God’s Grace

Title: GOD’S GRACE
Text:  Genesis 6:1-8  [1] And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, [2] That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. [3] And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. [4] There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. [5] And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [6] And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. [7] And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

[8] But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Introduction:
What are some of the most treasured words in our Bible (next to the names of our Lord)?  LOVE, FAITH, HOPE, PEACE

There can be no doubt the word GRACE is one of those words.

The first use of the word GRACE is found in Genesis 6:8:  ”But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

The word GRACE:

  • Used in both the Old & New Testaments.
  • Used 170 times in 159 verses.
    (39 times in the OT – 131 times in the NT)
  • Paul uses it the most of all the writers.
  • Paul wrote 13 of the 27 New Testament books / letters:
    • Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • 2 Corinthians 1:2  Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Galatians 1:3  Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
    • Ephesians 1:2  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Philippians 1:2  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Colossians 1:2  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • 1 Thessalonians 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • 2 Thessalonians 1:2  Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • 1 Timothy 1:2  Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
    • 2 Timothy 1:2  To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • Titus 1:4  To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
    • Philemon 1:3  Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Source of this Grace: ”…from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Meaning of Grace:  What is Grace?  Bible grace is defined as: God’s unmerited favor

      • The word “God” shows that he is the source of this favor or grace.
      • The word “unmerited” means that this grace this both unearned and undeserved.
      • The word “favor” means a kind or helpful act that is done for someone beyond what is due or usual.

The God of this Grace:  Do you understand what is at our disposal when we seek the one who extends this GRACE???

  • He is the Creator: Colossians 1:16-17  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
  • He is Omnipotent: He is all powerful
    Genesis 17:1  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

    • The word LORD means: Jehovah – the self existent one.
    • The word Almighty God is: El Shaddi – the all powerful one
  • He is Omnipresent: He is always present.
    Psalms 139:7-12  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  8  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  9  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  11  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  12  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

He is Omniscient: He is all knowing.
Matthew 10:29-30  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Psalms 147:4-5  He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.  5  Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

The Promise of this Grace:

God’s grace is available to EVERYONE
Titus 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

God’s grace is available through HUMILITY
James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

God’s grace is available through DEPENDENCY
2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God’s grace is available through PRAYER
Hebrews 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

God’s Grace is not because of any thing I have done
God’s Grace is totally because of God’s love and what He has done!

God’s Grace is not because of who I am
God’s Grace is only because of whose I am

I need God’s favor: I do not have all the answers and I do not know what tomorrow may bring – but my God does.

 I should desire and pray for God’s favor upon others.

 

Philippine Project – Medical Need




 

Please help!!!

Nanette Deanon lives in the Philippines. She is a precious servant and soul winner for the Lord. Nanette and her brother work along side of some of our Missionary families. They have been faithful servants and a immeasurable blessing to those missionaries and their families for many years. This past week Nanette had some unexpected and serious medical issues that required surgery.  There is no medical insurance in the Philippines.  Surgery and medical care are expensive.  Nanette has no means to pay for this care herself.  On my last trip to the Philippines I had the opportunity to watch, work along side, and fellowship with this amazing sister and brother.  My heart was blessed. I was amazed at their passion for people. I saw first hand Nanette being used of God teaching children who live in the shanty neighborhoods and cemeteries, as well as, teaching women in the women’s prison. What an opportunity for God’s people to be a blessing to such a precious young lady! Individuals, Sunday School classes, ladies groups, Vacation Bible Schools, etc. could truly make a difference with this need and beyond. Please pray about helping. Every penny you donate will go directly to Nanette’s medical expenses and needs. Heather and I will even pay for the paypal fees so your full amount goes to help. Contact us if you would like to donate by check and we will give you the details.  We will also make sure Nanette and our local Missionary get the names of everyone who helped with this special need.  Let me thank you in advance for being a blessing and please continue to pray for this young lady.

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Faithful

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 1:1

What does the word FAITHFUL mean to you? This word has in it the idea of being honest, trustworthy, devoted, or true to someone or something. A faithful steward is someone who can be trusted to handle the business affairs of another and does. A faithful friend is someone who stands by you and is true to you through good times and bad. A faithful spouse is someone who is devoted to their partner and trustworthy in every regard in that relationship. Faithfulness, or the lack thereof, is clearly a reflection of one’s character and seen in one’s actions. It can be seen in how one lives, what one does, what one says, and how one responds. Faithfulness is also vital in our relationships and greatly impacts them.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is written to the saints at Ephesus and the FAITHFUL in Christ Jesus. A faithful believer is a person who is devoted and true in their relationship with the Lord. They are trustworthy in the things that matter to Him and that faithfulness can be clearly seen in every aspect of their lives.

