The Election Of Grace
While you are loved, chosen, and blessed when you serve God, understand that there is also a special calling to be the elect of God; Jesus is spoken of in this way in Isaiah 42:1;
Isaiah 42:1 BEHOLD my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Are you a servant of God that His soul delights in? If you are fully conformed to the image of His Son you will be! Please note from this scripture that God will uphold His servant, His elect. Do you desire for God to uphold and delight in you? When you delight in Him, that opens your heart to receive the desires and promises that God has for you. These things have always been prepared for you because … the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. How often we live short of the blessing and multiplying of the promises of God by our fleshly walk. Begin to delight in Him and see these things brought forth in your life;
Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
If you truly delight in someone or something your desire is to do those things that benefit or please them. This allows you to begin escaping the lust and desire of only delighting in, or seeking for, yourself. If you delight in God enough, the fullness of that love of God will then allow you to serve Him fully. The receiving of grace can then allow you to delight in God, and overcome the desire for “me”. That grace can and will reserve men and women for God in His election;
Romans 11:4, 5 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Do you believe there was a random number, without meaning, when God reserved the seven thousand He spoke to Elijah of? God is a sovereign of order, purpose, and clarity; if God reserved seven thousand be assured there was a reason for it. We explored this reason very briefly in Reserving the Seven Thousand; men who will be one in a million for God. Let us also briefly consider who they could be.
After the apostle Paul speaks of the election of grace in Romans 11:5, 6, he immediately declares What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded … unto this day. (Romans 11:7, 8) So we see that there is no exclusivity to all of Israel, but to the elect, the chosen of God, and the rest were blinded. Paul then speaks of the salvation, and then the grafting in, of the Gentiles. The word provides that spiritually they were … grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; (Romans 11:17). Paul does not then exclude all of the children of Israel either, because he then says … for God is able to graft them in again.
There is then no exclusion to the whole house of Israel spoken of in Ezekiel 37:10, 11. What did Ezekiel call them? He does not say they are an exceeding great congregation, or people, or number, but he calls them an exceeding great army! They had been dry bones, but at the word of the Lord they would be given sinews, and flesh, and skin, and breath, and live (Ezekiel 37:4 – 9), that they would know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 37:13). Many have declared this to be only a spiritual word, and said that it speaks of a return of the spiritual demise of Israel. But that limits our faith and understanding of the power of God. There is scriptural precedent for, and by, those brought out of the grave at the resurrection of Jesus;
Matthew 27:52, 53 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
These were not just spiritual resurrections because it says their bodies arose! Paul tells us we will not have the same body in the resurrection, terrestrial versus celestial. As Jesus was the firstfruit of the final resurrection and our inheritance, these could be the firstfruits of God’s great army. Ezekiel 37:12 … I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves could be the army of the Lord of sabaoth! So there is no limit with God, but He can bring them from anywhere: whether Jew or Gentile, whether natural branch or grafted in, whether dead or living, as long as they partake of the divine nature by the election of grace they can be part of the seven thousand, one in a million for God! Consider the spiritual giant you knew who has gone on to be with Jesus: God can restore them to this great army. Faith, grace, and love are in Christ Jesus, let Him expand them within you for His will and purpose! Regardless of how long you may have left in this life, let this exhort you to love and serve Him fully with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength, that you may walk in His righteousness, and be prepared for His use!
Grace Extended Is Not Grace Received
There are three parts to any contract, agreement, or covenant: the offer, the acceptance, and the receiving. Even if it is only an opinion offered, there is no receiving unless the opinion is accepted and agreed to. How often we are bombarded with offers of a “free” gift, and we wonder; what is the catch? We consider what is being offered, and determine if the value is worth what we will have to give or pay for it. If we determine it to be worth the cost, we still must make provision to receive it to complete the deal. This is true even with an opinion. With each offer we may choose to reject it, or accept and receive it. This concept is true with spiritual things as well. You must be willing to receive to obtain anything spiritual. This is true of grace as well.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is not just offered as something you can see and consider the value of, but grace is extended, it is offered completely, and is fully available; but it is not fully given unless and until it is received! Grace can be rejected if you choose the things of the flesh. Oh, if we could only come to the full realization that God never gives us anything but the absolute best for us;
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
If you feel grace drawing you when you are in temptation, know that it will only lead you to that which is good and perfect, for God will only give in that measure: our flesh will leave us with imperfection and things of nought. Grace came by Jesus, and this grace abounds to life;
Romans 5:13 – 17 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one unto condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
We know that in the carnal that which was in each of us was fleshly and failure. We see how it is only by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9) In each need that you have God has a gift of grace if you will receive it. Purpose that you will receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness in everything that you do in life. The grace of the Lord Jesus enriches in every thing;
I Corinthians 1:4 – 8 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Know that in each thing faced in life you may be enriched by Him, but you must receive that grace. The enemy will constantly seek to devour you, and you face the same afflictions as everyone else: seek and receive grace that you may overcome;
I Peter 5:8 – 10 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
II Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
If you go hiking they say you will tend to bear right and can come back to the same place unless you have something to keep you in a straight line. Just as a compass can keep you in a straight line, know that grace can provide the gift of righteousness, and make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. Seek and receive grace that He may be glorified in you!
With every battle (trial, temptation, persecution, task, or ministry purpose) that we face in life there are several options to consider: you can fight the battle yourself with poor or mixed results; you can surrender and lose the battle; or you can receive the grace extended from the Lord Jesus, be strengthened by it, and be victorious!