Earlier this spring I had the privilege of giving a devotional talk to a local ministry that set a day to close their doors and meet with their entire staff! It was a time to pray together, and to plan and discuss together their priorities for the rest of the year. This was my charge from the Executive Director as well as a joy to the Lord. It has stuck in my heart and spirit and now I want to share it with you!
As I prayed and began to prepare, the passage of Scripture that the Lord led me to is from Luke 22:39-46. But verse 42 is where my heart and mind focused:
39 And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40 Now when He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you do not come into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.44 And being in agony, He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground]. 45 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you do not come into temptation.”
In verse 40, Jesus urged His disciples to pray, knowing that what was about to happen could not be avoided, yet He told them why they needed to pray “that you do not come into temptation (to sin). This is no doubt when they were afraid and in danger, yet He wanted them to be aware of the temptation to desert Him so that they would not take a step towards it.
I consulted with the Matthew Henry Commentary for a broader insight and here is what it said:
While Jesus withdrew from them, and went to pray for Himself; He knew that they had their errands at the throne of grace, and that He had His, and therefore it was fit that they should pray separately, as sometimes, when they had joint errands, they prayed together.
I loved the thought of being on an errand of grace at the throne of grace so I looked to the original language for a better understanding:
Grace = (Gk.) charis
This is the divine influence upon your heart which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, loveliness & charm.
The gift of faith was given to us by our Heavenly Father extending His grace (divine influence) to us!
These are ERRANDS OF GRACE:
We go to the throne of grace;
To obtain God’s grace;
For people that need God’s grace!
We go to the throne of grace
(to our Source for divine influence from our Heavenly Father)
To obtain God’s grace
(to receive His joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, loveliness, and charm)
For people that need God’s grace!
(to be able to share His gift with others)
Just like the people that I was sharing with, it serves us well to consider that who we are, what, how, and why we do things, may be the RESULT of an ERRAND OF GRACE from someone who cared enough to pray for us! I know that is true for me!
As I concentrated on all that was in front of me, there were many errands of grace that I was able to recognize for them and myself:
For them - I was able to share with them from a grateful heart why their ministry had been so important in my personal life as well as the countless other stories that I have heard for many years of their investment within our community!
For me - I realized how grateful I am that God is our source! It’s important to thank Him for His grace at work in our lives, and give thanks for the people He has put in our lives. It’s important to tell others how much they mean to us and why! Everyone needs to know how their investments into our lives make us better!
For them - I was able to look from the outside-in, and encourage them in how the mission and vision of the ministry would guide them as they continue to be a blessing to our region, to walk out new plans that they were preparing to discuss, and decisions they would be making!
For me - I realized I need to think about my personal mission in life and the value of not doing life or ministry alone. We were created on purpose for a purpose, and designed for relationships. Sometimes we need the perspective of trusted people in our lives to both affirm us AND challenge us in what is next!
For them - The growth that they are experiencing is directly connected to the results from the errands of grace (prayers and work) of those who came before them!
For me - I need to understand that the prayers of those who prayed for me and took care of me have contributed to the person that I am growing to be today. Likewise, my errands of grace, at the throne of grace, in and for the lives of others will have an effect on their growth.
For them - A challenge to consider what kind of investments to make now that will support new growth and changes in the future.
For me - I believe this applies to each and every follower of Christ. The challenges that we face on a daily basis can literally suck the life out of us, steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our faith in God. The decisions that weigh on us as we consider their impact on our future can be overwhelming. It can be a real concern if we don’t consider the cost and choose to continue on as before.
Something to think about:
*Everyday that we are alive can be the start of a new season of ministry and growth that comes with opportunities. Pray about what is next for you and what kind of errands of grace and for who, you will go on!
*Just as Jesus encouraged His disciples to pray during His agony in the garden, understand that errands of grace are especially appropriate when we, or someone we may know is in agony. The stronger the agonies, may our prayers be more lively and frequent to obtain God’s grace for ourselves and others!
*As followers of Christ, it is timely and appropriate to go on errands of grace to the throne of grace both individually and corporately. It is an opportunity to seek the Lord for all that is needed to endure.
ERRANDS OF GRACE:
You can’t ask for more than God can give - His supply is unlimited!
There is no wrong time or limit to the number of times in a day that you can go on an errand of grace
- His throne is always open to His children!
God’s grace at work in and through you, will be a blessing to others while you believe for them
- His grace is sufficient for those who believe!