Summary: God's unmerited Grace given to us is Purposeful. He not only provides Salvation by His grace, but also gives us the power to live a new lifestyle here and now. A Lifestyle that becomes a testimony to His Love and abundant grace.
INTRO: God has purposefully made His grace available to everyone who will exercise faith in Jesus Christ and His Word.
Ephesians 2:8 'For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourself it is the gift of God.'
It is God's amazing grace that TRANSFORMS our lives, our DESIRES, our BEHAVIOUR, and our MOTIVATION. In so doing He makes our Life, our Lifestyle attractive to the world.
His Light shining in us, and through us (Matt 5:14-16), enriching our lives
PURPOSEFUL GRACE: God's grace abounds toward you - so that YOU might become A TESTIMONY TO GOD'S ABOUNDING LOVE; so that the Community in which we live may see and become engaged in God's free gift.
1. SUFFICIENCY IN ALL THINGS
There is a PURPOSEFUL DESIGN behind God's saving grace. . . . . . .
(2 Cor 8:9 amp) And God is able to make ALL grace (every favour and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance. . . .
How does His grace come to us? - Through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
His grace is PURPOSEFUL - He want His children to be self-sufficient in Christ, as a testimony of God's love.
(2 Cor 9:8b amp) SO THAT you may always and under ALL circumstances and whatever the need be self sufficient (possessing enough to require no aid or support) . . . . . . . .
HIS SUFFICIENCY - His abundant provision is available through applied faith. - i.e. our willingness to access what the Father has. (e.g. Prodigal Son - Luke 15:17 'when he came to himself he said . . . . . my fathers hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger'
He came to himself - 'SELF REALISATION' He was staffing because he was not willing to access his fathers sufficiency.
He came to the place where he was willing to humble himself and go to his father.
PRIDE often robs the people of God from "His Sufficiency"
God's desire is for us to be SELF-SUSTAINING in Christ. (that is: in relationship with God through active faith in the work and words of Jesus Christ.
2. ABUNDANCE FOR GOOD WORKS
God will always provide over and above our NEEDS for good works (Hudson Taylor [ Missionary founder of China Inland Mission] - "God's work done God's way, will always have God's supply")
2 Cor 9:10b God 'will supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.'
Faith and Actions go hand in hand
The outpouring of His abundance is purposeful - He wants to touch others with that abundance, so that the "Light" of life we carry will be evident to all - A TESTIMONY to His grace.
Our faith believes His word and acts accordingly: Matt 6:33 CEV 'but more than anything else, put God's work first and do what He wants. Then the other things will be yours as well."
Our INTENTIONAL GOOD WORKS toward others become a TESTIMONY OF GOD'S GOODNESS.
3. ENRICHED TO BE GENEROUS
2 Cor 9:11 'Yes, you will be enriched in every way, so that you can always be generous which causes thanksgiving through us to God.'
There is a big difference between an Act of Generosity and having a spirit of Generosity.
The first is behavioural, the second is an attitude.
You can do an act of generosity and still be self-absorbed and self-focussed, living a self-indulgent life, but you cannot have a spirit of Generosity without being focussed on other people.
Proverbs 11:24-25 (NKJV) There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty.' V25 (NLT) The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed'.
Anecdote: Movie 'Pay it Forward' - Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osmont.
The principle of paying it forward - or blessing others, is a Godly one. - Do to others as you would have them do to you.
God will ENRICH IN EVERY WAY, every avenue of life, so that we can always enrich others with our time, our energy, our emotional and spiritual support, our strength and financial support (where needed)
As we deliberately choose to bless others - Churched and unchurched alike, God's principle of Grace will overflow in our lives.
God's GRACE IS PURPOSEFUL - His PURPOSEFUL DESIGN is that we might become TESTIMONIES to His Love, His faithfulness and His Goodness.
His grace is abundant toward us so that we live in HIS SUFFICIENCY
His grace is supplied and multiplied that we might sow seeds of GOOD WORKS from His ABUNDANCE.
His grace ENRICHES our lives so that we may be LIBERAL (GENEROUS), deliberately and purposefully blessing others as a TESTIMONY of God's SAVING GRACE.