grace today”

  1. Laura, thanks for being so gcroaius to the Indianapolis youth with whom you mudded the house. I am Glen Bell, executive pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, the home of several of the youth and adults on the trip. I am also a good friend of Michael Cartwright, who is the dean of ecumenical and interfaith partnerships at UIndy.(My brother, Jim, is a graduate of Duke Divinity School, and a pastor in North Carolina. I attended UNC-CH for my undergraduate studies.)May the Lord bless you with strength, energy, health, encouragement and joy as you serve alongside your sisters and brothers in the Maseno district!Peace, GlenGlen Bell

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