Your portion of grace

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As well as God’s power to overcome sin, grace includes the power to do the things he has called us to do. God has given every Christian a “portion” of grace that empowers them to do what he called them to do: “To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (Ephesians 4:7).

God giving us grace in this sense means that we have been “empowered” or “anointed” to do something. We haven’t been empowered to do just any old thing for God; we have each been given grace to do the specific tasks we have been called to do. Every Christian has been “graced” and gifted in a different way: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us” (Romans 12:6).

Peter describes God’s grace as coming in different forms: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). God’s grace and empowerment is unique for every person, and it is as different as our faces.

We have been given abundant grace to do what we have been called and gifted to do – but we don’t have the grace to do just anything. The reason why we sometimes find ourselves unable to do certain things is often because we simply haven’t been given the grace to do that – God has gifted and empowered someone else to do that job instead, and it is not ours to do.

The things God has called us to do always fit us perfectly, like a custom made Italian leather shoe. God has “prepared good works in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10), and they go perfectly with who we are, our personality, our desires and everything about us – although sometimes the things he has called us to do may surprise us, because there is more to us than we thought! Paul the Jewish ex-Pharisee may have been surprised that God called him to be an apostle to the Gentiles, but it turned out to fit perfectly with who he was and the way God made him.

God has not called us to do a job and then left us on our own to do it. He has supplied all the power we need to do what he has called us to do. And like everything else, it is already ours as a free gift of God’s grace – we are empowered and anointed from the moment we turn to him. He may give us more grace to do all kinds of other things as we are faithful with the grace he has already given us, but there is no extra requirement before we can start doing things for God – we have been empowered and equipped to do his will right now.

For reflection:

Because we are “free to fail”, the best way to find out what you have been given the grace to do is to just try things out. If you hit a brick wall or you try something and it fails, then that’s good – now you know a little bit more about what you’re not for. All that means is that you are great at something else.

You can actually never “fail” in God’s eyes. When something you do doesn’t work, it doesn’t make you a failure – it is just a stage in the process of finding out who you are and how God made you.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us” (Romans 12:6)

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