Daily Archives: August 20, 2019

The Wonderful Grace Of Jesus

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The blind man’s earnest cries

Jesus gives grace to the blind man.

By: Charles Spurgeon

‘And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’ Mark 10:47–48

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 8:4–15

The world will try to make a crying sinner hold his peace. The world will tell him that he is crying out about something that does not matter, for the book is not true, there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no hereafter. But if God has set you crying, sinner, I know you will not be stopped with that; you will cry yet the more exceedingly, ‘Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’ Then the world will try pleasure; you will be invited to the theatre, you will be attracted from one ballroom to another; but if the Lord put the cry in your mouth, the intense anguish of your spirit will not be satisfied by the sound of music nor by the shouts of them that make merry. Perhaps the world will call you a fool to be vexed about such things; you are melancholy and have got the mopes. They will tell you that you will soon go where many others have gone—to Bedlam; but if once God has made you cry, you will not be stopped by a fool’s laughter; the agonizing prayer will go up in secret, ‘Have mercy on me.’ Perhaps the world will try its cares. You will be called into more business; you will get a prosperity which will not make your soul prosper; and so it will be hoped by Satan that you will forget Christ, in accumulated wealth and growing cares. But if this be such a cry as I hope it is, poor anxious sinner, you will not be stopped by that. Then the world will affect to look down upon you with pity. Poor creature, you are being misled, when you are being led to Christ and to heaven. They will say you have become the dupe of some fanatic, when, in truth, you are now coming to your senses, and estimating eternal things at their proper value.

God’s Grace Is Mind-Blowing

By; Phillip Holmes, desiringgod.com

Part of how we view God’s grace is often birthed out of our experience with each other. Whether it’s a parent, relative, or our general view of mankind, our experience with sinful and broken people affect our view of our holy and righteous God. We’re unacquainted with grace, mercy, and truth that’s untainted by sin. Humanly speaking, though we’ve experienced grace, we’ve never met a person that embodied grace perfectly.

As I reflected on how we love and show grace, two things stood out to me about man and our motivation to forgive:

  • Natural man is motivated to be gracious because man is aware (to some extent) that he’s just as guilty as the person in need of grace.
  • Natural man forgives others because he often only knows a small piece of all the other person is actually guilty of.

I’m sure there are more human motivations for showing grace, but from these two alone we discover two factors that play enormous parts in our ability to forgive — our own sin and ignorance.

Mind-Blowing Grace

As I began to process this, I was blown away. God is neither motivated by his own sinfulness nor enabled by his ignorance. He is a holy and righteous God, completely void of sin and full of goodness and love. He’s never made a mistake and can do anything but fail. He is perfect in all his ways. If he were a doctor, he’d never lose a patient. If he were a lawyer, he’d never lose a case. There is no moral compass that could measure how upright and blameless he is.

Nevertheless, when we, his sinful and rebellious prodigal children, spit in his face, wallow in our sin, and grieve his Spirit, he calls us to repentance with open and loving arms saying, “Come home, child.”

He’s not ignorant of all the ways we’ve sinned against him. He knows everything we’ve ever done and is able to stomach it. His knowledge of who we really are will never hinder his love for us. He’s even aware of the evil behind our righteous deeds. The intimacy by which the Lord knows us but is able to lovingly embrace us as his children is supernatural. God’s grace is mind-blowing. Every time I think of this reality, I’m brought to tears because I serve a God whose love and grace baffle me.

Knowing God’s Grace Through the Scriptures

Throughout the Scriptures, the message of this grace is proclaimed. Our God is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exodus 34:6–7). This grace is distinct to the Christian faith. No other religion emphasizes divine grace the way the Bible does.

This is why reading the Bible and communing with God is essential to Christian flourishing. The less we read and pray the Bible, the more blemished our view of God becomes. If you want the grace of God to blow your mind again, read your Bibles.

 

Unexpected Grace

“God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.” Romans 5:20 (NLT)

He appeared out of nowhere. Blue lights burst on right about the time I laid eyes on his intimidating, unmarked SUV.

Immediately I checked the speedometer. It confirmed what the officer knew: I was speeding. A sinking feeling knotted my stomach as I prepared to receive the punishment for my inadvertent disobedience of the traffic laws.

I watched in my rear view mirror as the police car crept up behind me. With driver’s license and registration in hand, my fingers tapped in irritation on the steering wheel. My scowl deepened as I impatiently waited for the policeman to walk to my window. “Ma’am, I stopped you for speeding. Driver’s license and registration please.”

