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My Inadequacy, God's Adequacy

Every Monday morning, the Blue Letter Bible staff convenes to discuss the week’s agenda and pray for the ministry. We typically begin this weekly time together by reading—out loud—one of the daily devotionals that are available at the Blue Letter Bible website. Yesterday, we read from Pastor Bob Hoekstra’s Day By Day By Grace. The staff was particularly blessed by the day’s entry, so I thought it would be great to share it with you today.

It is a helpful reminder that the whole of the Christian’s life and ministry is grace. The grace of God is not merely for the wonderful gift of salvation, but also for our sanctification and consequent glorification. It is not that God does the work of saving, and then we take over after that. It is His grace through and through!

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenantnot of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:5-6)

We who follow the Lord Jesus Christ are ministers of the new covenant.” The term minister means servant. The phrase new covenant speaks of relating to God by grace. Thus, we are those who serve God by the resources of His grace. Our day by day lives, lived in service of the Lord God Almighty, are to be developed by the grace of God at work in us. What is involved in this biblical, heavenly approach to life here on earth?

The first issue pertains to our inadequacyNot that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves.” So often we overlook our personal insufficiency or try to convince ourselves that we can become sufficient with just a little more time, effort, or preparation. This approach is in direct disagreement with the Lord. God wants us to agree with Him.

Even when we begin to face our spiritual inability to produce the kind of life God is looking for, we easily underestimate the extent of our deficiency. We may think that we are just not able to produce as much as God desires to see in our lives. The Lord has a more radical viewpoint. He says that we are not able to supply anything that He wants to see. Again, God wants us to agree with Him.

The second issue pertains to God’s adequacy“Our sufficiency is from God. The sufficient resources for living the Christian life are to be found in God alone. We are to be the recipients of God’s grace, that is, His fully adequate supply. We are not to think we are the manufacturers of that grace. God is our source of all that is needed for godly living. Once more, God wants us to agree with Him.

The difference between living by God’s supply or by our own resources is a “life and death” matter. “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”Attempting to live the Christian life by our capabilities will eventually leave us exhausted, discouraged, condemned. Whereas, depending upon the Spirit of God to supply the abundant grace of God leaves us strengthenedencouraged, and comforted.

Lord God of all grace, I humbly admit that I have often held a perspective so different from Yours on this subject of sufficiency. I have repeatedly behaved as though the Christian life depended upon what I could do from my own resources. Lord, this has always resulted in spiritual deadness. Please teach me to trust in Your Holy Spirit to bring forth into my experience the full sufficiency of Your immeasurable grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.