March 2016

Nikki Ho-Shing

Grace
The beauty of grace, the gift of unmerited favor in spite of our sins and flaws, is entirely humbling, mind blowing, and overwhelming at times. Even in light of that, Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) reminds us that with confidence we are to “draw near to the throne of grace, that we may find grace to help in time of need.” What a comfort and privilege to fall at the throne to receive a gift we don’t deserve.

With this gift of grace, we are reminded that we should both shun the desire to boast and embrace the opportunity to boast. That seems contradictory but it also reflects the realities of human nature. For instance, in Ephesians 2:4-9 (ESV), we are shown that because of God’s immense love for us, even in our trespasses and sin, we are made alive in Him and by His grace we are saved. It’s easy to take grace for granted or as a given or forget that nothing we do can, good or bad, increases or decreases God’s grace. It’s so tempting in fact that our first instincts may be to boast about what we have done to receive favor. That’s how things work on this natural Earth–we relish in the good things we receive often believing they are gifts that represent our goodness. But that same passage in Ephesians gracefully puts things into perspective for us. Before we get ahead of ourselves, we are told “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

On the other hand, we mustn’t forget that God gives us grace even in our weakness. One of the most comforting passages of scripture encourages us to boast as a result of His grace. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV), God makes clear that his grace is enough to conquer all: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It then follows that “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Boasting in this instance, in our weakness, reminds us of the power of God and his grace. He tells us that His works are made perfect or completed in our times of weakness. So instead of carrying the burden of our human weakness, we are to rejoice knowing that we are saved by his grace and He is working all things together for good for us. During the month of March, as we boast in all our weaknesses, confident that at the throne of grace is our undeserved gift, let’s encourage our brothers and sisters to do the same. To The King!

Written By,
Nikki Ho-Shing
Writing Contributor for The Holy Tabernacle
March 2016