Apart from Him we can do nothing

Living a Life of Grace

living a life of grace starts with surrender.

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Living a life of grace means to surrender ourselves to Christ throughout out lives, so that He may grow us into His mature followers.

Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.” (Mark 4:26-29).

Throughout my Christian walk, there is a truth that God continues to reveal to me.

And that is this: Nothing in life is more important than grace; having the saving grace through Christ, which moves us forward to sanctification through His grace. When we are living a life of grace, we are living in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus often utilized parables to teach those around Him. In this parable, Jesus was telling the people that the Kingdom of God would grow, and that it will be surprising how it will grow. It will grow without anyone realizing it, or “understand how it happens”.

Planting the Seed of Grace

When a seed is planted for the Kingdom of God, it will go through phases or levels, like a seed goes from the seed phase, then the head forms, and the grain ripens, as it says in our scripture. Jesus is revealing there will be levels of growth that God’s children will go through when living a life of grace.

Once we choose to follow Christ, then we can be a part of the kingdom of God, but before that time the seeds of faith are being revealed to us, as God calls us to Himself with the good news of the gospel.

This is the early stage of grace, sometimes called prevenient grace. I am not the first person to describe grace in different aspects using this language, but the analogy I am using lines up well with today’s passage.

Prevenient grace is the stage of being prompted by God; we sense something happening, but just not sure what to make of it. This is when God is trying to get our attention. We are only just beginning to learn of Christ wooing us into living a life of grace with Him. This is the seed being spread.

Then the seed is buried, and this is much like dying to self and repenting, for there must be repentance. The seed has to be buried in order to become more than a seed.

Growing the Seed of Grace

At the point the seed is buried and we are repentant, something wonderful happens. The seed sprouts. We begin a journey with Christ in the moment that we repent of our sins and choose to follow Him, accepting His sacrificial work on the cross as atonement for our sins.

Just as we previously used the term prevenient grace, we can understand this to be justifying grace, which is, the moment we turned from our sin and began to put our trust in Jesus Christ.

People receiving justifying grace would never have gotten to this point if the seed had not been planted.

In our scripture Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a man who cast seed into the ground. We can be the person who casts the seed of good news to the world. In fact, Jesus Christ is counting on us to be he seed-planters.

Remember too, Jesus said that man knows not how the seed may spring up and grow. We don’t know how it happens because it is up to God to do the work. Grace comes absent of our efforts; grace comes from God alone. God brings forth the fruit.

Nurturing the Seed of Grace

The fruit on a plant would not come if there was no sunlight. In much the same way, if we are interested in living a life of grace, we need to stay under the light of Christ.

Link to Pinterest pin image of man shoveling dirt in a hole with text that reads "For Christians, spiritual growth begins with dying to self". This is another aspect of grace, which is sometimes referred to as sanctifying grace, or is simply referred to as sanctification. Sanctifying grace is the stage where we grow and can bear fruit. That is, if we stay in the light of Christ, which is abiding with Christ.

By sanctification in this grace, we learn and grow and can follow the Holy Spirit. Then we will be doing what is expected, which is to be like Jesus, becoming Holy as God is Holy.

Sanctifying grace is still grace and as such it is not works. When I talk of growing in holiness and sanctification, I am not talking about works.

That may be why some people don’t grow and mature, because they think that it takes work, but it doesn’t. It does require choosing to grow but too many lean on their own understanding and begin to work hard to grow, only to end up stunting their growth before they are brought to maturity.

For Christians, spiritual growth begins with dying to self. We do this by becoming crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).

From Seeds to Living a Life of Grace

Jesus wanted the people to know the kingdom of God was at hand; Jesus was ushering it in. Many there understood and entered in, but many more did not.

My hope is that we can grow to the highest level of spirituality through Christ Jesus. Once we do, we will be able to scatter seed and help bring others alongside us to do the same (Ephesians 3:7).

Again, this does not take works. Rather, it comes from having a reverence for God that far exceeds everything else in our lives and leads to a surrendered life.

To me, it would seem that nothing is more important than grace. Having the saving grace through Christ and then moving on to sanctification through grace in Christ Jesus. Nothing in life is more important than that.  Basically, that is what it means to live a life of grace.

Living a life of grace is living in the Kingdom of God.

More bible verses about living a life of grace:

Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 12:15

All Biblical reference links courtesy of Bible Gateway, a searchable online Bible tool hosting more than 200 versions of the Bible in over 70 languages.

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