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Do you know the grace of God?

Immeasurable Grace by Daniel Broyles

Sunday, June 28, 2015

 

Grace has been defined as “unmerited favor,” and from my childhood, I was able to quote this definition.  As I have grown, the concept of grace has grown with me as I am sure it will continue throughout my life. Reflecting, I can see how grace has been there, every step of the way, through the care and actions of those around me.  It all started with my parents and grandparents.  I can look back and see all of the wonderful things they did and gave to me knowing now that I did not deserve a single one.    I really thought that I was getting grasp on seeing grace in my daily life.   And, yet again, I learned yet a more profound meaning of grace.  In March of 2014, my wife and I brought our son home.  I was overwhelmed with love and gratefulness.  What an amazing gracious gift that God has now entrusted into our hands.  This most precious blessing has completely changed what I thought I knew of grace. 

Our son is now a year old, and I cannot imagine life without him.  Every day, I look forward to our time together, and I want to ensure that no harm ever comes to him.  For the most part, with the exception of a few tumbles, my wife and I make sure this happens.  Following one of those near-miss incidents, I had another epiphany.  I still did not comprehend the totality of the concept of grace.  The idea of knowingly letting something happen to my son is inconceivable.  There is no way I could ever let that happen.   But that this is exactly what God did – for the greater good of mankind.  He showed us the greatest gesture of grace — He gave us His son.

We can see in John 1:1, 14 that God sent His son from Heaven to live on earth as a man and to suffer on the cross for our sins.  He made the choice to save us through His son rather than to let us have no option to be with Him in Heaven.  As a father, I cannot even begin to imagine this choice; however, God knew that this was necessary and loved us enough to make this decision.  The bible tells us that we all sin against God (Romans 3:23).  I have sinned against God, and in turn, He has given us His son.  What a very heavy thought!  I am the reason God chose to send His son. 

What an immeasurable gift and sacrifice!  God has so richly blessed us!  He gave me the opportunity to have an eternal relationship with Him through the selfless gift of His son (Ephesians 2:8-9).  He wants so much to share this grace with you, too.  Please let us help you.

Additional Resources
Immeasurable Grace- Bible Study Guide 
Joy in Heaven-Sermon by Curtis Pope 
I Sing the Mighty Power of God - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

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If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

A Youthful Perspective

Grace to Me

By Makenzie Belcher

  We hear the word Grace a lot, but do we know what it truly means? Grace can be defined as many things. But the most commonly used definition is, "unmerited or undeserving favor of God." That describes it pretty well! The ultimate Grace example is God giving his son to die for us. It is by the Grace of God that we can be saved. ”For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV) God decided to give his son to die on the cross for us. He didn't have to, but he wanted to, we didn't deserve it, but he thought we needed it. Because of this sacrifice we are able to be baptized. Our sins are able to be washed away.
  Mercy plays a pretty big role in this example also. Jesus wanted God to give mercy to the ones who were sacrificing him. "There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots." (Luke 23:32-34 NKJV) This is something I don't think I could have done. I would not be able to say that if that was happening to me. I am sure most of us couldn't. That just shows how extraordinary Jesus was. He went through all that pain for us. He suffered on that cross so we could be saved and forgiven. He could've quit and said he wasn't going to do it anymore, but he stayed for us. For that I am forever grateful. This example of God's Grace is something we all know, & have heard of before, but it really is the greatest example.
  You may be wondering about Grace in our daily lives. It is all around us. Here are a few examples. You may have received a gift from someone who really may have not had a lot. But out of the goodness of their heart, they gave it to you. You probably didn't necessarily deserve the gift, but they wanted to give it to you. We may know of someone who had a sickness but is now healed, someone who may have been severely injured but has now made a full recovery. It could have not resulted very well, but instead things got better for them. Those are other great examples.
 Grace can be shown through Random Acts of Kindness. Things you may not think would go a long way, really does. Always act your best. You never know whose life you can effect. "Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." (
Hebrews 13:1-2 NKJV)
  We should always try to be a better Christian. We can never go wrong with trying to improve ourselves. We should work up to where this could be our rightful attitude as a Christian. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (I Corinthians 15:10 NKJV)
  Love is always the answer. If we have love, we will be filled with Grace and Mercy for others that we encounter in our daily lives.

Grace from a Young Age by Andrew Westphal

Sunday, June 21, 2015

 

I want to share with you something that I have never written before. The story is about me, when I was about 10 years old.

Attached to our enormous kitchen was an even more amazing little room we could dine in. But instead of dining back there, my mom chose to do her wonderful china restoration. It was there she would do her brilliant renovations of incredible artwork. Whether it was putting something back together or repainting, it was very cool to watch.

