What Is Grace And Why Should It Matter To Me?-II

Grace, What Is It and Why Should It Matter?

3 Tests For Grace

  • A Husband and wife no longer able to talk, it’s painful to even be in the same house together!
    They’re considering Divorce! Seems to be the only solution!
  • A Young person, addicted to alcohol or drugs or both. Time in the treatment facility, beneficial for a while but found themselves using again.  All seems so hopeless! Contemplating suicide!
  • A Spouse, during a difficult, enduring financial period, while having a coffee with a friend of the opposite sex, words and desires are carried to far!  This spouse and the friend never intended the betrayal.
    This spouse needs their spouse to “Forgive” them.

This spouse, knowing they don’t deserve it… should they be forgiven?
Is there sufficient provision (or Grace) to cause the offended spouse to be able to forgive!

Each of these real life’ scenarios put forth one question:
Where lies the power, the provision to overcome
the death, the barrenness, the destruction taking place,
 and bring healing to these lives?

 

Strengthened And Made Fruitful
“By Grace, Through Faith”

Before I get to far into this,
Do you know anyone in one of the scenarios above? Maybe you are!

But it matters not!

Because,
we are about to see “The Love and Grace of God”,  released into a couples life.

His strength made perfect in their weakness!  He is about to bring life out of death”
and healing where there was hopelessness”

Let’s go! …
In Romans chapter 4 the Apostle Paul is discussing how Abraham and Sarah were asked by God to put all their confidence(their faith in Him)concerning a promised son!

Look at Romans 4:16 with me,
(16) Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends[entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants–

God is saying to them, the wonderful changes, the fruitfulness that I’m going to bring about in your lives, the son and your descendants, will all be by My grace through your faith!’  [I’m asking you to rest in my love for and commitment to you!]

By the way, would you agree that this is perfect for the 3 test cases above?
That this “Love of God”, this “Grace” is exactly what they need for healing and restoration!

Let’s look at verse 19,
Rom 4:19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. [Gen. 17:17; 18:11.]

Do you see how similar the conditions are between the people above and Abraham and Sarah in our text? Do you see their weaknesses, their inability to change a thing without the intervention(the faithfulness) of a promise keeping God?

Let’s look now at 20 and 21 together,
Rom 4:20-21 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, (21) Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.

This is where I bring my thoughts to a close,
Here lies the provision to overcome the death, the barrenness, the destruction taking place, in all our lives!
My dear reader…as  J.F Strombeck puts it in his classic book,
Disciplined By Grace, 

Grace is the unmerited, abounding provision of the unrestrained operation of God’s infinite love through Jesus Christ on behalf of man, especially he (or they) who depends upon Him.

What Is Grace And Why Should It Matter To Me?

What Grace Is Not…
thbefore we answer the question ‘what is Grace, and why it should matter ‘,
let’s look at what Grace is not!

It is not a ‘Get Out of Jail, Free’ card.
In the board game monopoly, this card is used to get a player out of jail without paying the price for his freedom.  Using this card eliminates consequence, or penalty.

Often, when we’ve wronged (sinned against) a loved one, a friend, a co-worker, knowing we’re at fault (guilty), we pray for It, saying Lord have mercy and let me slide this time,  thinking that’s what Grace is for.  That Grace is God’s way of giving you a break because He knows you’re only human, right. As you might know already, this is so… Not Right!

That when you and I mess up… we ask for a little Grace (pull out that ‘Get Out of Jail, Free’ card) and God slaps a little of it on the situation and BAM!, we’re all forgiven and back to the business of life, free as a bird to do it all over again and when we do, well… we still got our card, right? WRONG! Well you ask, if this isn’t Grace then What Is Grace?

What is The Purpose of Grace?
Not so fast! We’ll get to what it is, it’ll only be a little longer okay! But for the moment let’s look at the purpose of Grace, what is it for?  Well, let’s check out Titus chapter 2 and see what we find concerning the purpose of Grace in our living?

