Grace Must Be Purposeful, Practiced, and Prayerful

Roger Parrott
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Writing to his protégée Timothy, Paul urges him to “be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1). Paul doesn’t instruct Timothy to focus on preaching, prayer, giving, study, or theology—as vital as each might be. He compels him to focus on grace and to build up strength for what is ahead.

It is critical to understand the context for Paul’s instruction that’s essentially saying, “Right now, Timothy, before things get tough for you, build up grace in Christ as the centerpiece of your life, or you won’t have the strength to handle what’s coming.” And for Timothy, what was ahead was seeing Paul in a Roman prison, which was a hard and horrible place.

For Paul, Timothy, and for us, the only way to manage a tough future is if grace dominates. But it will take some purpose, practice, and lots of prayer. Like Timothy, we need to bulk up in grace to have the strength to handle our ministry’s future.

“Leaders must model the standard of grace that honors the Lord.”

Acquiring the level of grace that will sustain us through times of intensity and challenge is grounded in embracing the enormity of grace given to us through Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. If this grasp of grace is not our bedrock, then we’ll always come up short.

There are essentially four types of people who fill up churches, including those who:

1. play around the meaningless edges of its faith because they are bored

2. construct their faith through comparisons to others because they are bitter

3. strive to be deserving by segregating theological classes because they are tired

4. surrender to the magnitude of God’s grace because they are strengthened

There is little wrong with the church that couldn’t be fixed by a fresh understanding of how completely hopeless, destitute, and undeserving we are without the grace of Christ Jesus—and that only through grace, given freely and without any stipulations, are we saved. Those are the kinds of Christians who clarify faith in culture rather than adding to the confusion.

Leaders must model the standard of grace that honors the Lord. If we don’t push to elevate grace in our workplace, we not only lose the strength of our ministry, but we dishonor the significance of Christ’s gift.

How much grace should you give those who work with you when they disappoint? How much grace does Christ give us when we break our promises to Him? How much grace does He give us when we overreact, get angry, lash out, ignore, or purposefully defy Him? If Christ didn’t give us too much grace, how could we possibly give too much grace to others?

Don’t worry about overdoing it with grace in your ministry—you won’t.

For Further Reading:

Opportunity Leadership

by Roger Parrott

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