Monday, March 31, 2014

A Grace FULL Life

We live in a society that is all about rewarding performance. Work hard and "earn" it. Of course, that's not always a BAD thing. After all, God discourages idleness (Proverbs 19:15). However, we sometimes try too hard or take it too far. This is particularly true in the case of God's grace. It's hard for us to understand because accepting God's love and free gift of salvation doesn't compute. We think we have to "earn" our right to heaven by doing the right things, following all the rules, and living up to an impossible standard of perfection.

God's Word says that it's our faith in the GRACE of God that saves us, not our works (Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace has nothing to do with US and EVERYTHING to do with HIM. It's all about the cross; His sacrifice, His blood. If we could save ourselves through our own works, then Christ died for nothing and we would need no Savior (Galatians 2:21). Do we "deserve" it? No. Does He give it anyways? Yes! Why? Because He loves us; He's a compassionate and gracious God (Psalm 86:15) and His thoughts towards us outnumber the sand!

Our pastor, Larry Sprinkle, listed three ways that God's grace will benefit our lives:

1. God's saving grace removes guilt. - Through the blood of Christ, we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7-8, 1 John 1:9). His abounding grace cleanses us of our sin and He removes them as far as the east is from the west. Think about how far removed that is. Not across the street. Not in the next state. From the furthest east to the furthest west (Psalm 103:11-12). It's gone; like that Casting Crowns song (this YouTube video I found is amazing!).

2. God's strengthening grace reshapes our lives. - His grace gives us strength and sustains us! It fuels us and brings confidence and peace to our hearts that is indescribable! Only God can do that! No amount of self-help from any guru or "enlightenment" can ever compare to God's grace! (Hebrews 13:9).

3. God's sustaining grace removes our hurt. - This is a big one for all of us because everyone gets wounded from time to time. His grace covers us; we are weak but He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9). We just need to allow Him to heal our hearts or the wounds will fester and poison us; resulting in becoming toxic to ourselves and others (Hebrews 12:15). Don't be bitter, be BETTER!

GRACE and peace to you, my friends! In closing, watch the video below by "The Skit Guys". It was featured in church and I have also posted about them before (I just can't find the post for some reason lol). They have a real talent for illustrating Biblical concepts! Lay down your pride, surrender, and accept from God what you can't attain on your own. Be infused...with STRENGTH and GRACE! God bless you!

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