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It Always Comes Back to Grace

April 8, 2021

graceFor me, the Lord always brings me back to grace.  His grace.  No matter where I’m at and no matter how “good” in my Christian walk I feel I’m doing, its by His grace.  I love this word because God’s grace is the manifestation of His love poured out — and Jesus is Grace personified.  We have nothing apart from His grace.  We are nothing apart from His grace.

As I wipe the slumber from my eyes several verses quickly come to mind of His grace and how they apply to my life.  None can be more special (to me) than this one:

Ephesians 2:8-9 — For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)

We look at faith as the basis of our salvation, but we access faith through the catalyst of His grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9 — But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)

Sometimes we don’t feel we’ll make it.  Those problems or difficult seasons seem to overwhelm us. But His grace will sustain us in and through those times as we press into Him.

Romans 3:23-24 — for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (ESV)

Justified. MADE in right standing and without sin.  Made just.  I heard an old preacher teach it: Just if I’d (never sinned). I couldn’t earn it. I couldn’t buy it.  I’m not smart enough to merit it. It’s only because of God’s love and grace extended to me (and you).

1 John 1:14 — The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus. Full of grace and truth and love for you. YOU were the reason He went to the cross.  He loves YOU.

Acts 6:8 — Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.

Like Stephen, we will see His grace effectual in our lives when we live surrendered to Him.

Ephesians 4:7 — But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

I got mine, you have yours, but all from the same Giver.  It reminds me of when my parents would by me and my siblings clothes.  They paid for them all, but they weren’t all identical.  My clothes fit me and my sisters clothes fit them.  In the same way God’s grace for me is still grace, but suited to me and my own personal struggles. If you don’t have an issue with an over-developed sweet tooth, then His grace given to me to help fight against that inclination wouldn’t benefit you much.

Hebrews 4:16 — Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

This confidence in which we can approach Him is solely through His grace. We have nothing in ourselves worthy of approaching God except through the work of Christ Himself which He extends towards us. Need mercy? You can ask because of Jesus.  Need grace to help?  You can ask because of Jesus.

James 4:6 — But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

It’s not about looking the part. There are so many actors pretending to be Christians. God has x-ray eyes, so to speak, and can see when you’re putting on a front.  He’s looking for people who realize apart from Him they are useful to no one – especially the Lord. Seek Him from a humble heart and the grace you need in the good and bad is readily yours through Him.

Romans 6:14 — For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

The struggle can be real.  Do you have things, habits, weaknesses in your life that you’d like to see eradicated?  Strongholds that you seem to struggle with sometimes daily?  The redemptive work of the Cross is complete. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He meant it. Done.  Fin.  And yet you quickly can recall that last major failing.  The promises (if even only internal) that you wouldn’t be harsh or judge or react impatiently or [fill in the blank] … they haunt us. We go from praytime highs to sinful woes.  But it is His grace that can set us free from the vicious cycle of our old sin nature. Change is a process as is taking a shower.  Not everything becomes squeaky clean immediately and it’s God that is cleaning us from the inside out. Grace also gives us the courage/discipline to never give up seeking His change within knowing full well the outward is changing, too.

Romans 11:6 — And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Works are such a dangerous thing to practice or to thrust on someone else. Works will never change our heart. However His grace changes us inwardly and works become a by-product of the changed heart.  So don’t even try to good works?  Heavens no, but realize it’s not the work that saved you — it was His grace. And it’s that same grace that will continue to work His attributes and characteristics inwardly when we are in relationship with Him.

My prayer for you is that His grace will fill your eyes, heart and spirit with wonder. It is His grace that will carry you and sustain you when everything else fails.  In the best of times or the worst, it is His grace poured out over you that can and will lift your soul. Be mindful to take your eyes off your situation, problem, or heartache and place it on Jesus, the Lover of your soul, who by Grace offers you salvation, peace and hope.

Now the tough part — extend that grace, through Him, to someone in your life.  Gifts like these are too good to keep to ourselves.

— Pastor Rick

From → gifts, God, grace, Jesus

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