Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Grace Advantage

" 'If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.' And he said to them, 'Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.' And he said, 'The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.' And he said, 'With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?' " Mark 4:23-30 ESV

The rich get richer and the advantaged get more advantages... this is the way the world is and it is and not about to change. There is a subtle twist to the concept in these verses though as far as God is concerned. Where is the hearing if no one is speaking? Where is the farmer if there is no seed from some other crop?

Grace multiples but there must be connection to the source in order for that to happen. Grace defies fairness on multiple levels. God gives the same reward to those who come last as He does to those who come first (see Matt 20:1-15) and He rewards those who take what He has to give. Both center around God's generosity. Grace focuses on the giver and the source of life. It brings glory to God.

"Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted;" - Jude 1:11-12 ESV

Cain hates grace. Grace leaves no place to display your talent and effort. So did Balaam and Korah. It leaves no back door for blessing. Politics and soul power will buy you nothing in the Kingdom of God.

'If you have ears to hear, hear this'. Grace gives capacity from God and then maintains connection to God. He is the life in the seed and His wisdom strings words together in coherent ways that profit the hearer above those out of earshot.

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" Hebrews 1:3 KJV

Someone with ears hears and realizes that God is the One who binds things together. It is by His words that all things have order. With the will a person chooses to keep hearing and by God's will more and more is given to the listener.

The listener is not given more glory or power... the listener is given more access to God's glory and power.

That access makes our face shine like Moses' face was shining after leaving the presence of God. Moses hid his face because that is what the law does. Grace displays the glory of God like a light on the hill because of it's inclusiveness. Yes. Riches are handed out to those in arms reach but everyone who wants to be included can be included.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17 KJV

In the Ark there is safety. On the Rock you will be sheltered from the strife of tongues. Go to the place of provision. Draw close so you can hear the words of the Savior.

Help us God to use our ears today and to restore our spiritual hearing somehow we have lost sight of Your Son.

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