“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” [John 1: 16-17 NASB Version]
It is always a very humbling experience for me whenever I receive something in my life, that I know even under the most ordinary circumstances that it did not and could not have come about by man’s doing. I never see it as luck. It’s not because as some would say, ‘oh you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.’ If it’s an increase in my finances, it’s not because I won the lottery or something of that nature. It is not through some inheritance that my parents or some family member left behind in a will for me. No, not so at all.
The truth be told, I grew up into ‘nothingness.’ It was less than an ordinary upbringing for me and my other siblings – we were categorized among the least fortunate in the dusty, sparsely populated village of Cotton Ground on a tiny Caribbean island called Nevis. My parents had it hard. As a child, I recall being awakened as early as 4:00 am not only to watch them toil in the hot stuffy bakers room, but I was taught to toil myself working alongside them kneading the dough, putting them on the bakers rack then into the oven, with the hope of catching the first sale of the day with hot bread.
It was extremely rough then, especially that I was missing sleep but I have no regrets now at all about it, because now I am most appreciative of small mercies and the things that come my way, no matter how simple or insignificant it may seem to others. I do everything in my power to take the best care of what I have, because I understand all too well how hard I had to work for it, and not only that, the length of time that I had to wait before the things that I dream of having would come my way. I call it God’s FAVOR! I summarize it as blessings from the hands of God.
Taking the focus to what John says in the text, the word is recorded as, “from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.” I wish you to mind particularly this word GRACE. You meet it very often in the bible. You hear it being said often this way, “the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.” But what does it really mean? It is really worth the while to know, because what I’ve come to learn, if a man or woman have not grace, they will be very unhappy people and very disagreeable.
Matthew Henry in his Commentary on the gospel of John 1 and the subject of GRACE says it is, “The blessing received. It is grace; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us. God’s good will works the good work, and then the good work qualifies us for further tokens of his good will. As the cistern receives the fullness of the fountain, the branches sap from the fullness of the root, and the air light from the fullness of the sun, so we receive grace from the fullness of Christ.”
The concept of God’s grace is thrilling beyond words, and of all the other possible meanings that I have come across, here is how I have summarized GRACE:
Firstly, GRACE is synonymous with the word favor – a favor rendered by one who need not do so. It is the unmerited favor of God towards us. We receive God’s mercy, grace and favor in our life through the fullness and the abundance of Christ only. There is nothing that we could possibly do in this life nor in the life to come that we could claim to have earned GRACE, nor are we deserving of it, given the sinful nature of mankind. GRACE is the gift of God to us, so rich and so invaluable!
Aren’t you very thankful for the grace of God? Think about the last time you felt so humbled, you had no control of the situation, you almost lost out on that job promotion, the bank loan was approved at the last moment when you were already giving up hope that it would be approved, you almost got into that accident, the enemy tried to destroy your life, and you uttered these words, “if not for the grace of God, where would I be?” All that we have, all that we are, all that we hope to become, it’s not luck! It’s God’s favor! It is grace, grace, and more of God’s grace towards us!