February 28th, 2016 – Great Grace

Great Grace!

Are you facing a mountain today? Are obstacles in your way that seem insurmountable?

God wants to display “great grace” towards them!

What is great grace?

Grace defined is the – “Unmerited favor of God.”

But Great Grace is – “The dynamic displays of God’s unmerited favor and power through the Holy Spirit.”

Zechariah was facing a mountain. The opposition to rebuilding the Temple was great.

The people of God had become lethargic and complacent about their calling and responsibility as His people. The enemies of God’s people opposed them vigorously.

Facing the opposition from without and lethargy from within, Zechariah was called upon by God to speak to the mountain opposing him with great grace!

We all know this scripture –

Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”

But the following verse describes what that great grace, the dynamic display of God’s unmerited favor, the power of the Holy Spirit, was directed towards.

Zechariah 4:7, “Who are you, O great mountain? You shall become a plain, with shouts of grace, grace to it!”

In other words, “Who are you, opposition, in comparison to God’s great grace? You are nothing! You will be laid flat before Him as God’s unmerited favor is manifest on my behalf with unmatched, dynamic power through His Holy Spirit!”

That’s great grace! That’s what was going on in Zechariah’s day, and what the Church was experiencing at It’s inception.

The obstacles, the mountains in Zechariah’s way and the newly birthed Church are no different than obstacles we face today.

We see the results of what took place in Acts 4:31, where the place they were gathered was shaken while they were praying for God’s great grace.

They were filled with great boldness to combat their tendency to fear. (4:31)

They were filled with great unity to combat their tendency to fuss and fight. (4:32)

They were filled with great fruitfulness to combat their tendency to be spiritually barren. (4:31,33)

They were filled with great generosity to combat their tendency to be selfish and stingy. (4:32,34,35)

We can’t and won’t be bold, united, fruitful, and generous in our own strength. It’s not by our might or power that great grace is manifest, but only through His Holy Spirit.

The verses here are almost parallel in their similarity to Acts 2:42-47. This was the results of the first time they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Great grace was manifest as they walked in boldness, unity, fruitfulness, and generosity.

The second documentation of the Holy Spirit filling them resulted in the same thing. There’s a pattern here. We will see this again and again throughout the book of Acts. God shakes, the Holy Spirit fills, and great grace, the dynamic displays of God’s unmerited favor, are manifest by the Holy Spirit through His Church.

God’s intention is that this pattern wouldn’t cease after the last chapter of Acts was written, but would continue until the Lord’s return.

Shaken, filled, and empowered with great grace. That’s the pattern.

We are to be shaken out of our lethargy and complacency. We are to be shaken with the reality and urgency of the hour. We are to be shaken with the gravity of the task before us.

The baton has been passed to our generation. We have a job to do. Fear, division, barrenness, and selfishness are not of God, but of the enemy.

If satan can keep us swirling around and chasing our tails with all of that, then he wins and the Church looses.

It’s not by our cleverness or ingenuity that the Church will impact this generation for Jesus Christ, but it’s by His Holy Spirit, His great grace, His powerful displays of unmerited favor manifested in dynamic ways.

We are to be filled, over and over again, with His Holy Spirit. It’s not a one time event, but a continual washing and renewing and filling that needs to occur.

This infilling provides us the great grace we need to go beyond our natural capacity to be bold, unified, fruitful, and generous.

God is saying to us to speak to our mountains, corporately and individually, and declare “grace, grace, GREAT grace” to it!

When we do, a shaking will occur. The mountains of our own making or of satan’s feeble plans will be laid flat before us. Manifestations of God’s unmerited favor will be a regular occurrence.

Boldness, unity, fruitfulness, and generosity will be as plenteous and common as the grains of sand on a sea shore!  

This is what a healthy, focused, impactful, Spirit filled church looks like. Outwardly it can be small or large, contemporary or traditional, big city or small town, white or black, Hispanic or Asian, American or International. It doesn’t matter the language we speak, the clothes we wear, or the degrees on our walls.

If the body of believers submits to being shaken by and is regularly filled with the Holy Spirit, great grace (boldness, unity, fruitfulness, and generosity) will take place and those communities where those churches exist will be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit’s job description is to proclaim Jesus. He’s in us. He wants through us to give witness to the resurrection of Jesus to all who would hear.

This requires great grace! This requires the dynamic displays of God’s unmerited favor and power through the Holy Spirit.

Cry out to God. Be shaken. Be changed. Be challenged. Be renewed!

May everything that can be shaken in our lives be shaken, and may we be filled and transformed with the great grace of the Holy Spirit!

This should be our default language and lifestyle. It was in the NT Church. The pattern was set for us to follow.

Today I speak great grace over you! May God’s unmerited favor, His dynamic displays of power, be manifest through His Holy Spirit.

Be shaken! Be filled again and again! Be empowered with great grace! Be the Church!