‘You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.’ 2 Timothy 2.1
One of the most striking things about this verse is that it is in the present tense. It is all about ‘the grace that is in Christ Jesus’ right now, rather than what was in him in the past or will be one day in the future. The grace of God is here and now – so what is it exactly?
The grace of God is what we are unable to produce ourselves – God’s life within us. It brings something beyond our own means into the situations facing us. We may need grace to love someone that we struggle to love or the grace to speak boldly when we feel timid.
It is also encouraging that we are told to be ‘strong’ in this grace; in other words to draw upon it and not be anxious that we are calling upon it often. It is not that there is a limited quota of grace and when it has been used up that’s the end of it. Instead, God’s desire is that we constantly draw upon what he has made available for us, so that we can live the life he wants us to live – the big question is whether we will remember to do it. Jesus is with us at all times and in all places, and so is his grace. Whatever your need, his grace is there for the asking.