By Stephen Altrogge
It’s so easy to take the Bible for granted. I mean, I’ve got like twelve different physical Bibles around my house, including two children’s Bibles. The illustrator for one of those children’s Bibles must have been fascinated by eyes because all the characters have ginormous eyes with no eyelids. Jonah and John the Baptist and Martha all look like they’ve taken mega doses of amphetamines and haven’t slept for weeks. Kinda weird.
On top of all the physical Bibles I own, I also have many different digital Bibles. I’ve got the Bible on my phone, computer, and iPad. I’ve got friends sharing Bible verses on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. I am awash in God’s word. Maybe that’s what makes it so easy to take it for granted. I forget just how sacred God’s promises are. I forget that in Christ, God, “…has granted to us his precious and very great promises…” (2 Peter 1:4)
And then I read verses like 2 Corinthians 9:8, which says:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
When I read this verse this morning it slapped me out of my Bible sluggitude. The depth and breadth and preciousness of this promise are unbelievable.
If this promise is real (and it is!) it means I have access to the absolute depths of God’s astounding grace.
God is able to make all of his grace abound to me. Not some of his grace. Not crumbles and pieces of his grace. God will make all of his grace abound to me. This means God’s grace will fill every nook and cranny of my life. Both the mundane and the monstrous will be splashing over with God’s grace. The heavenly and the hellish. Just think how much grace is contained in that word "all".
Because I have all of God’s abundant grace at all times I will also have all sufficiency for all things at all times. God himself will give me empowering grace to obey him, love him, trust him, and thank him at all times. This covers everything! Cankersores and cancer, back aches and bronchitis, child birth and child death, retirement and bankruptcy. God’s grace is deeper than the deepest pit and higher than highest mountain. All thing and all times really does mean all things and all times. I don’t have to worry about coming to the end of God’s grace. He will always have more than enough for me. I can’t predict the future but I can predict that all of God’s grace will be there to meet me in the future.
Because I have all of God’s grace which is sufficient for all things and all times I WILL abound in every good work. This is a beautiful divine daisy chain. Grace leads to grace leads to grace. God will empower me to be generous when I’m poor and when I’m rich. He will strengthen me to give thanks when I healthy and when I’m sick. He will motivate me to serve when I’m strong and when I’m weak. I won’t run out of good works because God won’t run out of grace.
There’s a reason my grandpa is still abounding in good works at age 94. God’s grace has abounded to him every day. It enabled him to care for my grandmother as she disintegrated with Alzheimer’s. It enables him to take a poor man shopping for groceries on a regular basis. It enables him to paint hundreds of birthday cards every year. All of God’s grace for all things at all times for all good works.
God will give me more than enough grace for all things I encounter today. When I get to tomorrow I’ll encounter the same abundant grace. Then the day after that and after that and after that. I’d say this verse just about covers everything.
+original photo by Kevin Dooley
Stephen Altrogge is author of the books Game Day For the Glory of God: A Guide For Athletes, Fans, and Wanabes and The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence. Stephen blogs at The Blazing Center.