Tag Archives: Grace

Grace – What’s So Amazing About It?

It Changes Everything

We live on a point on the continuum of time called the Present. We cannot do anything to change our past however we can control our future.

Prov. 29:18 says, “If people can’t see what God is doing,
    they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
    they are most blessed.” The Message

don't_let_your_past-51819In his book, “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader“, John Maxwell says –

“Show me a leader without vision and I’ll show you someone who isn’t going anywhere. At best, he is often going in circles.”

As we travel from place to place, it would be crazy to think we load the car and begin a trip without knowing the destination. Yet that is exactly how many live their lives. In 1996, Linda Ellis wrote a poem titled “The Dash“. The poem is about a man who spoke at a friend’s funeral.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

How are you spending your dash? Aimlessly? Or with vision? Do you have a vision? Is it Grace driven?

After years of living aimlessly, doing things my way, I spent about 9 months unemployed. During that time, I did a lot of praying and soul-searching. God responded by giving me a touch of Grace that radically changed my life. He gave me this threefold Grace driven vision:

  1. Glorify God in all things I do, think and say
  2. Pay attention to my shadow (this is what follows me, it is what I leave behind; hopefully God’s goodness and love)
  3. Use the gifts God has given me to make a difference in other people.

God gave me that vision just before He gave me my last full-time the job at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi. I knew this job was going to be different from any that I had before. How did I know that? Because Graces changes everything.

From Genesis to Revelation, God spoke through visions (or revelations). This seems to be God’s preferred method of communicating with His people. After Jesus ascended into heaven, God sent the Holy Spirit to the small band of Christians in Jerusalem. Acts 2 describes the scene of Pentecost. After quieting the crowd, the Apostle Peter reminded them of the promises from the prophet Joel –

‘God says: In the last days
    I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your young men will see visions,
    and your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:17 (NCV)

When Jesus comes into your heart, you become a vessel where God can pour out His blessings.

In a large house there are not only things made of gold and silver, but also things made of wood and clay. Some things are used for special purposes, and others are made for ordinary jobs. 21 All who make themselves clean from evil will be used for special purposes. They will be made holy, useful to the Master, ready to do any good work.
(2 Timothy 2:20-21, NCV)

King David, the Psalmist wrote:

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4, NASB)

How do we delight ourselves in the Lord? By doing things that please Him. That is my 1st vision (Glorify God in all things I do, think and say). And doing things that please Him can only happen if you know Him in a real and personal way.

Do you know Jesus or know of Him? The Bible says in 1 John 5:13,

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Joyce Myers, Christian author, speaker, and teacher puts it this way:

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died on the cross and rose from the dead to save humanity from dying in their sins.
Christ died to pay for our sins, your sins can be forgiven. And because He conquered death, you can have eternal life — you can know for sure what will happen to you after you die.

But this gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours unless you…

Ask forgiveness.
Believe in the gift of salvation.
Pray to confess your sin.
Receive Christ into your life.

God has a plan for you but cannot reveal it to you until you have receive Jesus into your life. Let today be the day that you receive Jesus and let today be the day that Grace change everything.


Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

Signature

 

Grace – What Is So Amazing About It?

Grace – What it is

Trevor McKinney’s 7th grade social studies teacher, Eugene Simonet, gave the class an assignment – Do something to change the world. Trevor decided to do something really big for three people who need it with the stipulation that they do something big for three others. The October 2000 movie, Pay It Forward, spawned the Pay It Forward Foundation and in 2007, Pay it Forward Day was founded by Blake Beattie in Australia.

Trevor’s idea is close to an example of grace except that Trevor’s idea is conditional and Grace is not. Grace is unmerited favor. In his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace? author Philip Yancey say,

“Grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it.”

Grace does not depend on the recipient doing something as a condition to receive Grace. A better example of Grace would be paying for the order of the person behind you who is in line at the drive through of a fast food restaurant. The recipient does nothing to deserve the gift.

Grace is the one thing that separates Christianity from other world religions. Grace is God’s plan for redemption. The Apostle John wrote in ,

The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

The Apostle Paul said:

I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it. 10 God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.
Ephesians 2:8-10

But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. 22 God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: 23 Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, 24 and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25 God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. Romans 3:21-25a


“Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.”
– Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

Grace – What it isn’t

Grace is not a license to sin! The Apostle Paul; explains it in Romans 6:1-3

So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace? No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin? Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism.

In simple terms, Grace is a free gift from God, given to those who will accept it. There are no strings attached and there are no conditions that must be met or achieved to receive it.

Grace changes the receiver. That change is why Christians do not continue in sin. That does not mean Christians never sin. It means when they sin, they recognize it and ask God for forgiveness.


By the way, April 30th is Pay It Forward Day. Have you been changed by Grace? Perhaps you can demonstrate grace to some unsuspecting soul on April 30th. I would love to hear about that.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

Signature