AN OVERFLOW OF GRACE

INTRODUCTION
Grace is one of the most important subjects in the whole of scripture because it is by grace that we are saved and it is through grace; through God’s help, that we are able to continue our Christian journey (Ephesians 2:8-9).

THE THRONE OF GRACE
Hebrews 4:16 tells us that God is seated on a throne of grace, and we are all encouraged to boldly and confidently approach His throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. What that scripture is simply telling us is that it is at God’s throne of grace that personal needs are addressed and attended to.

We have so many personal needs we want God to attend to. Some people badly need strength to pray and fast, some need a new beginning; a complete change from how things have been in past years, some are about to make a crucial decision and need God to guide and direct them, while there are people who are in a serious mess right now. It could be a financial, marital or sexual mess and they desperately need God to bring them out of the mess they are in. For some it is like everything around you seems to be collapsing. It looks like your marriage or your business or even your ministry is about to collapse.

Whatever the size or length of your problem or need, I want to assure you that God is seated on His throne of grace and as you come before His throne of grace, you can receive an overflow of grace to meet whatever need you have brought into God’s presence.

What does it mean to experience an overflow of grace?

1. The first thing is that an overflow of grace is an abundance of blessings, testimonies and breakthroughs you don’t deserve.

Matthew 15:21-28 is an example of someone who experienced this in her life. The woman in this passage wasn’t entitled to healing; she was a complete stranger to the common wealth of Israel, she wasn’t a beneficiary of the covenant promise of healing and so wasn’t entitled to healing. Jesus out rightly told her this (Matthew 15: 24, 26); that it wasn’t her right, she didn’t deserve or merit it, yet we saw grace in action in her life and she was able to receive a breakthrough that she wasn’t ordinarily entitled to. Why?

She prayed THE MERCY PRAYER. The prayer for God to have mercy on you is a very simple and short prayer, but we see from the lives of those in scripture who sincerely prayed this prayer that it is the most comprehensive and powerful prayer anyone can pray. In fact, if we understand how powerful this prayer is we would spend more time praying it and less time praying about so many of the things we pray about.

The first thing this prayer does is to remove the sin barrier. It’s a prayer that takes away every barrier created by sin. Isaiah 59:1-2 makes us understand that sin can be a barrier or obstacle to the hand of God touching a person. The prayer of mercy is what removes that sin barrier standing as an obstacle to your receiving your breakthrough (Psalm 51:1). David said he was able to scale over walls by God’s strength (2 Samuel 22:30, Psalm 18:19). The mercy prayer filled David with divine grace to scale over walls of sin that stood as a barrier/hindrance to his breakthrough.

The prayer of mercy gives you victory over your enemies. This is because when God looks upon you with mercy, you are immediately put in a position where your enemies can never triumph over you. David prayed this prayer for God to have mercy on him many times in his life (Psalm 4:1, Psalm 6:2, Psalm 25:16, Psalm 31:9, Psalm 51: 1, Psalm 86:3, 16, just to mention a few). It was because of this prayer that he gained victory over enemies that were coming against Him on all sides. In Psalm 3:1 he said how many are my foes, how many rise up against me. In Psalm 3:6 he said I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me. So he had so many people against him, but none was able to defeat him because all through his life, his simple prayer was for God’s mercy to locate him and that prayer shielded him from all his enemies.

It is a prayer that you don’t just pray once and give up. You have to PERSIST even when you don’t see or get an immediate answer because it is one prayer that can bring about an overflow of grace; an overflow of blessings, testimonies and breakthroughs you don’t deserve or aren’t qualified to receive. When the woman asked Jesus to have mercy on her, He didn’t answer her but she still persisted. When Blind Bartimaeus called out to Jesus to have mercy on him, people shouted on him to keep quiet but he still persisted (Matthew 15:23, Mark 10:48). Their persistence in praying this prayer gave them a major breakthrough.

It is a prayer that singles you out of the crowd to receive divine attention (Mark 10:46). There were a crowd of people with so many issues and problems following Jesus when He was leaving Jericho but it was only one man – blind bartimeaus that received divine attention because he prayed the prayer for God’s mercy. Right now in the spiritual realm, there’s heavy traffic to God. So many people  are calling on God. I pray that today God will hear your voice amongst the millions of people calling out to Him and give you special divine attention.

And of course, it is a prayer that gives you a divine solution to your problem. The woman in Matthew 15:21-28 had a problem. Her daughter was suffering terribly from demon possession. Blind bartimeaus had a problem he was suffering from blindness, but the day the Lord had mercy on them, those problems became a thing of the past.

So if you want God’s grace to fill your life, pray for God’s mercy. Mercy opens up rivers of God’s grace.

