Beyond Your Imagination
Give yourself up to the Lord Jesus and let Him give you His "more grace". It's always too soon to quit.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? Oh, I’m all right, thank you. I’m singing bass, but then that’s all right. By the time you hear this I will have long since gotten over whatever it is. And I’m happy in the Lord, so glad, so glad to know Him and, frankly, so glad to be friends with you.
Somebody wrote me the other day and said, “It’s just as though you were sitting at the kitchen table talking to me,” and that’s exactly how I want it to be. Hey, we get yelled at enough in life, don’t we? And maybe it helps if somebody just talks with you and points out some things that may be helpful in your life. My prayer every day is that God may help me to put a handle on His Word for you so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
We’re looking at John 1. “John bore witness of it… ” The last time we got together we talked about what it means to witness, you remember that? Lay your life on the line, have something to be excited about, spend enough time in prayer with your Lord until your heart is warm and tender toward Him. Get something from His Word that you can share with others, and then let Him do something in your own life of which you can yourself be aware and which you can share with other people. Now, He says, “He that cometh after me is preferred before me for he was before me,” John the Baptist, again, referring to the eternity of the Lord Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word,” that’s our Lord Jesus, “The Word was with God, the Word was God, all things were made by Him.” Don’t let anybody tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ is not just as much God as God the Father and God the Spirit. He is eternal, and He is the agent of creation. He is not only that, but He’s a sustainer, and the Savior, and the sanctifier, and the intercessor, and the coming King, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now, he says, “Of His fullness have all we received and grace for grace.” The Bible uses this expression, fullness, in a number of verses, I notice. This is John 1:16 of His fullness. It says, “God has put all things under His feet and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” So there’s His fullness, “Of His fullness,” it says, “Have all we received.” That is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life at salvation. And then the church is the fullness of Christ, and that is His presence through our lives in the world around us, isn’t it? And then he talks in Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect,” that means grown-up, grown-up man, “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
What does that mean? Well, that has to do with maturity, doesn’t it? You know a little bit about your Savior when you first trust Him as your Savior and Lord. You grow in grace and learn more and more about Him, and as the days go by, you come to a grown-up Christian, mature, there’s that word ‘perfect,’ it means mature or grown-up, “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” That is to say, you know your Savior well enough to walk with Him as a grown-up believer, no longer a little child in the faith, what Paul calls “babes in Christ.” No longer a little child in the faith, but now grown-up, so that you can walk step by step with your Lord along the way of life, and you can appreciate what He has in mind for you, and you can share His purposes and His aims as revealed to you in the Word of God.
Then in Colossians 1:19 it says, “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell. The fullness of Him that filleth all in all of His fullness of all we received.” Now, what is the personal point, tasting point, let us say, of God’s blessing? Peter the Apostle speaks to his friends when he writes to them, let me turn to that over there in 1 Peter, may I? He says, “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby, if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” The tasting point of the Gospel is the grace of God; the grace to save you, grace to keep you, grace to rescue you, grace to lift you out of despair when you’ve failed; grace to restore you and forgive you, grace to transform you into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So John says, “Of His fullness of all we received and grace for grace.” That word ‘for’ is the translation of a little Greek word ‘anti,’ A-N-T-I,” which means ‘against,’ but it also means ‘upon, piled over, onto.’ So what some commentators say, and I think I agree with it, is we could very well read it, “We’ve received His fullness and grace piled upon grace with more to come, unremitting supply of grace.” That’s really, I think, what the Holy Spirit had in mind when he was telling us this. What really then do we mean by the fullness of Christ? It means a steady stream of the grace of God poured out upon your life. Now, Paul uses the word ‘grace’ as a noun describing certain things, like the grace of giving. He said, “Don’t be late in manifesting this grace also.” The grace of giving, for example, “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” So there’s lots of different areas, you may say, of your life where the grace of God is given. Paul, in exhorting the people that he wrote to at Rome, he said, “I say through the grace given unto me to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us.
