And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord (Acts 11:21-23 NKJV).
In the account above, we see something interesting about grace. We're told that when Barnabas came to Antioch, he saw the grace of God in the church and was glad. However, grace isn't something that can be seen with the physical eye; so the question is: “What is it that Barnabas saw?”
We all know that wind cannot be seen but the effects of wind can be seen; in like manner, grace cannot be seen, but its effects can be seen, and some of those effects are:
- Earthly Blessings
These are effects that can be perceived in the life of someone in whom grace is in operation, Barnabas might have seen these manifestations in Antioch.
Let’s delve deeper:
"But He (God) gives a greater grace... God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NASB). Did you see that? James refers to greater grace, and according to this scripture, one of the key requirements for one to operate in this level of grace, is to walk in humility.
Peter reveals something else in 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV), "...but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” He let’s us know that it is possible for one to grow in grace. He then goes on to show us that grace can also be multiplied. "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord..." (2 Peter 1:2 NASB). How remarkable! Think about this for a moment; when you walk in multiplied grace, the above-listed effects of grace are also multiplied in your life, when you walk in greater grace, there’s a greater manifestation of the effects of grace in your life. What a life!
Then Paul comes in and conveys that there is abundant grace (2 Corinthians 9:8). This, according to the aforementioned scripture, can be made available through giving. God is able to make all grace abound toward a cheerful giver. In other words, your seed can usher you into abundant grace. Oh this is something to shout about!
Saints, be intentional about encouraging grace. When grace is working in your life, home, work, business, church or career, the above-listed effects will be visible and evident to all, setting you apart, placing you above all, causing you to stand out as a sign and a wonder! Blessed be God!
Thank you Father for your marvelous grace at work in me. Your grace is evident in all that I do and in all that's connected to me. My life is a constant reflection of multiplied, increased, great and abundant grace. Lord by virtue of your grace at work in my life, I produce excellent and extraordinary works today and always, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
2 Corinthians 8:1-2
James 4:6 NASB, AMPC
1 Corinthians 15:10 GNT, NCV
2 Corinthians 9:6-8