What Blocks Grace?

2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

The J. B. Phillips translation says, “…always have sufficient both for yourselves and for giving away to other people.” As I read this I thought back to something the Holy Spirit showed me years ago.

Though this verse is in the context of financial giving, we can still apply it to our lives. Let’s look at some of the ways that stop God’s abundant grace in our progressive sanctification (becoming more like Jesus).

God’s grace is abundantly available to us when we are offended. However in the heat of the moment we vent to someone else. Through our gossip, we invited them into something that was not theirs to be involved in. 

We have sinned against them because we planted a destructive seed. Proverbs 26:22 Amplified says, “The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels (to be greedily eaten); They go down into the innermost chambers of the body (to be remembered and mused upon).” 

Gossip blocks grace, not only in our lives but also in the lives of those we infected. Proverbs 18:8 says, “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.” The literal is rooms of the belly.

Our hidden sin is another way that we block God’s abundant grace for our lives. Here is a definition for character that I picked up years ago. It is what we do behind doors when no one else is around. How do you spend your time alone? Does it exemplify the Lord’s character? Do you dwell in the light or in the darkness in your thoughts and actions? John 3:21 calls us to be light dwellers, “…that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from every form of evil.” When I was small, we never went to a restaurant that was dark inside. My dad used to say that he wanted to see his food. When I was older, I understood it was because he was a preacher of the gospel, he wanted to stay away from all appearances of evil. We always went to family type places to eat. He wanted to uphold his testimony as a follower of Jesus.

Another way that we block God’s grace is through pride, arrogance, and a haughty spirit. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” Do we hate the things that God hates? Do we walk in humility? Do we die to our fleshly cravings in order to live upright in His sight? Everything that we do, hidden or in the open, is known by the Lord. 

I love to picture John 1:16 in my mind when I think about God’s abundant grace. The Amplified says, “For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received (all had a share and we were all supplied with) one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift (heaped) upon gift.”

We are ambassadors or representatives of Jesus. Are your activities conducive for sharing the gospel with others? Hiding our sin causes inner shame and guilt. It keeps us locked up. Confession of our sin opens the floodgates of God’s grace to empower us to be all that He has called us to be.

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