HE GIVETH MORE GRACE
When our burdens grow great and we feel we have exhausted our strength, in His mercy He gives us His strength and peace. We can draw on God’s back account of His infinite riches of grace and keep on drawing for there is no limit. That is what the Apostle Paul did. He had an objective, Phil. 3:7-11 – “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (out from among the dead ones).”
He let that objective control his whole life. The Lord told him when He called him – “I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” And Paul certainly did suffer many things – privation, poverty, persecution and imprisonment, but they were only steps toward his objective.
Verses 12-16, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”
Regardless of everything against him, Paul pursued, he pressed on. Acts 26:19, he was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision and hope. His words to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:22-24 are an example to us, “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me (or, wait for me). But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
May we have the same objective controlling our lives and ever pressing on to that end. Phil. 3:17, Paul admonishes us, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample (or example).” When he met Christ on the road to Damascus, he turned from all the attractions of the religious world and followed Jesus. Its fame and honors were as nothing after one glimpse of the Man in glory. Nothing ever moved him to turn from his objective to win Christ. He had objectives before, but they were all wrong. He had a boast and confidence in himself. He excelled in the Jews religion, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, a keeper of the law he thought and a zealous Pharisee. So zealous he persecuted the church of God, going after them, even to strange cities. He was moving up the ladder in His religion. Then he met the Lord and those things that had been gain to him, he counted loss for Christ.
The Lord graciously let Paul know before he departed this life that he had obtained his objective. II Tim. 4:6-8, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” The crowns are “laid up” for the victors who have reached their objective and have won Christ.
In Revelation 4:3-4 we read of a heavenly scene when Christ takes His throne. “…he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders ((overcoming saints) sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” Verse 10 and 11 tells us what they did with their crowns. “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
We read of the time that Jesus Christ will come to earth to judge the world in Revelation 19:11-16, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies (all the saints) which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Are not the many crowns, the crowns cast at His feet in chapter 4:10. HE IS THE WORTHY ONE. All glory, honor and power be unto HIM. Amen.
E. J. Davis