Apart from the fact that this woman prayed the mercy prayer, she was A WOMAN OF HUMILITY. James 4:6 says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. We see from this verse that Pride and grace don’t go together. Where there is pride, you can’t see grace manifesting. It is humility that opens the door for an overflow of grace. Look at how Jesus addressed this woman and what was her response. Jesus indirectly called this woman a ‘dog’ (Matthew 15:26). For many of us, that would have been the point that the conversation with Christ would have taken another turn. Our response would have been ‘Can you imagine? Is it because I came to meet you to help me that you are calling me a dog, or do you know who I am, do you know who you are talking to, how dare you call me a dog’. Her response shows that she was a very humble and wise woman. If that woman had responded the way most of us would out of pride, she wouldn’t have become a recipient of grace; she wouldn’t have gotten the breakthrough that came her way that day. I pray that every pride in our life that will keep us from receiving our breakthrough; that will keep us from being lifted to higher ground this year, God will remove from our lives.

 

2. The second thing an overflow of grace does is to give you VICTORY OVER SIN – Titus 2:11-12. 

Grace is not a license or encouragement to sin as some people think. Rather, grace is what helps you walk in victory over sin. When you understand grace your thinking is: because God is so loving and merciful to me, I can’t continue to sin, I can’t continue to hurt and offend the One who loves me so much in spite of who I am and what I do. But when you don’t understand grace, your thinking is: because God is so loving and merciful, because He will surely forgive, it doesn’t really matter if I sin. I can tell that lie then ask for forgiveness after. I can sleep with that brother or sister then ask for forgiveness after. This was the misunderstanding of the concept of grace that Paul addressed in Romans 6:1 when he said shall we continue in sin so grace shall abound. God forbid! When you understand grace like Paul did, like Deuteronomy 7:7-8 and Deuteronomy 9:5-6 explain grace, you would be drawn into a deeper relationship with God (Romans 12:1). It’s nothing but the pure grace of God that keeps us alive not our righteousness, not our security men or security gadgets, certainly not our money. If money could truly preserve and sustain lives, no millionaire or billionaire would die.

An understanding of grace makes you say ‘Lord, I offer my life and body as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to you. You have been so kind, merciful and gracious to me, I just want to please you, I just want to bring you glory’. But when you don’t understand God’s grace, you just keep living for your own desires and pleasures.

Grace is actually divine help being made readily available to escape from tempting situations. God helps us to overcome sin by creating an escape route for us anytime we are tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13). So there is grace; there is always divine help to overcome sin, but many times we ignore God’s helping hand; we don’t tap into His grace.
I pray that this year that God wants to do some very great things, we will not take the grace of God for granted; rather we will allow His grace help us walk in victory over sin.

 

3. Total redemption from the curse of the law – Galatians 3:10-14

God gave the law through Moses. The law can be seen in the 10 Commandments or the first five books of the Bible. Thou shall not murder, commit adultery, covet your neighbours possessions, honour your father and your mother etc. The law tells us everything God requires from us; everything He commands us to do. Under the Old Testament time, failure to observe the law resulted in a curse. Galatians 3:10 clearly tells us that anyone who didn’t keep the law immediately came under a curse. To worsen it, James 2:10 says if you fail to observe just one law, you are guilty of not keeping all the laws.

It is not the law in itself that is a curse, the curse came as a result of man’s disobedience to the law or failure to keep the law. In Deuteronomy 28:15-22, to the end, we see here poverty, barrenness, stagnation, financial ruin, lack of peace, madness and other mental problems, diseases of every kind coming to a person who fails to observe the law.

But the problem before Christ came was that no one was able to fully meet with the requirements of the law that’s why Romans 3:23 says for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said He didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. Christ didn’t come to say the law no longer matters, there’s now no need for you to honour your parents, you can now worship idols, live in immorality etc. Christ didn’t come to say we should be a lawless people who live any how we like or do anything we like. What Jesus came to do was to introduce two things that can now help us live to please God – GRACE which is divine strength or assistance and the power of the Holy Spirit, and to also deliver us from the consequences of not meeting up with the law and one of the main consequences are the curses that came as a result of disobedience.

Before Christ shed his blood for our redemption, we were under those curses that came as a result of our disobedience or failure to keep the whole law. But by Christ death, He broke and destroyed every one of those curses that were hanging on our heads as a result of our own personal disobedience or the disobedience of our ancestors because curses can be inherited. By grace, Jesus Christ has completely redeemed us from the curse of the law. He not only broke the curses, He also put us in a position where we can now be richly blessed in every area of our lives (Galatians 3:10-14).

This is where grace comes in. That we who deserve to be punished, to be labouring under all manner of curses because of our many acts of disobedience, have been redeemed and set free by the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to make a way for us to escape the curses and gain the favour of God. We have been redeemed from curses to a life of blessings, a life of unmerited grace.

