Posts Tagged ‘ Grace ’

Get Real!

Search me, O God, and know my heart… Psalm 139:23 NRSV

BusinessmanSome people are hard to read. They seldom speak their minds, and carefully guard their public image. You know there is more to them than meets the eye. But it’s hard to peek beneath the surface and get a glimpse of what’s really going on inside of them.

Jesus’ followers don’t really have that luxury. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many of us want to be known. We want to stop being pretentious. We want to be loved for who we are, and become what God created us to be. So we have laid ourselves bare before the throne of grace, and invited Jesus to redeem and restore us from the inside out.

MP900438486[1]How nice it is to be able to live a life that is honest and open before God. What a relief it is to not have to pretend or put on false fronts. What a joy it is to be a real and genuine person!

Today we can continue to pray the prayer the psalmist prayed. We can get real with God. We can continue to invite God to look into the inner recesses of our hearts and minds. We can continue to allow God to know us, and shape and mold us.

So why not invite God to take a look inside? Let God meet you where you really are. Then just watch what God’s grace can do!

 

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Grace That’s Truly Amazing

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NRSV

By definition, grace is amazing. It’s amazing because it’s undeserved. But that’s just the beginning.

If I got a gift that I didn’t want or need, the gift would be of little value or use. Even though I didn’t deserve it, it didn’t really impress me as amazing.

beautiful girl portraitGod’s grace is amazing not just because it is freely given, but also because of what it does. Even when we least deserve it, God steps in with grace to heal and lift, to cleanse and renew, to encourage and strengthen, to guard and to guide, and to set us right. That’s why God’s grace is so amazing!

This idea is powerfully illustrated in today’s video. You will hear the familiar words of amazing grace, while seeing what makes that grace so incredible. Please click here for the video.

Then take a moment to thank God for the grace given you, and its transforming work in your life!

It’s Enough

…a thorn was given me in the flesh…Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, …I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NRSV

When I’m in trouble, I want an answer from God. Not only that, I don’t really want just any answer, I want the answer I’m looking for. When I’m sick, I want to be healed. When I’m low, I want want to be lifted up. When I’ve got a problem, I want a solution.

But God knows best, and sometimes having God’s grace is all I really need. It’s not necessarily what I want, but it’s what I most need. And honestly, having what I need is really all I need. It’s just enough!

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Things That Count

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Corinthians 13:13 NRSV

MP900180108[1] Paul had lots to say to his brothers and sisters in the faith at Corinth. His words to them were, at times, sharply critical. He was also instructive and encouraging. But in the end, Paul pointed them to what really mattered.

Paul had a deep love for these people, and a true burden for the preservation of their faith. So point by point he addressed his concerns with them. He took issue with their sinful practices. He exhorted them to remain faithful, and encouraged them to stay true to Jesus Christ.

Remain faithful. Stay true.

Then, as his letter drew to a close,  Paul left the  MP900400145[1]Christians of Corinth three things. These changed the tenor and focus of his whole letter. They made it clear that despite the fact that the Corinthians had a lot of work to do, their attention needed to stay God-ward. Their faith needed to remain grounded in their relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.

That tells me having the grace of Jesus Christ is what really counts. Knowing about and receiving that undeserved merit that only our Savior offers, is the key to real Christian living. Accepting daily his gifts of forgiveness, redemption, renewal and new life must be the pivot point around which our lives revolve. Grace is the fuel we must depend on for living the Christian life!

Grace gives new life.

MP900438486[1] But grace is just the beginning. We don’t just need Christ’s favor; we need God’s love too. Our heavenly Father looks at us through eyes of loving devotion. He knows who we are, and sees us as we can be. God also draws near to us and walks with us in a covenant relationship of love.

The truth is God is love. God acts out of love and God seeks our love and devotion. If we accept God’s love, it will redeem us, and renew us for a life of love and service. So grace and love go hand in hand.

God acts out of love and seeks our love.

MP900409036[1] Not only do grace and love go hand in hand, they make possible the communion of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing more important than God’s own Spirit being present and active in our lives. It is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that makes the presence of God palpable and the power of God available to us. The Holy Spirit renews our minds, equips us for service, comforts us in trials and sustains us in every challenge.

So what matters most is acknowledging God’s love, accepting Christ’s grace and submitting to the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who do will enjoy true peace, real joy and life transforming faith!

Accept grace, give love and submit to the Spirit!

Prayer:

Redeemer and Friend, what matters most is acknowledging your love, accepting your grace and living in the Spirit. Help me to make you the pivot point around which my life revolves. Keep me grounded in those things that will renew and remake me into the person you created me to be!

Amen.

