God's Grace

Featuring Bob Kauflin Posted on January 20, 2010

Awhile back I had one of those beyond hectic weeks. Unfortunately, in the midst of the turmoil I had not taken as much time for prayer, personal worship and Bible study as I would normally. When I got up on Sunday morning, I immediately heard a very sarcastic voice in my mind saying, “With the week that you’ve had who are you to lead God’s people in worship?” Fortunately, I have walked with the Lord long enough and had a firm enough foundation that I knew the right answer. I responded, “No one. Just a sinner saved by grace.” I shared the incident at church and we had a powerful time of worship. It was not dependent on my being good or doing the right things. I am completely and utterly dependent upon His mercy and grace in my life for everything. That is my one and only foundation.

Sometimes I find that I struggle with the opposite scenario. On the weeks when I do spend plenty of time with the Lord, I can have the attitude of being self sufficient. I think, “Of course I can lead worship today. I’ve done all the right things this week; I’ve been good.” At times like this, just as much as in the previous case, I need to return to my foundation of the grace of God. Only His grace, not my righteousness, allows me to minister.

I am not suggesting that time spent with Lord in prayer and worship or the study of His Word are unimportant. On the contrary these things will help solidify the foundation. But these things do not make us more acceptable to God. They may make us more effective in accomplishing His purposes, but it is only His great love and grace that allows us to minister in the first place.

A number of years ago while I was reading Ephesians, I realized anew the power of God’s love and mercy within my life. “...that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17 19). What a statement! Paul is saying that when we begin to understand and walk in God’s love we will be filled up with God! It is comprehending His great mercy and grace that brings us fully into relationship with Him.

No matter how good I am there is still only one foundation: the love of God in the form of the blood of Jesus shed for the forgiveness of my sins in order to make me acceptable to God. If all that I do in life and ministry is not built on this foundation then the structure will never be solid. We are all but sinners saved by the immeasurable love and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.

In developing a worship ministry, grace must be the substructure. As leaders, we must teach and model it on an ongoing basis for those involved. God’s grace is so easy to lose sight of that we must make an effort to keep it before everyone involved in the ministry of praise and worship. We need to continually go back to the love, mercy and grace of the Lord as the foundation on which everything else in ministry is built.
My consistent prayer before ministry is this: “Lord, in and of ourselves we have nothing to offer. But by Your grace and mercy, by Your ultimate sacrifice for our salvation, You have made us able ministers of the new covenant. Let us realize that it is only because of Your love, only in Your strength and only because of the abilities which You give that we are able to minister unto You and Your people. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace!”

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