God's Abounding Grace May Be Yours
By D. L Moody
Grace is undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God's favor. Whenever we discover this, God will bless us with His grace. And this is free to all.
You will find in John 1:14 that "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." In the seventeenth verse, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Note, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Also, in Romans 5:15, "But not as the offense, so also is the free gift" – mark the little word "free." "Free gift." A great many men want to buy the gift. They want to work their way to Heaven. "For, if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
There we have the source of this wonderful stream of grace that has been flowing through the world for 6,000 years. It comes from the heart of the Son of God. "He was full of grace and truth." He came into the world to bless men – not to curse them, not to make them miserable, not to work men's ruin. He came to give the grace of the Son of Man to us, to perfect our happiness.
We see this in 1 Peter 5:10: "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Men talk much about grace nowadays, but they don't know what it means. We love a man for a little while, and when circumstances arise to make him independent of us, our love cools. It is the very reverse with God. He loves those who are independent of Him – those who are at enmity with Him. There is not a rebellious son on this earth whom God does not love, and whom He does not seek to bless.
See a man's idea of grace. Let a businessman go to a bank tomorrow and borrow a thousand dollars at thirty days, and he gives a note, "I promise to pay." If he is not able to pay at the end of thirty days, he gets three days' grace, and if at the end of that time he can not pay, they seize and sell his store, his house and everything he's got. That is not God's grace. God would cancel the debt, give the man principal and all. God says: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Men try to carry their idea of grace into effect in accepting the grace of God. They try to give Him something for His grace instead of taking their places like poor beggars at the feet of Jesus and accepting the gift. It is free. Let us come to God and ask Him to give us of His grace in fullness.
Who are partakers of this grace? Any man who is willing to repent of his sins – I do not care who he is. He may be the worst man in the city; if he but repents he can have it.
Let us look at Matthew 21:28: "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons: and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard.
“He answered and said, I will not; but afterward he repented, and went.
"And he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir, and went not.
"Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you."
It did not matter whether they were publicans or harlots. If they only took their places as poor sinners at the feet of Jesus, they received the blessing. They took their gift because they took their places as poor sinners. The chief priests tried to get grace upon their own works. Perhaps they would not associate with these publicans and harlots – they thought they were beyond redemption; they would not be seen with them.
You, in your self-righteousness would not be seen walking down the streets with a drunkard. He would disgrace you. But if that drunkard but repents and takes his seat at the feet of Christ, the grace of God will flow into his heart. Those who repent are partakers of grace, and that was the lesson He wanted to teach the Jews. They thought themselves a great deal better than the publicans and harlots, and when they crowded around Him, He wanted to teach them how they could become partakers of eternal life.
God will take you and bless you if you but repent. He can do great things. He can raise you from darkness to light, from lowness to highness, and He will go to the corners of the world for a man, if he has sunk into the pit, and will raise him up. He brought me out of the pit and set me up. It was His grace – His grace that did it.
We must become as beggars – we must be stripped of every particle of self-righteousness. Whenever we do that, the God of grace will meet us and deal bountifully with us.
If you want to be saved, do not say, I am as good as other people, and I am worthy of grace. A good many people speak like this, but the Lord does not save them. A man does not get grace till he comes down to the ground – till he sees he needs grace. When a man stoops to the dust and acknowledges that he needs mercy, then it is that the Lord will give him a blessing. If you are ready to partake of grace, you have not to atone for your sin – you have to accept of Christ's atonement. What you need to do is to cry, "God, have mercy upon me!" That is the way to receive the blessing.
We are saved, not by good deeds or good works. We work from the cross, not toward it. We work because we are saved, not to be saved. No man or woman has ever been saved who has been trying to save himself or herself.
You do not work for salvation, but work day and night after you have it. Get it first before you do anything, but do not try to get it yourself. Paul says in Ephesians: "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God" – it is the gift of God – "Not of works, lest any man should boast."
There is one thing we know – we have all got to get into Heaven the same way. We can not work our way there. We have to take our salvation from God. Turn to Timothy and we read: "Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (Eph. 1:9).
"Not according to our works." Not because a man has given liberally to the poor; not because he has built a church or endowed a university or a seminary; not because of our works shall we receive grace. It is a free gift. If a man is unsaved, it is not because he has done few good works or because he has no money, but because he would not accept the gift.
Salvation is a gift, and if you try to buy it you do not get the gift. We must go like poor beggars, and take it as a gift. We can not get it by deeds. It is worth walking round this world barefoot for, worth climbing the highest mountains and swimming the roughest rivers. But this cannot get it. It is offered as a gift – salvation is offered to the whole world.
Grace to Endure to the End
There are many people who would like to become Christians if they had strength to lead Christian lives. They would become Christians if they thought they could hold out. They are afraid they cannot maintain their conversion. That is what the grace of God is for – to give you strength. After it is accepted, it is sufficient to keep you.
"Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace" – access into this grace – "wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:1-2). In these two verses there are three precious words: peace, grace and glory. We look back to Calvary and there, by faith, see the Son of God bleeding and dying for our sins, and the blood brings peace to our guilty conscience. Then we have grace for the present, grace from day to day, and then the next thing is glory, which we will have in eternity.
They are three precious words – peace for the past, grace for the present, and glory for the future. The best is in store for us! We shall see the King in His glory by and by, when we reach those realms of eternal delight, after we have passed through the land. A great many people are satisfied with the finished work of Calvary. They forget about the glory that is coming. Until that time He has left grace to sustain us. If you get this grand and glorious truth in your heart you will not be doubting God. You will not be thinking He can not keep you. He has plenty of power – plenty of grace to keep you – to keep every one of the sons of Adam.
How are you going to get grace? Come boldly to the throne of grace and take it. There is not a poor wanderer who can not come to the throne of grace and get it. And you can take an abundance of it. There is an inexhaustible fountain of it.
There are a good many Christians who are continually brooding over their misfortunes. They turn them over and over and look at them from all sides. They look at the past in sorrow and look down to the future and imagine it has great trials and troubles in store for them, and just sling them on their back and go reeling under their burden. They are not fit to carry them, and they are not fit to work for God.
A man said some time ago to me: "Would you be willing to go to the stake and be burned?" "I do not know that I should. No," I replied, "if I were going to die at the stake God would give me grace to die. Time enough to think about that when the time came. I would rather have grace to do the work I am doing. I do not want to die a martyr's death, but if I had to die, God would give me grace to do it."
A great many people are afraid when they look forward to their dying hour. When they die, if they are Christians, the grace of God will be given to them. My friends, God will hold you, for He says: "I, thy God, will hold thy right hand" (Isa. 41:13).
We must not limit the mighty grace of God. "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8). He has grace enough so that each one of us can be clothed for His service. It is not because God can not use us, it is not because God has not enough to clothe us for His service, that we can not work, but because we do not come and ask Him.
Then give attention to 2 Corinthians 12:7: "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." A great many people are continually praying God to take the thorn out of their flesh. These thorns in the flesh are put there for a purpose – for our good. They are put there "lest we be exalted above measure."
I think there will be more men who will rise up at judgment and thank God for persecution and misfortune than for prosperity. Prosperity has done less to benefit men than misfortune, and we can find that out by looking around. I believe that Paul felt more thankful for his stripes than for anything else on earth. If we ask God for more grace, we can bear all the thorns of the flesh. Let us go boldly and get all the strength we need. God does not leave us to fight the battle alone. He gives us grace to overcome all our difficulties. God's grace is offered freely. We can have it if we will!