Preparing to step off the troubled shores of mortality for the peaceable Kingdom home, Jesus looked to John and charged him with the are of His own mother saying, “woman behold thy son” and “behold thy mother.”. With his face painted by painful tears, Paul said goodby to the Ephesians eldership with these poignant, powerful, and pertinent words, “I commend thee to God and to the Word of His grace.”.
To “commend” is to entrust for care and preservation. παρατίθημι: to give or to provide for, with the implication of placing something in front of a person, normally food—‘to give food to, to provide with food.’ (L&N). How are Christians to be spiritually nourished, provided for, shepherded? It is by God and the Word of His grace.
Commended to God is the most secure we can be. To be in the church built by Christ who is the chief cornerstone and the Rock cleft for me. To rest secure on the bedrock of faith. No storm can trouble the ship anchored in the firm promises of God. Notice the greatness of our God’s love:
*Deuteronomy 9:3, “The Lord thy God is he who is goeth over before thee.”
*Deuteronomy 23:14, “The LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee.”
*Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”
*Philippians 1:12, “I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel: for I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Christ.”
*Exodus 15:2, 13, 17, “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thous has guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.”
To The Word
We are commended to the Word of God’s grace. First we remember the Word of God incarnate (John 1:1-4). He is the image of God (Hebrews 1:1-2). To be commended to the Word is to receive an exhortation to comply with the guidelines and entrust oneself to the promises contained therein. “Word” means “message” or “reasoning”.
The Word directs our steps. Jeremiah said, “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing” (Jer. 10:23-24). God continued to stress the importance of obedience to the Word as he commanded Jeremiah to preach, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant that I commanded your fathers….Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you e my people, and I will be your God, that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day” (Jer. 11:3-5).
The Word from God is also a message of hope. At Jesus’ birth the angels praised God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom God is well pleased” (Lk. 2:14). Jesus gave a summary of His life in Luke 24:46-48, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations.”
It is the Word of God, modeled by Christ, inspired by the Spirit, recorded by the apostles and prophets, and held in our hands which gives life, preserves life, and opens Heaven. Never neglect the Word of truth.
To His Grace
Just as the bridge connects Tennessee and Arkansas, amazing grace connects God to man. The first key to understanding grace is understanding sin.
*”All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We are only justified because of His grace (Rom. 3:24).
*Romans 5:18-19, “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
*Romans 6:22-23, “But now you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When we have a better understanding of what sin has done to us, we can better appreciate what God has done for us. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Paul said, ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus CHrist, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:3).
APPLICATION AND INVITATION
What is it that sustains you? The incredible love of God can never be understood, but it can be requited. Are you living by God, for God, with his Word, and in His grace?