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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
My last two posts (Marriage: Made for Glory and The Glory in Your Spouse) explained how the glory of God is available to infuse you, your marriage and your spouse with divine blessing and power.

If you came away from those posts thinking, “That sounds just too good to be true,” then you need to understand a little more about grace.

God’s grace is the mechanism by which the glory of God is made available to us. By definition, grace comes to us as a free and undeserved gift from God (free to us because of the costly sacrifice of Jesus!).

It can be difficult to get a grasp on this extravagant grace. We want to think that we have something to do with it. We want our own efforts to count for something. But the truth is that our own human striving means nothing when it comes to filling your life and your marriage with the glory of God.

So what DO we DO?

Filling your marriage with more of God (his power, his peace, his love, etc.) is a fairly simple two-part process.

First, we get to know who God is – his nature, his attributes, his emotions, and his acts. We can look to Jesus to see the Father (2 Cor 4:6-7). We can study the Word. We can talk with Him in prayer. We can ask for revelation by the Holy Spirit Ephesians 1:17-23, Ephesians 3:16-21). We can worship.

As I said before, I think getting to know God is the most important priority in our lifelong spiritual journey. And this knowing is more than just head knowledge. It is a deeply intimate and experiential understanding that goes deeply into our soul.

Then, because we have been given a new nature and are now one with Christ, we can believe that all these things that are found in God are also available to us. We can appropriate God’s glorious power to fill our marriages.

Remember, this glory comes by grace, not by human effort. Our effort is not in doing good or by trying to earn God’s favor with our behavior. Our effort is in getting to know him and in believing what he says about us and about our marriage is absolutely true.

Doing That Comes from Knowing

Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not saying that you don’t do good things for your marriage or your spouse. Of course you do. If you read hear at all, you’ll see I strongly believe in doing things to strengthen and grow your marriage. What I’m talking about is the heart behind the doing.

Many who struggle with grace fear that an overemphasis of grace will encourage people to selfishly do whatever they want. To me, that is grace without glory. That’s why I prefaced this grace post with two about glory.

When you truly experience the glory of God, when you see his infinite and sacrificial love, his blessings and promises, his extravagant goodness toward you, it is life changing. It is radically transformational.

This transformation, this renewing of our minds through the knowledge of God, is our motivation for doing rightly in our marriages. It’s not to earn bonus points with your spouse or God. It’s not giving in order to get something in return. It’s not even doing things because you know they are the “right” things to do.

You do things that bless your spouse and marriage because of grace you have been given. You love your husband or wife because you are filled with God’s nature, and he IS love. You lay your life down for your wife because Jesus laid his life down for you. You honor your husband because in God’s eyes he is worthy of honor.

All of this comes to us by God's grace. Freely. Extravagantly.

It is the free gift of God that gives us whatever we need in order to love, bless and honor our spouse in the way God calls us to do it. It is by God’s grace that his glory can shine forth in your marriage.

Do you believe it?


Bill Standish said...

Such wonderfully practical realities rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus. He truly does awesome work in our hearts which then are freed up to outward expressions of inward reality. Grace indeed!

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