Titus 2:11-13
(11) For the Grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, (12) instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, (13) looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Below are three things revealed concerning the purpose of Grace from each verse. Let’s take each on separately

(1) vs. 11- Grace has appeared (come out from God into our realm of life and experience)
bringing with it salvation (a strength to deliver from sin and change our conduct) to all men.

(2) vs. 12 – Grace instructs us (from within) that life should be lived godly (in the will of God and the power of the Spirit), soberly (in a renewed mind, a mind freed from slavery to our fleshly lusts and appetites) and righteously (in a manner pleasing and acceptable to our Father) in this present world.

(3) vs. 13 – Grace maintains in us, an ever fresh expectancy (the joy of living our lives with the glorious return of our Lord and Christ, ever in view) with our hearts eye, continuously on Him!  Finally, last but not least…

You Are Invited To The Throne Of Grace
There is one last, but I believe the most important purpose of Grace,  ‘Access To The Throne of God our Father’,
“To The Throne of Grace”!  You might be saying, what’s the big deal? I don’t quite understand what you mean.

So let me explain! By the way, you probably remember reading this. It’s in Genesis 3:1-24 and I call it,  ‘The Time Of The Terrible Separation and Broken Hearts’!  When the serpent, our old and present adversary, the devil… subtly but successfully deceived Eve and Adam into disobeying God. It cost them everything! Sin always does!

In Genesis 2:17, God told them that if they were to disobey it would result in their death, their being separated from Him! And in the last verse Genesis 3:24, at the beginning of verse 1, we read these words, ‘So He drove the man out’.  Hard to imagine isn’t it, that in the Garden they lived in and enjoyed the very presence of God!

Well, thanks for hanging in here with me! And it’s here that I bring you to our ‘Access’, our way back into the very presence of God”, and to again, live in His presence and enjoy Him!  Since it was Disobedience unto to Death, that caused us to be driven from God’s presence, It only stands to reason that it should be Obedience unto to Death, that opens the way, or gives us access back into His Presence!  On now to Our Access!

Our Access
In Mat 27:50-51 we read,  and Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (51) And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.

When this veil was torn from top to bottom, access was given to The Mercy-Seat, The Throne of Grace, and yes, The Very Presence of God!  Our Access… is Jesus!  Listen to what we are told in Heb 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

I end our time together in this post with these words:
A sure way into the presence of God has been has been earned for you. You are invited to draw near with confidence, it here that you’ll experience the purpose of Grace…

Right there, in your Father’s presence… at the throne of Grace, you’ll find Grace to help in your time of need!

Leave your comment, give me feed back.  Was this helpful or not?
Was it engaging, educational, inspiring?  If it is or was, let me know in the comment section and share it!

The next post: We deal with the question, What is Grace?
Hope you join me here!

In His Grip

 

 


Preparation For Deliverance – II

Redeemed And Delivered …

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As we saw in Exodus 12 , our God and Father is focused, having Moses move in purpose with Him to Redeem (to pay a ransom, to purchase,  to offer a life in place of a life) this people He entered into Blood-Covenant with 430 years earlier through Abraham.

To Deliver (a Covenant-God moving in great power, to bring them out from under their oppressor) His People from bondage, to break the shackles of slavery off of them.  [You’re His right, What stirs in your heart as you read this?]

A New Beginning
In Exodus 12:2, God tells Moses He’s bringing and end to His peoples suffering and slavery, listen to His words:“This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.  God is saying, for the first time in 430 years, you are going to walk in freedom, and strength and know great joy! Complete protection and provision, a whole new beginning!

This same plan our Father has in mind for all mankind through Christ Jesus. Listen to 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Enter The Redeemer
In Exodus 12:3-4, God gives instructions for each family to take a lamb for themselves, a lamb for each household. God now reveals that the means to redeem, that the offering for ransom will be a lamb, but also what would make it acceptable to Him. Look at verse 5: ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

This same intent is carried over into the New Covenant toward us, the children of God: 1Peter 1:18-19, knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, (19) but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.   Peter went back in the history of God and His people, to the very instance God stated what made the lamb an acceptable offering to act as ransom/redeemer, in their place and ours!

