Father, in the name of Jesus, give me an understanding of Your grace in all its truth. (Col. 1:6) Fill me with knowledge of You and Your will for me through all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9). Grow me in knowledge of You. (Col. 1:10). Strengthen me with all power, according to Your glorious might. (Col. 1:11). Give me a spirit of wisdom and understanding so that I know You better. May the eyes of my heart be enlightened. (Ephesians 1:17-18) Lord, I know GRACE is not being understood fully by Your Church....by ME! I want to understand the FULL gift of what You have given so much for me to experience. In Jesus' precious Name we pray. Amen.
Have you ever read Proverbs 31? You may have heard of the "P31 woman." You know the amazing woman who seems to "have it all together." She is loved dearly by her husband and children. She takes care of her family and her household with diligence. She gets up while its DARK!
Maybe you have read these verses and felt a bit intimidated. I know many women who read this passage of scripture and are overwhelmed. They feel inadequate. They question, "How can I aspire to be like her? She does so much.....She seems "perfect."
But, I have never felt daunted by this passage. When I read it I am encouraged, inspired, excited. I don't see who I am NOT (because, girlfriend I have SO FAR TO GO to be a "P31 Woman!"). Instead, I see who I can be!
For me, the key to this P31 passage, and to passages that call me to live a holy life (1Thessalonians 4:7; 2Timothy 3; Titus 2; 1Peter 1) is GRACE.
You see, before I read Proverbs 31, I had already become familiar with Romans 6, 7, and 8.
Too many of us, as CHRIST FOLLOWERS, don't understand the POWER OF GRACE in our lives. We think of "grace" as "going to heaven now that we're saved."
Yes, thankfully and joyfully, grace is the gift of salvation and a glorious inheritance to come! But, grace is even MORE....MORE....MORE!
GRACE IS POWER!
POWER TO LIVE OUT THE PROMISES OF GOD!
POWER TO LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF THE CALLING!
POWER TO BE A "P31 WOMAN"!
P31 is challenging. It is definitely a passage I want to attain....inspire to become. God didn't place this passage in the Bible to "beat us up" or to intimidate us. I am excited when I read about the P31 Woman because I can BE HER! The Bible is window to WHO I can be....the promises of WHO I ALREADY AM in Christ! I don't have to feel overwhelmed by these passages in scripture. "His commands are not burdensome!" (1John 5:3) They offer PROMISE!
It is because I am not "doing it", but the Holy Spirit working in me and through me. "For it is God in me who works in me to will and to act according to His good purpose." (Philippians 2:13). This is GRACE! Grace EMPOWERS ME TO LIVE THE WAY GOD IS CALLING ME TO LIVE!
But.....when I try to "do it" in "Tracy strength", that is when I stumble, feel tired, become overwhelmed, and frustrated.
When I give God control and allow GRACE to "do it," then I am empowered to be the P31 woman or the Titus 2 woman or the gentle and quiet woman in 1Peter 3.
I can be these women because of what Christ has done on the cross....because of who I am IN CHRIST!
I live a new life. (Romans 6:4)
The old self is crucified. I am dead in sin, but alive to God in Christ and am a new SELF, a new creation in Christ! (Romans 6:6, 6:11, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:9)
Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:1)
(I don't have to feel guilty when I don't "measure up"!)
The Spirit Himself helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26)
If God is for us, who dare be against us? (Romans 8:31)
We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Grace is POWER!
I have the same POWER living in me that raised Jesus from the dead! (Ephesians 1:19)
Do I believe that?
Do I live like I believe that?
Do I depend on HIS power.....
or try to stumble around in my own?
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fawning fear), but a spirit of POWER, of love, and self-discipline. 2Timothy 1:7
Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2Timothy 2:1
Ephesians says that God has INCOMPARABLY great power for us who believe. "That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand." Power that can't be COMPARED to anything we can even imagine!
Let us START depending on that POWER. Let's STOP making excuses. It isn't up to ME! I don't have an "excuse" because it isn't ME! God is BIG enough! His POWER is enough! His grace is ENOUGH!
For this reason I kneel before the Father and pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with POWER through His Spirit in your inner being...(Ephesians 3:14) I pray that we will begin walking in His grace. That we are empowered by His grace. That we are FREE in His grace. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.