Accessing the Vast Ocean of God’s Grace
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez,[a] saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
The great servant of the Lord, John Wesley, used the term “means of grace” referring to spiritual disciplines or habits. Though his term may not be used a great deal today, it is probably a much more encouraging and useful phrase than ‘spiritual disciplines.’
The term explains what using these tools accomplish for us in our lives. We cannot earn grace. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in His mercy and grace, came into this world, lived, died on the cross to pay for our sins, and then rose again from the dead three days later. It is through this work, He made the ocean of God’s grace abundantly available to us.
How do we gain access to this ocean of grace? One of the wonderful tools that is a “means of grace” which we need to give serious attention to is simple yet profound. We might call this a key to the storehouse of God’s unlimited grace. What is that key?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:7-12).
Let’s be wise enough not to come to the ocean of God’s grace in prayer with only a teaspoon. At least bring a two or three-gallon jug! But better yet, bring a tanker truck with a pump!
On any given day, God will allow you to pray as much as you will. In fact, He commands us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Why is it important that we pray continually in obedience to the Lord? So that we may fulfill our calling to be “doers of the Word” (James 1:22). Also, there is so much work in our lives to be done that only God can do. And bigger than that, there is so much work in the world and in the Kingdom of God to be done. We must pray for more laborers to be sent into God’s harvest. We must pray for God to send forth missionaries. We are wise to pray for ourselves and others in the Body of Christ to be boldly giving our time, talent and treasure to the work of the building of God’s kingdom every single day.
God stands ready to do more in and for any believer who is wise and obedient enough to ask for more from Him – a lot more! Why not pray a prayer like the prayer of Jabez every day, and then expect and watch God answer it – every day?