Archive for the ‘grace’ Category

What would others say your words seem to be seasoned with?

Think about before you try to answer. Don’t just try to squeeze yourself into the textbook Sunday school answer. Think about what others would say about your words.

How do you come off to other folks? Is it like your words are seasoned with grace? Or, is it like you sound almost a if you forgot that you yourself have been saved by grace and forgiveness mixed and blended with the lovingkindness of God?


A Goal of Graciousness

Paul’s words to the believers in Colosse seem straightforward and stern: “Let your speech always be gracious. . .”

Let’s just focus on that for a moment.

Could you imagine the number of insults that would incrementally decrease as a result of maintaining a goal of graciousness?

Can you picture how many souls would turn to us and ask about God if we as Christians just focused on our “speech always be(ing) gracious?”

The wonder is not what would happen if we did set graciousness as our goal. The wonder is why we do not set gracious speech as our goal time and time again.

To Whom Much Grace is Given…

I know that is a poor paraphrase, but walk with me for a moment on this one.

What if we just identified what we have been given much of in order to fulfill the requirement in turn? In other words, what if we looked at it deeper when we read this portion of Luke 12:48? What if it was about much LOVE or much FORGIVENESS? We cannot take Christianity as a robotic religion when He has endowed us with free will and His Spirit, the Helper, to quicken us in response to His urging and imploring us to be different and live differently. We have to accept that God desires us to meditate on His Word day and night.

If nothing else, we can set a course for change. We can determine within ourselves to make the change and seek to keep gracious speech as the gateway to offering grace to others as we go to and fro. In our various settings, whether in line at the coffee shop or at the table in the board room, we can choose to speak to others with much grace as we keep in mind that it was with much grace that God sacrificed His only begotten son for our salvation.

Speak with grace today and every day.

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Think about this concept for a moment.

God (holy, self-existent Creator) grants grace to us (sinners).

[Does that really make sense to you?]

Let’s be honest.  You know that you are not worthy of being “saved.” Just like I know that I am not either.  However, God sees fit to hand blessings out to the unworthy and the unwanted.  He makes something out of the ones who have always had nothing and does good for those who have been long considered no-good, dirty scoundrels.

That makes sense, especially if He would have just let us into heaven and left it at that.

No, that’s not all.

He gives us His Spirit to dwell within us.  He leads us and guides.  He lives within each and every believer.

So, given that bit of information, we should definitely become more bold in our approach with God.  Since He lives within us, let us become more bold in His grace.  Because He is good to us, we should exhibit more boldness due to His grace.

We should get real BIG.

We should get real Bold In Grace.

After all, God saw something in us worthwhile and sent His only begotten Son to sacrifice His life for us.

Let’s get BIG.


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“I remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”
John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing GraceJohn Newton (1725–1807)

Salvation is free.

You don’t buy it.  You cannot earn it.

Salvation is free, but it comes at a cost.

Truthfully, salvation comes at a steep cost.  While salvation is a free offer from God to those who will believe, it cost God the Father His only begotten Son– Jesus Christ.

For you were bought at a price… – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV)

Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorThe Lord offers us salvation as the “gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).  He showed us mercy, not giving us what we deserved for our sins, and showed us grace by offering what we did not deserveSalvation is the ultimate gift of God to the world through His Son’s atoning sacrifice as the Lamb of God.

Smith Wigglesworth Only BelieveLet us truly believe and accept God’s gift with all thankfulness.  Open your eyes to the riches and treasures of everlasting life offered through the sacrifice of the Savior.  Let us who believe open mouths to speak freely about the freedom that we have gained through Christ just as we have opened our hearts to gain such freedom to live in Christ.

    Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
    And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. -Psalm 107:2-3 (NKJV)

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Zondervan NIV Study Bible37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
– Genesis 45:37-40 (NIV)

Joseph started out the day in prison.  That very morning started for Joseph behind bars.  He began his day with prison as his abode.

That wasn’t how his day ended.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

At some point during the day, someone summoned Joseph.  A message was passed down the chain of command that Pharaoh wanted to see Joseph.  The jailers and guards had get the prisoner and send him under armed guard to the palace to meet with the king of Egypt

Cast Iron Skeleton Key Set Jail Cell Jailer PirateJoseph (The Bible Collection)Imagine the rumors and buzz that went throughout the prison cells that day. Think of the curious looks that must have come across numerous faces as the message was read to those who guarded Joseph that Pharaoh wanted to see the young man at once.  Picture the change in atmosphere as Joseph walked up from the depths of the dark dungeons to the corridors that lead to the awaiting king.  Imagine what must have gone through his mind as he took a step into the presence of the most powerful man in the world, the ruler of Egypt.Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorThe Black Pharaohs: Egypt's Nubian Rulers 
Think of how much God can intervene on your behalf.  He can open doors in an instant.  He can work in your favor without you having to lift a single finger. For those who subscribe to Murphy’s Law, believing that if it can go wrong that it will go wrong, you have to see that God has a law higher than Murphy’s Law.  If you believe in karma, you truly have to see that God has grace and favor for the obedient and faithful.  Karma doesn’t do what God’s unmerited favor is capable of doing in your lives.  When you look at Joseph’s life, you see favor from God on display before men.  That’s the difference God can make in our lives daily.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.- Genesis 39:21 (KJV)

3:16: The Numbers of HopeDown times can the very times where we need to know that the Lord is a “very present help.”  Illness, unemployment, family strife, divorce and a slew of other issues can plague us day by day.  At times, we can feel abandoned. 