Listen to what Hebrews 2:14-15 has to say, concerning our redeemer/deliverer:Heb 2:14-15 “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

‘Since the children share in flesh and blood’, that’s you and me. He became one of us so that as a man, through His  suffering and  cooperative obedience, ‘that through death (His cross) ‘He might render powerless’ him who had the power of death.
We have a Lord and Savior that’s more than sufficient to act in behalf of ourselves and our loved ones!

 

 

Preparation For Deliverance – I

Cooperation Through Obedience

We choose to cooperate with Him in preparation through communion.

In 1 Peter 1:13-14 and in Exodus 12:1-3 the focus is on cooperation through obedience.
Our God and Father has a thing in mind, a purpose He desires to bring us into. And it always involves a deeper, fuller revelation of Himself and His purposes!

In Both old and new covenant periods, His purpose is  the ‘Redemption’ and ‘Deliverance’ of His people… from bondage under Pharaoh (the flesh, the spirit of this world)… unto Himself, by an acceptable sacrifice! (which we’ll look closer at a bit later, in the next post!)  In verse 13 of 1 Peter we read the phrase “gird (same as prepare) your minds for action”.

In verse 2 and 3 of Exodus 12 God says, speaking to them in the face of 430 years of bondage, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you!” And in verse 3 “they are to each  take a lamb for themselves.”  In both places the Father’s thought is “give yourself… separate yourself unto me”…this is the action I wish you to take, in complete obedience!  He releases His grace (His Power and Provision) through our co-operative obedience!

By Grace We Are Saved  Through Faith
Under both the Old and New Covenants, our God and Father moves powerfully, as we cooperate with Him in integrity  of heart.  Grace is the power of God exercised in our behalf  to deliver us from bondage, to accomplish His purpose in and around  us and Faith is the confidence we demonstrate by obeying His instruction, revealed in His word and to which He willingly responds!

Fix Your Hope On The Grace
Finally, we’ll tie this all together with the last part of verse 13 of 1 Peter, “fix your your hope on the grace, to be brought to you”, and verse 14 of 1 Peter 1, As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance. Since the goal of God through our cooperation is to deliver us from whatever  is keeping us from His very best, His intended purpose, He asks two things of us.

Remember, the thing we are drawn most to do is respond to how the pain or frustration of a thing feels and then we behave accordingly, making the wrong choices and reaping just the opposite of what we hoped for.

Instead the Lord says, I would have you:
(1) Fix or fasten your Hope on the Grace (my might released in and around you as you place your trust in me!) and (2) keep choosing to obey, not going back under bondage (conforming to) those things I have delivered you from by my great love and power!

I do hope these words are strength and comfort on your journey! I would truly appreciate it if you would leave comments below, like and share this post via the social buttons below!

PS. next post: Preparation For Deliverance (continued)…join me!

 

 

 

In Covenant With God: On Purpose For His Purpose

(18) knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, (19) but with precious blood, as of
a lamb unblemished and spotless,
the blood of Christ. 1Peter 1:18-19

    • You want to experience forgiveness for past sins and taste the joy of the Lord?
    • You want to walk in strength and confidence, knowing peace... as a result in your daily living?
    • You long for an inner, abiding assurance concerning the future of your children?
    • ...to see your family walking in the delivering, overcoming power of an "Almighty, Covenant-Keeping God"?

    1Peter 1:13  tells the saints, the covenant-children of God, just like you to: 
    1) 
    prepare their minds for action, 2) keep sober in spirit and 3) to fix their hope completely on the grace to be brought to them at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  
    We will unpack each of the three above in the next post as we look at
    "Grace Exercised Unto The End"!

    In the meanwhile I'm inviting you to listen to the message, In Covenant With God: On Purpose For His Purpose, on "Encouraged By His Word",
    our Sunday morning radio program on: "The Bridge, 1120 AM", Sundays 7 am and

    4 pm. Just click the bridge below! Also, click here to listen from this website after the teachings are aired.

