Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
You are not going to get through life without hard times, but you can get through life without the hard times destroying you if you have God’s grace with you. Grace can be likened to many illustrations. Grace is the air conditioner that keeps you cool on a hot summer day. Grace is the umbrella that keeps you dry when it is raining. Grace is the shelter from the storm that keeps you being and doing what you are supposed to do despite the outside circumstances. In other words, you can’t stop the heat of summer, but you can stay in the grace of the air conditioner and stay cool. You can’t stop the rain from falling, but you can stay dry and continue to do what you need to do outside by letting the umbrella keep you dry. Likewise, you cannot stop hardships from coming, but you can let God’s grace keep the hardships from destroying your spirit.
Paul shows that two things that are critical to getting God’s grace to shelter you in the difficult times. The first way is to love the Lord Jesus Christ. Love is more than just words that you say, but love is an action. For instance, God says that if you love Him, you will keep His commandments. You love God by doing right. You love God by taking the Gospel and telling it to the lost as God commissioned and commanded you to do. By keeping His commandments you are loving Him.
However, Paul says the second way to get God’s grace to shelter you in the difficult times is to love Christ in sincerity. In other words, it is more than just loving Christ, but it is being sincere as you love Him. Sincerity does matter to God. Being sincere is to be genuine, honest and having no pretense. In other words, being sincere is having no ulterior motives for serving God because serving God is who you are. You will find that God’s grace is there to shelter you from life’s hardships when you are real, and Christian living is your makeup or character.
With this in mind, there are a couple of observations you need to notice about getting God’s grace with you. First, you can love God but not love Him in sincerity, and you won’t find God’s grace to shelter you from the hard times. To say you love God is not enough. Many people say they love God, but their life and lifestyle say differently. If you love God, you will do right more than just on Sunday when you go to church. Christianity is a 24/365-day choice and lifestyle, not a weekend penance to appease your conscience that you love God.
Second, you can be sincere and not love God, and you won’t find God’s grace to shelter you in the storm. There are many sincere people, but their sincerity doesn’t turn into action. You can be sincere about obeying God, but your sincerity means nothing if you don’t obey Him. You should be sincere in heart, motives, and mindsets, but you need to turn your sincerity into action if you are going to have God’s grace to shelter you from life’s storms that come your way.
Do you love God? In other words, are you obeying all that He tells you to do? Are you sincere and obeying Him? You are going to need God’s grace to help you in those times when life’s storms come your way, but that grace is only experienced by those who not only love Christ, but love Him in sincerity.