This one is a little longer than a nano-second, but really encouraged me this morning. And yes, I'm still reading Piper's Future Grace. Some books take me longer to "digest".
Today's topic was the strength and grace that God supplies to carry out our spiritual gifts and ministries. I immediately thought of my ministry of homeschooling to my children. And I suppose you could even say that homeschooling is a spiritual "gift" that God provides (though there are many days when I don't feel gifted in this task at all).
I Peter 4:11b states Whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. Piper notes that the word in this verse is "supplies", not "supplied." God goes on, day-by-day, moment-by-moment, supplying the "strength" in which we minister. The ability to exercise our spiritual gifts in the ministries to which we are called (including homeschooling and parenting) is by the power of future grace, not in any power we might muster up as we think about God's past grace.
Piper then goes on to note that as we rely on this grace for tomorrow, our gifts and ministry becomes grace for others. Ephesians 4:29 says Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. At some point today, or tomorrow, I will be in a position to meet someone's need through the words that I speak or the actions I take. If I am trusting in God's future grace for that coming moment, I will have the privilege to become a channel for God's grace in that person's life. I will experience the satisfaction that comes in knowing that God called me and used me in someone's life.
What an awesome perspective to have on homeschooling my children. God's future grace will always be available to me as I mentor and disciple my children. I will be in the perfect position to offer them an edifying word and become a channel through which God's grace is bestowed upon them.