Then it happened. The unexpected. The unwarranted. The undeserved.

The policeman glanced into my car and checked out my passengers (including my three deer-in-the-headlights kids in the back seat). Then he startled us all by blurting out a big ol’ Southern “Hey!” to my husband, calling him by name.

Apparently they had grown up in church together and proceeded to spend a couple of friendly minutes reacquainting. He handed back my license and registration and gave me a smile. “Slow it down please, and have a good day.”

We sat stunned and breathed a collective sigh of relief as I drove away – slowly, I might add.

I had not paid attention to the guidelines set forth. My guilt was obvious, and I had no excuse. I deserved to suffer the consequences, but instead I was given grace.

Grace is undeserved favor or pardon. We can’t earn it or buy it. It’s something the giver bestows out of the goodness and love in their heart. The Bible tells countless stories of people who received grace, including prostitutes, unfaithful marriage partners, deceivers, thieves, liars and more. Their sins deserved a punishment, but when they asked God for forgiveness, His grace wiped their guilt away. They were treated as pardoned offenders – just as I was.

In today’s key verse, Paul is reminding the people of Corinth that despite their sin, God is good, and the Giver of grace. It serves as a reminder that God not only offers grace – He offers it in abundance. The more we need, the more we get.

Although God hates sin because it separates us from Him and ushers pain into our lives, His grace is available no matter how big our offense may be. And when we receive the pardon that was paid through the sacrifice of His Son, and begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, we receive grace, forgiveness and mercy.

As much as I appreciated the grace extended to me from the officer that day, it paled in comparison to God’s grace. You see, the officer’s grace was one of kindness, but not one of redemptive love. It was a grace of compassion, but not the life-saving grace Jesus gives.

The truth is, I deserved a speeding ticket that day but grace was given. In the same way, although we deserve punishment for sin, God’s forgiveness and favor are offered anyway… through the gift of His unexpected, unwarranted and undeserved grace.

 

Jesus, I Need Your Grace

Jesus, I Need Your Grace

That Difficult Person

Dear Jesus, I need Your help. Someone is making my life difficult. I have tried to be kind and patient — You know I have, Lord. But there have been times when I’ve lost my temper — You know that too. I’ve said unkind things and thought even worse things.

Our relationship needs healing; it needs You.

Jesus, show me what to do. I pray for You to step in and make this right. Teach me, Lord. How would You handle this person? Please take away these feelings of anger and hurt and replace them with grace and love.

“Seventy times seven”: That’s what You said to Peter when he asked how many times he should forgive the one who sinned against him. Am I capable of forgiving that many times? Oh, but how many times have You forgiven me?

Soften my heart, Lord, and help me forgive as You have forgiven me.

If anyone can mend this relationship, Jesus, it is You. Guide my every word and every action with Your perfect love. I need You, Jesus. We need You.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:18

At some point in your life, you’ll encounter a difficult person — someone who, no matter what you do, makes your life miserable. When you run into such a person, call on Jesus. He understands and will know just how to help. As you think about that difficult person, ask yourself if you’ve contributed to the strain. Are there things for which you need to seek forgiveness? Come up with at least one thing you can do to bless that person’s life — and then do it.

Loving Everyone

Dear Jesus,  Sometimes it’s really hard to love people, especially when You ask me to love those who hate You and do evil things. I know You love them, but I struggle to follow Your example. Please show me how can I hate the evil while still loving those who hate You.

Jesus, when You were beaten, mocked, and crucified, You could have rained down wrath from Heaven, but You didn’t. Instead, You asked God to forgive Your enemies because they didn’t know what they were doing. That is pure love. Fill me with that kind of love.

Jesus, You are always in my heart, guiding me and leading me to be more like You. And for that reason, I must pray for those who hate You and do evil things. I don’t love what they do, Lord — but I want them to know You. Please, Lord Jesus, open their eyes to see You and their hearts to accept You. They need You so much… and so, Lord, do I.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” — Matthew 5:43-44

Love doesn’t mean that you accept acts of hatred and evil, but love does require that you pray for those most in need of salvation. Consider Paul. He didn’t begin life as a disciple of Christ; in fact, there was a time when Paul — then known as Saul — hated Christ. Read Acts 9:1-19 to discover how he changed. How might you be an Ananias to a Saul in your life?