     Remember go here Sunday mornings at 7am and Sunday afternoons at 4pm.
                                                ...then click the image below

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    By the way, If this subject stirs an interest and encourages you, please leave a comment below and share it!

    Until next post,

    In His Grip

You Believe God Is Real…Let Him Prove It!

He's Our Power To Overcome...He's Our Strength For living

God is real... He's bigger and badder than your problem... then let Him prove it!
By bigger I mean, through the faith He gives, we experience  Him to be greater than our fear! He is our peace in every circumstance! (After this next paragraph I'll share how he proved Himself during the most difficult my wife and I have ever experienced!)

By badder, I mean He power's us through the fear to the joy of overcoming. We come to know Him as our strength for living. But then, what better defines a 'covenant-heart or a Father's love! Take the time and read here in prayer before the Lord (Romans 8:28;Ephesians 3:14-21). In verse 28 of Romans notice what God causes, and notice the
"according to the power that works within us" in verse 20 of Ephesians. Allow Him to encourage you through His word as you read it before Him! 

Our Story: a cancer scare! ...and Our God Proves Himself!

In March of this year my wife was informed by her doctor that he had discovered cancer cells and that he was referring her to a specialist to be certain, and if so, what the next steps should be. While hearing it, It was as if someone had knocked the breath out of me, especially as I watched the fear form on her face!

We looked at each other, held each others hands as her doctor gave us the specialists contact info. Fear and the sense of helplessness, was like an overwhelming wave of consuming heat! That day we experienced what so many had... the dread cancer scare and it's emotional, paralyzing effect!

Even so, at that moment our Father began to encourage us both from within and my wife looking at me, asked: do you sense His presence? We experienced our Father right then and there, taking the heat out of the fire, as it were and being our strength and peace. Surgery and a few months of radiation followed after seeing the specialist.
But in it all, our God and Father, proved Himself in us! He kept us safe and my wife is completely healed! Praise His Holy Name!

Were we challenged to trust Him? You better believe we were? Are you challenged where you are? Is there a thing you're experiencing that's more than you or a loved one can bear alone? Since you're born of His Spirit, having His life in you, He wants to raise you up, to become strong in the strength of the Spirit, to be in you what He is in all of His children... a God and Father that's real and able to Prove It!

By the way, proving the strength and faithfulness of God, through HUMILITY, through a fearful, helpless experience that presses you to acknowledge, trust and depend on God is the first part of a 4-part process of growing up into Christ Jesus, becoming mature children of God, walking by faith!

And oh yes!...
I want to hear how the Lord has shown Himself mighty in your behalf and also, please let me know if this post was an encouragement to you! And if so, I'd appreciate your liking and sharing it! 

In His grip


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He’s Our Power To Overcome…He’s Our Strength For Living!

You say, God is real!, that He’s “Bigger” and “Badder” than your problem… then cooperate with Him to prove it!
By bigger I mean, through the faith He gives, we experience  Him to be greater than our fear! He is our peace in every circumstance! (After this next paragraph I’ll share how he proved Himself during the most difficult my wife and I have ever experienced!)

By badder, I mean He power’s us through the fear to the joy of overcoming. We come to know Him as our strength for living. But then, what better defines a ‘covenant-heart or a Father’s love! Take the time and read here in prayer before the Lord  (Romans 8:28-39); Ephesians 3:14-21). In verse 28 of Romans notice what God causes, and notice the
“according to the power that works within us” in verse 20 of Ephesians. Allow Him to encourage you through His word as you read it before Him!

Our Story: a cancer scare! … Our God Faithful to Prove Himself!

In March of this year my wife was informed by her doctor that he had discovered cancer cells and  he was referring her to a specialist to be certain, and if so, what the next steps should be. While hearing it, It was as if someone had knocked the breath out of me, especially as I watched the fear form on her face!

We looked at each other, held each other’s hand as her doctor gave us the specialists contact info. Fear and the sense of helplessness, was like an overwhelming wave of consuming heat! That day we experienced what so many had… the dread cancer scare and it’s emotional, paralyzing effect!

