Grace for Grace

Dr. Anthony and Tammy Adams

Mediocrity can be fatal.  No one chooses a life of mediocrity but many settle for it. This is true, not only in life but in our work, ministry, and Christian experience.  Family members might try to limit our dreams.  Bosses might stifle them.  And all too often, people respond by simply settling into a boring, mediocre life and have lost all desire to improve.  Unfortunately, this attitude can become contagious. Colin Powell said, “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.”  In this article I want to deal with some of the Bible’s teachings about striving for success.

John 1:16 stated, “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (KJV).

God’s Fullness

If you are going to draw water out of the well, then it is important to see how much water is in that well.  When speaking of God’s fullness, Ellicott’s Commentary called it “the plentitude of divine attributes.” Paul told the Colossians that “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:19, NIV). What I am wanting you to see is that Jesus Christ is an inexhaustible resource of Divine power from whom all men may draw.

John used the illustration of a vine and branches. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1, 5, NIV). He is saying that Jesus Christ is the source and power that we as followers draw from.

Grace for Grace

What happens with some people is that once they have entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, that’s as far as they are willing to go. They don’t understand that salvation is the beginning not the end. For example, in John 1:16 it talks about “grace for grace.”  What this passage is talking about is that for every grace that is received, there is a capacity for higher or greater blessings. Consider the parable of the talents. “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:29, ESV). Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8, ESV).

God expects his people to strive for excellence and to go beyond the status quo.  Matthew 5:48 stated, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (ESV). Notice John 5:20, “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel” (ESV). He wasn’t just going to show them some great miracles, but he was going to go above and beyond. This was not just true of Jesus, but it is also true of all followers of Jesus Christ. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (ESV).

Conclusion

I could give many more examples but the point that I am making is that mediocrity; settling for the status quo, is not conducive to Christianity. Paul, speaking of God’s blessings to his people stated, “Now to him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, Berean Study Bible).  For God, good enough is not an option- He operates under the premise of more than enough. My friends don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the trap of settling for mediocrity. God has called you for so much more.

Question: How do you motivate people who are complacent?

(Note: We look forward to your comments. You may answer any, all, or none of the questions. If you wish you can pose your own questions or simply add your insight and viewpoint to the article.)