Athlete, Know What God Has Poured Out on You
1 Timothy 1:14 (NIV)
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
I watched a profound personal exchange recently. It touched me. Two young NBA stars and rivaled peers for years had just clashed in a titanic seven-game series. Their play was brilliant.
Something beautiful happened immediately after the final horn separated the two teams for good. The victor sought and found his rival almost instantly. He lifted his fallen foe from the hardwood floor.
The two gifted gladiators then began pouring their hearts out, with special words and then embracing. They were completely oblivious to others and blind to social distance protocol. It was wonderful to witness. (Thanks, Donovan and Jamal!!)
This postgame exchange reminded me of something else — God pours out too — in abundance. That means whatever He brings becomes enough. His hardwood huddles probe strong. The Bible is full of evidence. And I am witness too.
In 1 Timothy 1:14 it mentions three great things that God pours out in abundance. All of them target us. Let’s take a closer look and make sure we are receiving a full, fresh measure of what God gives.
GRACE: Grace is unmerited favor. God splashes and spreads it all over. The apostle Paul knew he got it. Grace awakened him. Grace changed him.
He was a persecutor, blasphemer, murderer — basically a violent, prideful, dangerous man (See verses 12-13). But he was shown mercy and given a brand new end. He was given strength.
He was given new identity, purpose and mission, appointed to God’s service despite his wretched resume. An unfaithful man was considered faithful. Grace got him.
[Has God grace-awakened you, or are you believing you are either self-made or just lucky as all-get-out (1 Corinthians 4:7)?
Or are you perhaps believing that God’s grace can no longer reach you, that you’re too far gone? Don’t underestimate his wingspan, his reach. And don’t think He can’t pour out enough grace for you. Just ask Paul.]
FAITH: Faith is not just something we manufacture or muster up. Faith, according to the Bible, is a gift poured out (Ephesians 2:8). And His faith gift is better than whatever we can cook up, dream up, work up.
Faith in Him, through Him, becomes sight. It sustains. It endures.
So ask for faith. Simply trust God at His Word and live in obedience to it, like your life depends on it. Follow the Son and it will grow in abundance.
LOVE: God pours His love out too. The best evidence is found in Jesus and seen on the Cross. All doubt about whether He loves us should be dismissed here.
God loves us and proved it best through His Son. Jesus bore our sin before we ever asked, before we ever knew who He really is (Romans 5:8). What a lover!
So follow the Son well and an abundance of love will come barreling along, enough to share with a hurting world that needs it too.
Reflect: How awakened to God’s grace, faith and love are you? How much of it do you really see? Has it been poured out or just rationed to you? Who needs your love poured out on behalf of Christ?
God pours out grace, faith and love in abundance. He fills those who follow Him. Hallelujah!
A prayer to consider: O Father, awaken me to grace and fill me with faith and love again today. By your Spirit, help me follow Jesus well and express these three gifts in poured out passion for others too. In Jesus name I play, Amen.