Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
God’s grace toward us is even more amazing and beautiful in light of His holiness! What is God’s grace all about? It’s about the fact that we didn’t deserve God’s love and mercy, but He gives it to us anyway. This generosity isn’t because of what’s in us, but because of His own loving nature.
Why don’t we deserve God’s goodness? Because God is holy and perfect. He doesn’t even have the hint of sin or imperfection. Because of this, He cannot have a meaningful relationship with anybody who carries the guilt of sin. Since every one of us has done what we knew was wrong countless times, we all deserve God’s judgment, not His goodness. Just stop and think about what your life and all of eternity would be like for you if God gave you what you deserve from Him. Take a minute and consider it. Now do you see why God’s grace is so amazing?
God’s reminding us today of how much He’s given us, although we didn’t earn it. Stop and thank Him. If you’ve never experienced His grace, pray to Him now and ask Him to pour out His forgiveness on your life and change you.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; the LORD raises up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous; the LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
How blessed we are to have such an amazing God working on our behalf!
When you are in trouble and things are going wrong, remember who your help is; turn to Him. When you are discouraged and paralyzed with fear or loneliness or hurt, remember who your hope is; turn to Him.
Read these powerful words again and see how God is reminding you of who He is, what His nature is like. If you align your life to Him, if you build your life around your relationship with Him, if you make His purposes your own, then you will experience all the goodness that He is waiting to pour out on you. He will become your “help” and your “hope”.
Every once and a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. There are many reasons she may do this. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind. These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone. So, do you know what the shepherd does? He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer can hear his heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the bummer sheep. He knows his voice intimately. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. It’s not that it is loved more, it just believes it because it has experienced that love one on one. So many of us are bummer lambs, rejected and broken. But He is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heart beat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd.
From Bro. Gary:
At Christmas we all speak of the birth of the greatest person ever. The baby born in Bethlehem who grew up in Nazareth and died in Jerusalem. NOT THE END.
He rose again returned to heaven, and is now ruling at the right hand of God. HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST.
After His humiliation and death on the cross he was exalted above every name, that at the name of Jesus Christ every knee shall bow in heaven, and on earth and under the earth.
Philippians 2:9: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
Philippians 2:10: That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth.
- Jesus is the King of kings
- Jesus is the Lord of lords
- Jesus has triumphed over the devil and holds the keys of death and hell.
BEFORE HIM Kings and servants the powerful and the meek need to bow down and recognize He is Lord. JESUS Has all the authority and power in heaven and on earth.
- His power is irresistible
- His power is eternal
- His glory is incomparable
When we speak the name and speak His word we are speaking the word that thrills the heavens and demoralizes hell. When the name Jesus comes across your lips, all the power of God is set in motion on your behalf. It is the only word you need to know. It says all there is to be said.
THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS !! TO HIM BE ALL THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER!!
Dear Lord, Thank You Father that all we need can be found in Jesus. We pray that we may decrease, and You may increase in all we think and say and do, until Christ is seen in us to Your praise and glory. We praise You and We thank you for each blessed day. May we bow down and worship the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. Jesus, name above all names thank you for saving us. We love You, we praise You, and we adore You. It is in the name of Jesus we pray.Amen
Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know the testing of your faith produces endurance.” – James 1:2-3
It is hard to think of the trials of our lives as a joy. Sure, we long for endurance for we know the race we run is long. But a joy? The athletes who won the Super Bowl trained long hours and were mightily tested along the path to the big prize. As difficult as it seems in the moment, James says we too must rejoice in our trials because they produce endurance for us. O God, help us through the upcoming tests and trials that we may endure, become mature in our faith, and win our race for you.
The Preacher went to have dinner with an elderly widow and found the plates to be, well not too clean. He worked up the courage to ask if he could do the dishes and help clean them. She admitted that they were not the cleanest but were as good as soap and water could do. Having said that she opened the back door and called; “Soap, Water!” Then two dogs came and licked the plates… clean enough!!
Paul talks about cleansing ourselves to be ready for what the Lord asks of us. I wonder sometimes if we just let the dogs of the world clean us, just enough, or if we are truly cleansed by the blood of the cross, white as snow!!
If we confess our sin, He is faithful… and cleanses us from all unrighteousness!!
Pet the dogs, don’t let them do your dishes!!