When God said in Exodus 23:26 that there will be none barren in the land, God didn’t say there will be none barren in the land amongst those in their 20’s or early 30’s. He didn’t put any age limit or restriction because God can’t be limited by age to do what He wants to do. When you are walking with God, there’s nothing like age is not on your side. God didn’t say there will be none barren in the land only amongst those who have a clean health record, no medical issues or complications of any kind. God didn’t say this because what doctors say is missing in your body, God can supernaturally put there. That’s why He is called the Great Physician. He knows things doctors are yet to discover. His right hand is endued with power. He Has in His hands medical equipments that medicine is yet to develop. Interestingly, He didn’t even say there will be none barren in the land only amongst those that have never made any mistake in life. When God decides to show you grace, the number of times you have had an abortion won’t be a barrier to his blessing you with a child.

All these things are of no effect to God because as Colossians 2:14-15 says Jesus has cancelled everything that has been written to stand against you and oppose your being blessed. This was why he declared on the cross that IT IS FINISHED. He has finished dealing with everything that can stand against our being blessed. The curses are finished.

 

4. Divine strength to keep standing no matter what – Daniel 3:17-18

We see this grace manifesting in Daniel’s life. Satan did everything possible to make Daniel compromise and give up on God but the devil wasn’t able to succeed because the grace of God was so mighty upon Daniel’s life. The first thing the devil did was to take Daniel into captivity; to be taken as an exile to Babylon (Daniel 1). The whole essence while the devil puts people in captivity is to make their lives miserable and to put them in a position where they are stagnant. But even while in captivity, Daniel received a divine appointment; he entered the king’s service. I pray that every attempt of the enemy to hold you down captive, will only result in your receiving a divine appointment and lifting.

In Daniel 6, Daniel was thrown into the den of lions because he continued praying to God after a decree was issued that anyone who prays to any god or man except the king would be thrown into a den of lions. The devil wanted to take Daniel’s life, but God sent an angel to close the mouths of the lions so they wouldn’t harm him. Verse 6 says no wound from the lions was found on Daniel because he trusted in God; he depended on God for grace and strength. You see those that were plotting and planning evil for Daniel could never get him. Instead, they were the ones that became the victims of their evil plans. The soldiers who threw him into the fiery furnace were the ones that were burnt by the fiery furnace. Those that said he should be thrown into the den of lions for praying to God, were the ones that the lions ate up. Divine Grace gives you a supernatural strength and covering that makes you untouchable.

This is the kind of overflow of grace God wants to give us, where no matter what the devil does to make you fall, no matter the problems that come your way, you won’t give up, you won’t compromise, you will keep on holding on to God and serving God. This can only be done by God’s grace not by your might, power or wisdom. I pray God gives everyone of us this grace.

 

5. Divine empowerment to do exploits for God – 1 Timothy 1:12-14, Daniel 11:32

In 1 Timothy 1:12-14, Paul acknowledged the fact that there was an overflow of grace on His life. God had poured out his grace on him abundantly. Because of this overflow of grace, he was able to do mighty exploits for God.

What is an exploit? It is not everything that we do that is an exploit for God. Exploits are things we do for God that will count for eternity. There are many good and noble things we do, but not all of these good deeds whether it is for ourselves, family, church, or people outside the church will count for eternity, that will be recognized and rewarded by heaven. An exploit for God is something you are doing that HEAVEN HAS ITS HAND ON IT, HEAVEN APPROVES OF IT, HEAVEN WILL RICHLY REWARD.

The key to doing exploits; doing things that heaven has its hand on, heaven approves, heaven will reward is a true and deep knowledge of God (Daniel 11:32). That verse didn’t say the people who always come to church or the people who belong to one department in the church, because you could be a churchgoer, you could even be a church worker and not know God. The Sons of Sceva didn’t know God but they wanted to do exploits for God (Acts 19:13-16). 

Grace is multiplied, grace increases, grace overflows as you get to know God (2 Peter 1:2). You can’t experience an overflow of grace without an increased and deeper knowledge of God.

Paul knew how important it is to know God that was why He prayed that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10) . We see from Paul’s life that knowing God brings about a grace that narrows down your activities to things that heaven has its hand on, heaven approves, heaven will richly reward. Divine grace is what keeps you from living a wasted life; from wasting your time and life. Because of this grace upon Paul’s life, Paul’s confession at the end of his life was I haven’t wasted my life and my time: I have done what heaven had its hand on, I have done what heaven approves us, I have done what heaven is going to richly reward (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Grace begins with a relationship with the source of grace (John 1:17). You can’t experience overflowing grace without a personal relationship with Christ, without being born again. It is only if you are born again that you can receive abundant blessings, testimonies and breakthroughs you don’t deserve, walk in victory over sin, live free from evil curses and covenants, keep standing no matter what, and not live a wasted life. So if you have never received Christ into your life, make that decision today and begin to walk in abundant grace.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: creationswap

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