That’s not what God wants us to feel.  He does not desire for us to be His forsaken children.  He redeemed us for the price of His only begotten SonLet us not live like those who are without hope as Paul shared with fellow believers through his epistles.  We are children of God as promised through His Son.

Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorJoseph was in the pit, then in Potiphar’s house, and then in prison.  God never left him alone and forsaken.  He showed him mercy.  He even gave him favor in the sight of others.  God could have left it at mercy and that would have been a big deal, but He even gave the young man favor.
The next time that you feel down.  Look around and see what God has provided for you.  Think clearly about what God has taken you through, ups and downs, valleys and mountains.  Let your heart be content with all that God has already done for you.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.- Genesis 6:8 (KJV)

You have to think hard about it.  Verse 8 comes right after Verses 6 and 7.  That’s pretty much a given I would think.  The sequence is important due to the content and the context of the verses.  In verses 6 and 7, the Lord Himself is totally done with mankind.  He is ready to “wipe mankind…from the face of the earth,” as verse 7 says in the New International Version.  Yet, when you reach verse 8, your eyes fall upon words that seem to conflict and contrast with the previous verses.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.- Genesis 6:8 (KJV)

God was grieved, but He offered Noah grace.  God felt sorry that He had even made man and even placed him on earth, but He did find a man who stood out from among all of those who did wicked in the eyes of the Lord.  The Lord was fed up, but He found Noah whom He offered favor. 

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.- Genesis 6:8 (ESV)

Noah helps us to see that we don’t have to follow the crowd.  He shows us that God looks down from on high and sees our ways on earth.  He offers an example of striving for the standard amid those who may seek to cut corners and fudge it here and there.  His example stands out and speaks out to us in an age where the scandals outweigh the success stories.  Do like Noah and hold fast when the rest of the world may seem to go down the wrong road.  Strive to please God.

But the LORD was pleased with Noah.- Genesis 6:8 (God’s Word)

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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
– Luke 17:3 (NIV)
“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realising you were the prisoner!”
Max Lucado
I don’t forget what I have done.  All of the bad that I have stirred up still has its lingering effects.  I try to cover the scars and the tattoos with navy blue and banker’s grey power suits.  I hide the tears that I want to shed for my wrongs behind the dark lenses of wrap-around shades or under the low-riding brim of a fedora. 
Then, always right before I get totally worn out and weighed down, He speaks softly to my spirit through His Holy Spirit.
I took care of that for you already.
I stand in awe, wondering how could that be.
I fight with myself to come to some understanding why.  Why would the Savior do so for me?
Me? I have all of this baggage, though.
I wonder what I am to do without all of this junk to carry around.
But I sin, Lord.
I forgive.
 No, I mean I really sin. 
I forgive.

I am a real big sinner.  I know I do not  please You.
I forgive.
What about from here on and I mess up?
I forgive.

And if it is more? Or, even worse?

I forgive.


And again?


And again and. . .


How long will you keep that up?



Day after day.

Until you make it to your new home with Me.



* Amen is translated as “so be it” or “it is so.” It offers a response of agreement or declared affirmation.

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And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also – Acts 17:6 (ESV)

Paul and Silas were accused of turning the world upside down.  Those who were of the world and unbelief pointed them out as agitators and accused them of using the gospel to stir up trouble all over.

Could the same be said of us as Christians today? Does the world look at us as trouble-making Christians because of what we do in the name of Jesus and with His Word? Have we turned the world upside down with the Good News?

In order to truly turn the world upside down, we have to be sure to have certain things in place:

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He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is love.C.S. Lewis
We love because he first loved us.- 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
He loved us.
He loved us first.
He loved us enough to reach out to us and extend love towards us.
When you love someone as much as God loved us, you will go out of your way for them.
He loved us.
He loved us first.
Since we have encountered and experienced His love for us, we ought to be examples and expressions of his love towards others.  James said it would fulfill the “royal law.”  Paul wrote of what love did and didn’t do.  John wrote extensively on love, quoting Jesus in the Gospel of John and sharing about the “new commandment” of the Master. 
Psalm 136 is replete with a repetitive phrase about God’s love: for his steadfast love endures forever (ESV).  It appears again in Psalm 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; and multiple times in Psalm 118.  What we discover is that God has a steadfast love and a that endures.  His love endures our disobedience and lack of faith.  His love is an extension of Himself towards us because God is love.Study His Word and discover His love.  Study His Word and discover how to love once again.  Discover how to love like the Master.

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And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

We used to hear a lot about knowing better as kids.  My mom and dad would tell say that I ought to  know better, while my teacher would state in the correct English grammar how I should know better.  The point of it all was that somewhere along the line I should have picked up on right and wrong, what to do and what not to do.  As Christians, we learn that knowing better in Christianity comes from knowing Christ first.  As we learn of Him, we learn from him to live like Him.

Knowing better should lead to us doing better.  That’s the assumption and expectation.  That’s the thing that is behind the remark: “And you call yourself a Christian…” or “Ain’t you a child of God?” In the case where someone else forgot, your best option is to forgive.  You are not sure why.  That’s understandable.  How about doing so because Christ forgave you? It’s been hard and people sure don’t make it easy.  Do what He calls you to do.  After all, you claim to know Christ as your personal Savior and Lord in your life. 

I know. I know.  You ought to know better.

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