But to a 10 year old, that always seemed like an amazing desk for my artwork. However, early on my mom told me, “Andrew, don’t you get up there and start painting!” That was it. The law had been laid down. It was devastating to me. “But mom, I could make my own unbelievable project!” But instead she would simply say, “Take it to your room. These were too important.”

One evening came around and my parents had something to go to together. All I knew was I was on a mission this night. I’m going in! I made my way into the kitchen, walked to the back, and sat down at her restoration table. I took out a little paint, a little tool brush and a small white ceramic tile to create the world’s most incredible picture.

I cannot remember what I drew, or how long I stayed there. What I do remember is that I ended up bored out of my mind, and I left my belongings behind. Later that night my parents came home, and it didn’t take long for my mom’s voice to ring out. “Andrew!” I came into the kitchen and she said, “Did you paint?” “No,” I said. I looked upon the table and then I heard my dad ask the same thing, “Are you sure you didn’t do this?” Again I simply said, “No.” What broke me was what my dad said next, “Well if he didn’t do this, I’m calling the cops. Someone broke in and played with your paints.”

After I heard that I made my way back to my room. I was afraid of not only mom and dad, but the police too! I was sobbing on my pillow in bed, and I finally called out to my mom. She eventually walked in there and I told her the entire story. “It was me, mom. I’m so sorry. Please don’t call the cops.”

My mom held me and said she knew what I did from the beginning. But what I did is lying, and it is wrong. It’s not acceptable. She told me to consider what I had done even more. I asked her later that evening what more I would be punished with and she simply said, you’ve learned your lesson.

What an amazing story of grace demonstrated to me. One cannot earn grace. It is given to those who are humbled. For James 4:6 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”

I could have been rude to both my parents and received something far worse! I didn’t, and I am so thankful for that. That night taught me a whole lot.

Can you think of a day or a night like this in your life? 

Additional Resources
Grace from a Young Age- Bible Study Guide 
Eli's Advice to Samuel-Sermon by Curtis Pope 
I'm Happy Today - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised

A Youthful Perspective

I Have Seen God's Grace

By Emily Holt

The concept of Grace is hard to understand no matter what your age.  I am 15 years old and this is how I see Grace.

There are many people in my life that are very important to me.  Some of these people are my great grandparents and grandparents.  Each of them play an important role in helping me be a better person emotionally, physically and, most importantly, spiritually.  Each of my grandparents or great grandparents that are living now, have had an illness or medical situation where they could have died.  By the grace of God, I can live this life together with them for longer, despite their past illness or medical problems.

One of my favorite songs we sing at church is called “Lord I Lift Your Name on High”.  The chorus goes: “You came from heaven to earth to show us the way, from the earth to the cross. My debts are paid, from the grave to the sky.  Lord I lift your name on High.”

This song to me is a reminder of what a blessing Jesus is.  When I think of the word Grace, I automatically think of Jesus.  Jesus came to earth, he died, and he was raised to never die again.  Through Jesus’ sacrifice on that cruel cross, our sins have been paid for.  We did not do anything to deserve this.  God had every reason to NOT send Jesus to save us.  God did this for us because His love for us so strong (Romans 5:8). 

This is true grace that affects us the rest of our lives by giving our lives a purpose.  Titus 2:11 says “for the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people”.  The grace of God is something we can take for granted at times.  It is something we do not realize is happening in our life every single day.  If we look around, we can see God’s grace everywhere around us.  How have you seen God’s grace in your own life?

 

Better than Justice, Better than Mercy by Travis Renfrow

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Back in 1942 Superman was billed as the defender of “truth, justice and the American way.” But these days, America is proud to be a land of second chances. For almost anyone, almost anything is forgivable. We forgive athletes when they cheat by taking performance enhancing drugs. We forgive celebrities for their run-ins with the law. We even forgive heads of state whose indiscretions cause our entire country to blush with embarrassment. We don’t always demand justice.

I remember years ago a man closing a church service with a prayer wherein he asked God for justice for each of us. In eighteen years at home congregation, it’s the only prayer I can recall where I withheld my “Amen.” Even though I was a Christian and I felt secure in my salvation, I couldn’t ask God for justice. I knew then as I know now, justice for me means I have to pay a penalty.

I am a sinner.  Romans 3:23 says, “All sin and fall short of the glory of God,” so I know that I’m included with the guilty. I also know what the penalty is for sin, because Romans 6:23 makes that plain when it says, “The wages of sin is death.” If I ask God for justice, then I ought to receive death. So I don’t pray for justice; I pray for mercy.