Even so, at that moment our Father began to encourage us both from within and my wife looking at me, asked: do you sense His presence? We experienced our Father right then and there, taking the heat out of the fire, and being our strength and peace. Surgery and a few months of radiation followed after seeing the specialist. But in it all, our God and Father, proved Himself in us! He kept us safe and my wife is completely healed! Praise His Holy Name!

Were we challenged to trust Him? You better believe we were? Are you challenged where you are? Is there a thing you’re experiencing that’s more than you or a loved one can bear alone? Since you’re born of His Spirit, having His life in you, He wants to raise you up, to become strong in the strength of the Spirit, to be in you what He is in all of His children… a God and Father that’s real and able to Prove It!

By the way, proving the strength and faithfulness of God, through HUMILITY, through a fearful, helpless experience that presses you to acknowledge, trust and depend on God is the first part of a 4-part process of growing up into Christ Jesus, becoming mature children of God, walking by faith!

And oh yes!…
I want to hear how the Lord has shown Himself mighty in your behalf and also, please let me know if this post was an encouragement to you! And if so, I’d appreciate your liking and sharing it!

In His Grip

Next Step: Learning To Walk In The Spirit

What are your next steps?
As you shared in the previous post, during a very difficult time in your life, humbling as it is, you were encouraged by His Spirit in you to listen deeply to what was being revealed to your heart while reading Hebrews 4:12-16.

You experience Him calming you and removing your fear, all the while… you’re overwhelmed by how deeply He love’s you!

You experience His word… living, active, and piercing… the truth (reality) of this  leaps off the page in your inner being and you know Him more fully, more intimately! Since this is how He has brought you closer through His word, by His Spirit… He desires that you  learn to walk, live and master your behavior… here in His word, through the strength of the Holy Spirit in you!  

My Joy is: to come along side you
This site, these posts are to come along side you, to help you grow in the strength of  the Spirit (Eph. 3:14-21), become established in your faith (Col. 2:6-7) and  to walk in obedience to your Father’s will (Col. 1:9-11).

You will meet a number of people, ( you may know some already) like yourself, they are children of God and yet, they worry about everything, they live in continual fear of what could happen in a given circumstance and it is evident to you that they appear to have no hope at all, and it may well be from this single thing…they have not begun walking by faith… learning to walk in the Spirit, experiencing the strength of the Spirit!

Your Hope…through faith in your Father
The Holy Spirit reveals to you in Hebrews 11:1 that it is out of, or through “Faith in your Father”( substance and Father are the same) that you receive what you hope for! Read what Abraham discovered about this ‘faithful God and Father’ of  ours. (Romans 4:19-24),  especially Romans 4:21 -‘fully assured’ that what God promised He was able to perform“!

In the next post we will look together at the process  our Father use’s to “Mature” us to perfect growth in us!

I call it –  “The 4-Part Process of Growing Up Into Christ” (or Learning to walk in the strength of the Spirit)! …and how that relates to you!

 

 

Encouraged To Enter In

You’re standEncouraged to enter Ining at a whole new threshold, facing the rest of your life in a completely different place. Maybe due to divorce, a forced lay off, or you simply need a change, it’s time! Here you are starting over!” In the middle of this change, as challenging and painfully frustrating as it may be…you sense the need to seek the Lord, to come to Him in His word.

While responding to the Spirit’s prompting, you’re prayerfully pouring over Hebrews 4:12-16 and the part your Father brings home to your heart the most is verse 16, that encourages you to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that you may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Now, you’re truly encouraged by His word!

Crossing Your Jordan and Entering In
What you experience as you’re reading in prayer… is ‘His Awesome Presence’, with over whelming mercy and rest with great confidence as you’re brought near to Him by the Spirit and there it is…you’re anointed with it! Great Grace pours over you and through you! You’ve crossed your Jordan and ‘entered Into a fuller experience of His grace’ in the time that you needed it!

You see it now! All the suffering and trials were working surrender in you, causing you to give yourself over to Christ in you, and you, experiencing the grace (the strength of God) right where you are in life! You’ve “Entered In!”