Fruitfulness on the Frontline – Ministering Grace and Love

Ministering Grace & Love

At Heysham FM Church our current Sunday evening message series is called Fruitfulness on the Frontline. The series is based on the book and course of the same name written by Mark Greene and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. Even though we are only half way through the series,  we are already seeing people released from the burden of feeling that they are not doing enough or that they are not being fruitful. What does it mean to live a fruitful life as a disciple?

This series is based on the 6M framework from the course and book. What I love is from the outset, the course states that this is not another Christian tick list to get you down when you feel inadequate as you haven’t ticked each box in a day. Instead, its aim is to help us have the perspective of what it truly means to be fruitful in our everyday lives – simply by doing what we are already doing!

I had the privilege on Sunday to speak on the 3rd M: Ministering Grace and Love. To listen to the message Click Here

One of the key phases from the book which became like a refrain in the message is this  “Grace doesn’t have to. But grace does. Grace is on the lookout for opportunities. Love doesn’t have to. But love does. Love is alert to the possibilities.” So simply put yet so beautifully profound.

“Grace doesn’t have to, But grace does, Grace is on the lookout for opportunities. Love doesn’t have to. But love does. Love is alert to the possibilities.” Mark Greene -Fruitfulness on the Frontline

As I prepared for the message I was awestuck at the lavishness of God’s grace and love for me and the whole world. That He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure. Jesus didn’t have to come to earth, He didn’t have to die for me.  “Grace doesn’t have to, But grace does, Grace is on the lookout for opportunities. Love doesn’t have to. But love does. Love is alert to the possibilities.”

“There is, … a joyous generosity, a lavishness, about God’s grace.” Mark Greene -Fruitfulness on the Frontline

There is “… a joyous generosity, a lavishness, about God’s grace.” How can I not in light of the cross live a life of generous and lavish grace and love? One of the barriers is that we set the bar as what actually counts as ministering grace and love far too high. In Matthew 25 v 34-40 Jesus shows how simple and practical ministering grace and love can be – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those who are needy. Even something as basic as giving someone a glass of water! Whilst Jesus is primarily speaking about serving people who follow Him the principle still applies. Ministering grace and love can be as simple as a glass of water.

One the things I have been challenged about in preparing the message is about how counter-cultural ministering grace and love actually is. We find ourselves in a world of convenience. Where it’s all about ‘how can I get through life in the easiest way for me?’ We complain about traffic. Despite being British we complain about queues. We complain when our McDonalds order take longer than 3 minutes. But ministering grace and love isn’t about convenience. It’s not convenient.

“At root, whether convenient or not, ministering grace and love is at root about generosity. Generous Living. It’s about taking the focus off ourselves and proactively thinking about how we might help someone else.” Mark Greene -Fruitfulness on the Frontline

“It’s about taking the focus off ourselves and proactively thinking about how we might help someone else.” It requires us not to focus on ourselves – our convenience, but to focus on thinking about how we can help someone else. Remembering that grace doesn’t have to but grace does. Love doesn’t have to but love does. Knocking on a neighbour’s door because you haven’t seen them for a while isn’t convenient but grace doesn’t have to but grace does. Helping a colleague who has a massive workload isn’t convenient but grace doesn’t have to but grace does. Paying for the person behind you in the queue’s coffee isn’t convenient but grace doesn’t have to but grace does. Ministry is love in action.

As a disciple of Jesus I seek to not just know about Him, what He did and said. I want follow Him, copy Him and be caught up in His passion. His passion for people. That led Him to the cross. I want to live a life that shouts to the world you are known, you are loved. There should be a joyous generosity, a lavishness about the love and grace that we show. From a glass of water to whatever it may be, how can you minister grace and love?

I challenge you this week to minister grace and love to at least one person. Intentionally, generously minister grace and love. Remember “Grace doesn’t have to, But grace does, Grace is on the lookout for opportunities. Love doesn’t have to. But love does. Love is alert to the possibilities.”