Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 20, 2014

Distinguishing Grace

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 33:12-16.

“12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:12-16.

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Favor (or grace) requires that one group of people be distinguished from another group of people. Favor (or grace) is special, not common to all. “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” Verse 16.

Today’s Scripture is not just “dusty” obscure support for refuting alleged common grace; it is part of our lively faith.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6. Faith believes that God rewards those who seek Him, not that God rewards everyone. There is that distinction.

Faith goes out each day with the confidence that God specially loves us His church as His bride, distinguished from all other people. Ephesian 5:25-27. God does not love everyone: God only loves His bride. God’s favor (or grace) to us is special, not common, and we know it because we are distinguished from all the other people.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10.

God only shows “the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7.

“They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” Malachi 3:17-18.

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