And then he speaks of prophecy, and ministry, and teaching, and exhortation, and giving, and ruling, and showing mercy, and showing love. God’s grace is manifested in so many different ways, then, isn’t it, in our lives? And he says, “We’ve received His fullness grace in an unremitting supply piled upon grace, grace upon grace, grace standing over against grace.” Grace lined up ready to be piled up into your life. That’s the way God wants to do it. James 4:6 says, “He giveth more grace.” There’s never a time, beloved, but that God has more grace for you.
Let’s stop here just to think about that. I think every one of us who has lived a little, has come to a time when we said, “I can’t stand any more of this. If any more of this comes, I’m gonna scream, or bite somebody or blow up.” [chuckle] Have you ever felt that way? “I just can’t take any more.” Now, when you reach that point, you and I have to realize that He giveth more grace. There’s always more grace. If there’s more trial, if there’s more testing, if there’s more pressure, if there is more unpleasantness, if there’s more challenge, or if there’s more weariness, whatever it may be, He giveth more grace. Oh, that’s so great. If you’d just get down before God and acknowledge that you need Him. “God resisteth the proud,” it says. “Wherefore he saith God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” The tasting point of salvation is the grace of God. And the place where you become able to meet any given situation, is the point at which you receive God’s wonderful, more grace. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
Now, not only that, but there’s always enough. And that, of course, refers us immediately, I know many of you who know your Bibles are thinking of where I’m going in my thoughts here, over to Paul’s experience, where he said, as he prayed about what he called his thorn in the flesh, some kind of an ailment or disability about which he prayed that it might be taken away. He said, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice. But He said, God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee. For my strength,” God says, “is made perfect in weakness.” “Now,” Paul says, “most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmity that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then by God’s grace,” said he, “I’m strong.” More grace. Grace piled upon grace.
Where are you in all of this process today? I think I must be talking to some people. I feel so keenly in my own heart I’m talking to some people who have had it. You’ve said, “I’ve had it up to here. I can’t take any more.” And it may refer to your domestic situation, you may be giving up on your own marriage. It may refer to your job situation, you may be giving up on a job that seems impossible. It may refer to your own personal life, you’ve tried so hard to be different and you end up failing, and you said, “I’ve had it. I give up.”
Now, dear friend, the secret is, give up to Jesus. Give up to Jesus. Paul says, “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead.” Give yourself up to the Lord Jesus and let Him give you His “more grace”. It’s always too soon to quit. Always too soon to quit. So let the Lord give you His “more grace.” I had a letter a while back from someone who had written about an impossible job situation. It said that whatever the employee did, the boss considered it inferior and was always putting him down. And the letter said, in effect, “I’m thinking of quitting.” Well, I wrote back, and I also said something on a broadcast about that time, about the fact that, “If you’ll commit your work to the Lord, your thoughts shall be established. In other words, if you want your attitude toward your job to change, start praying about it.” That’s what I said.
And so I just sort of expanded on that a little bit. “Are you fed up with your job? Is your boss impossible to get along with? Are your fellow workers impossible to get along with? Are you just so discouraged, you’re about to quit and give up? Start praying about your job.” “Commit your work unto the Lord,” the Bible says, “and your thoughts shall be established.” Your attitude will change if you pray about your job. So I said that and I wrote it in a letter. Well, I got another letter back from this listener saying, “I just wanted you to know that I started praying about my job and as a result things have changed. I’ve had a promotion. I’m in line for a raise. Praise the Lord.” [chuckle] Oh, that’s great. Grace piled upon grace. There’s always more. There’s always enough. There’s always what you need. Jesus does it all.
He says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Now, here, there you have that great dualism. The law is still true; it was, Paul says, “Our schoolmaster to drive us to Christ.” Bring us to the place where we yielded to the Lord Jesus Christ who paid for our sins on Calvary. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. He brought God’s pardoning and transforming grace to us. He epitomizes God’s truth to us. All you’ll ever need to know about God is wrapped up in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Beautiful truth, isn’t it? Well, today as you go on through the day, trust God to give you His all sufficient grace, and to pattern through you what it means to know Jesus.
Father God today, O may we be filled with the grace of God, showing what it really means to know Jesus by the way we live. In his name, I pray this. Amen. ‘Til I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing.
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