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Touched & Transformed

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… 1John 1:3 NRSV

Religion can do many things for people. Some turn to religion to find meaning and purpose. Others look to escape the harsh realities of life. That’s good because most religions offer ways to find meaning, and techniques designed to distract us from the daily grind.

But I don’t follow Jesus to to find myself or to anesthetize myself from pain. I follow Jesus because he offers me God’s love. Even though I don’t deserve that love, he gives it anyway.

We are As a grateful recipient of God’s grace and Jesus’ love, I can truly say that I have been not just changed, but I’ve been transformed. Nothing in my life has touched me so deeply, or changed me so completely, as God’s grace given through Jesus Christ.

That’s why I follow Jesus. What about you? What motivates your faith? Have you allowed God’s grace to touch you, and Jesus’ love to transform you? There is no greater love and no more abundant grace to be found.

Let Jesus touch and transform you today!

The Best Way

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Hebrews 10:18 NRSV

MP900178811[1] “What can I do to make up for what I’ve done?” That’s a question we’ve all asked. When we make a mistake, cause a problem or hurt someone, we want to want to right our wrong. We want to make up for the troubled we caused.

So we try to find ways to undo what we have done. We apologize. We make promises to change our ways. Then we do things to make amends. All of that makes good sense, and can help restore broken relationships and lost trust.

Pad of Paper & Pen The only problem is that whole approach tends to turn life into a score card. Every mistake and every misstep gets recorded and awaits some corresponding act of restitution. Of course, if  all our wrongs were recorded we  would be quickly overwhelmed by the enormity of what we owe. We would be enslaved to a never ending quest to pay off our mounting debts. There’s just no offering big enough, and no apology long enough to undo what we have done.

We owe an enormous debt.

That’s where forgiveness comes in.  Forgiveness wipes the slate clean. Forgiveness offers us the opportunity to start again, with no debts to pay.

In Old Testament times, God gave people a complex system of offerings and sacrifices to follow for atonement. But ultimately the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin. Then, with Jesus, God made the ultimate sacrifice. His sacrifice provided redemption once and for all for all who accept his saving grace.

God’s forgiveness is a gift of grace, given in love and at great MP900382868[1]cost. It is a gift that is completely undeserved and unearned. Therein lies the problem. We need it, but we can’t earn it. All we can really do is to admit our shortcomings, and throw ourselves into the grace filled arms of Jesus Christ. All we can do is accept the unfailing love he has shown for us, and the forgiveness he offers.

God’s forgiveness is a gift of grace.

The truth is, where there is forgiveness of sins, there are no offerings required. All that is needed is an open heart, that is penitent toward sin and receptive of God’s grace.

So what can you do to make up for what you’ve done? You can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You can ask for and receive the forgiveness God is offering. Then you can step forward as one who is redeemed, restored and forgiven!

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Prayer:

Forgiving God, I have fallen short of the mark. I need your cleansing, redeeming, restoring grace to forgive my sins and to wipe my slate clean. Thank you for the love that gives me a new start!

Amen.

Getting God’s forgiveness is the best way to go!

Jesus’ Gifts for 2011

The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 NRSV

MP900433139[1] What does the world offer for 2011? Economic uncertainty and global unrest are all available. But those aren’t gifts I want.

What does Jesus offer for 2011? When he was born into our world, Jesus Christ brought grace and truth with him. When you invite him into your 2011 life, he offers those same gifts, the gifts that give new life!

Before Jesus arrived, what did God’s people have to lead them into each new MP900399041[1]year?  They had the Law of Moses. It provided rules to obey and guidelines to follow. The Law also pointed out the sin of God’s people, and made very clear how often they fell short.

But today, for those who enter the new year with the gifts of Jesus Christ, there is no condemnation. There is just God’s grace and love. There is also a truth that breaks the death grip of sin, and leads us to new life!

Jesus has the gifts you need!

It’s wonderful to know that as we start 2011 Jesus’ grace and truth are already at work in our lives! His grace is the same grace that gives sight to the blind and makes broken lives whole again. His truth is the same truth that overcomes the darkness and sets prisoners free from sin and death.

Grace and truth are dynamic life-altering gifts! Jesus brought grace and truth from heaven to earth in order that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Wow!

MP900440956[1]Now God has given you and me a new year. More importantly, Jesus has arrived to fill that our new year with grace and truth. If we grab hold of what he brings, we will have everything that we need for a joy-filled and God glorifying year!

Yes, 2011 will be the best year yet if you and I embrace what Jesus offers. Accept and thank him for his grace. Spend time with the truth, and live by Jesus’ word. Let God’s grace and truth permeate every part of your life!

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Prayer:

Giver of every good and perfect gift, I need your grace and truth more than anything. Fill my mind, my life and my days with your love. Guide me in the way that leads to life eternal!

Amen.

 Jesus Has The Gifts of God for You!