It’s within God’s divine right to grant or deny me mercy. But it’s God’s divine nature that wants to grant me pardon. Through the mercy of a patient God, we’re delivered from the punishment we surely deserve. But there’s more. There is grace.

If mercy is the love that spares us the punishment we deserve, grace is the gift of love that is much more than we deserve. Bible scholars ascribe several different definitions to the word grace, but all revolve around the idea of kindness or generosity.

Though we can’t compare to God’s mercy or grace, consider this scenario: a con man has come to town and ripped off your poor grandmother. He deceived her and robbed her of every dollar she had. Then he blew it. There is nothing left. Although he’s now sorry and apologizes to your grandmother, he has no way to repay her. While you still seethe in anger, your grandmother inexplicably forgives him. In fact, she’s so moved by his sincere apology she offers to take him in and care for him indefinitely.

Not everyone would understand what your grandmother had done, but those who know grace and mercy would praise her. Now imagine this: the con man was you. Though your grandmother had been nothing but kind to you your whole life, you selfishly ripped her off. But she still loved you through it all. She still forgave you because she wanted to. She would still take you into her home and care for you. She just needed you to ask for forgiveness and to do right.

God waits for all of us to ask for forgiveness and to do right. Scriptures teach us that there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine who need no repentance (Luke 14:7.) That’s the love of God that waits for me, that waits for you, that waits for us all. If you don’t know God’s grace you don’t know what you’re missing. Let us help.

Additional Resources
Better than Justice, Better than Mercy- Bible Study Guide 
That You May Have Life...- Sermon by Curtis Pope 
Faithful Love - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised

A Youthful Perspective

Grace is a Choice

By Lindsey Embry

A guy runs me over in the school hallway and doesn’t help me pick up my books. My brother left his shoes in the floor and I tripped over them…again. My friend asks to borrow $5 and I know that if I give it to her there is a 78% chance I’ll never see it again. My parents ask me what I’m doing tomorrow for the ninth time. I have some choices to make. I could seek a just revenge and tell the teacher about the hallway, demand my $5 back, tell my parents about the shoes, or write a passive aggressive note. OR I could give them all something they don’t deserve. I have the choice to give them grace in the form of forgiveness and patience.
God had a choice to make too. I mess up all the time. I disobey Him and do what I want. But unlike me, He always chooses grace. No matter how bad I mess up, God has promised that if I turn back to Him, He will be faithful to forgive me. 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I can’t ever do enough to be good enough for God. Fixing my sin is not as simple as picking up some books or returning $5, but through Christ it I can accomplish it. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.”

Defining Grace, It's Not So Easy by Matt Finley

Sunday, June 07, 2015

 

Justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you deserve, and grace is getting what you don’t deserve. 

 

Justice and mercy are common ideas easy for American society to understand, because our country is foundationally built upon these two concepts.  The subject of grace is far more difficult to grasp because it is counter-cultural.  Showing grace has the aspect of “everything to lose and nothing to gain”.  Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.  It’s far more difficult to understand grace unless you understand God and His Son.  Let us examine the source, the cost, and the purpose of grace. 

 

The sourceJohn 1:14, 17 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” God makes it known to His people that He is gracious by physically showing them grace – delivering them from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 14), raining bread from heaven when the Israelites were hungry (Exodus 16), providing water from a rock (Exodus 17) just to name a few.  Until the time of Christ entering into the world, God has shown grace to His people in physical manifestations, however, they didn’t get it.  It took His own Son to become flesh, the creator becoming the creature for His people to see the completeness of grace, or getting what you don’t deserve.   

 

The cost. 1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…” Grace is not cheap.  It took the most drastic measure to purchase grace.  God has abundantly overpaid for His people.  It took sinlessness to take on the sins of the world to provide us with grace.  What was the motivation behind getting what we don’t deserve?  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved…” (Ephesians 2:4-5) 

 

The purpose. 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.”  The gift of salvation was the purpose of sending the source of grace to this earth and take on the just penalty for the sins of man – death.  There’s nothing we can do to earn grace. It is a gift given to us from God, through access of the blood graciously given on our behalf by His Son.   

 

It’s so hard for me to understand why God would give so much, when I provide him with so little.  But it’s the love of God desiring to save His people.  This must compel us to obey Him and give him our allegiance, in what fragile way we can. 

 

Joel 2:13 – “Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” 

 

Additional Resources
Defining Grace- Bible Study Guide 
God's Concern for Us- Sermon by Curtis Pope 
Thank You Lord - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.