Being faithful is important, especially to those with whom we have a relationship. If one truly loves and cares for another faithfulness is vital in that relationship and will be reflected in how we relate and respond to them. Think about the things Christ has done and is doing for you. Do those things matter to you? Do those things affect you? Are you true to Him? Are you devoted to His cause?   If I am honest I must admit I am not always faithful.  I also know that this is common because even the Apostles struggled.  When I take my eyes off of myself and the world around me, and look at Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, I understand and know that He loves me, cares for me, and is faithful to me in every way!!!  I must remind myself that He is certainly worthy of my faithfulness in return!!!

YOU DO MATTER!!!

YOU DO MATTER!!!
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 1:1

We live in a big world with over seven billion people breathing right now on planet Earth. Do you ever feel you get lost in the crowd or that you even matter? If you are a believer, YOU DO MATTER!!

Paul, the writer of Ephesians, addresses his readers as SAINTS. We often overlook this little word but it is filled with importance. This word is used throughout the Bible as one of the many names given for those who are saved. The origin of this word was used to describe a building used for a deity as being set apart because of its purpose or to whom it belonged. A TEMPLE was considered HOLY (The word HOLY is the same word used for SAINT – the Greek word “hagios”).

When God looks at an individual in this mass of humanity He sees one of two things: either you belong to Him or you do not. Because of Christ, a believer is SET APART from the rest of the world. They BELONG to the Lord; and the Holy Spirit of God LIVES within them. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Let me remind you that God loves all of mankind and desires everyone to trust His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior. But the fact remains that the majority of the world rejects Christ and a lot of people despise Him. The city of Ephesus had a lot of false gods and true believers faced a great deal of persecution for their faith in the Jesus Christ. I believe Paul used the word SAINT to remind the Ephesian believers and us that we MATTER to the Lord. The world may not see us but the God of Heaven sees us! The world may not know us but He knows us! The world may not care but our Heavenly Father cares! He lives in us and today we can pray, seek His presence, and request His help because we belong to Him. And one day, because we are SAINTS, we will spend ETERNITY with Him in Glory!!!!

1 Corinthians 13:1-7  “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. [2] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. [3] And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor , and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. [4] Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, [5] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; [6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; [7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Love is an important and powerful thing.  Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians covers many topics but at the heart of them all rings the message of genuine love.  An example and description are given in these verses of that love.
Communicating LOVE is more important than HOW YOU SPEAK.
Showing LOVE is more important than WHAT YOU KNOW.
Giving LOVE is more important than WHAT YOU GIVE.
Communicating, gaining and sharing knowledge, and giving are all important elements in the Christian life.  We should do our best in each of them.  The emphasis in these verses however is not these abilities but the love one should possess and share when exercising them. Without love these elements are vain, empty, and meaningless.  Genuine love can be seen, heard, and felt.  For example, if one could speak with the tongues of men and of angels how is it that they sound like sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal?  These two phrases imply, no matter how skilled, polished, or elequent the speaker, the words spoken are empty and without true heartfelt meaning.  Have you ever had that experience with a speaker or someone talking to you?  On the other hand, have you heard someone who maybe wasn’t all that skilled in word usage but their love and caring spirit spoke to your heart in spite of the words used or how they were spoken.  That is what communicating love is all about.  This kind of genuine love cannot be taught.  It is a part of ones life and everything that person says or does.  You can see it, hear it, and feel it.  The same applies to what we know, our abilities, and our giving.  Without genuine love these have no true or lasting meaning.

In Context

I believe the best way to understand the Bible is to study it in context with much prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit our teacher.
  • Context defined:
    • The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
    • the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

In other words, understanding a word, verse, or passage in scripture requires us to view it in light of the verses around it.

A proper understanding of the scriptures also requires one to ask and answer the following five common sense questions. These questions should be applied to every verse or passage one studies.
  • Common Sense Questions:
    1. Who is speaking or writing?
    2. To whom or about whom is he speaking or writing?
    3. About what subject is he speaking or writing?
    4. When or about what time is he speaking or writing?
    5. What is the occasion for the speaking or writing?
Many fail in a proper understanding of scripture because they take passages completely out of context.  This can lead to false doctrine and the embracing of ideas God never intended.  Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  The words “rightly dividing” come from a compound Greek word meaning to dissect correctly.  The idea is to carefully take apart the word of God and examine those parts (word by word) in light of the whole.  The word “study” means to be deligent.  Being deligent means having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.  Our study of God’s Word is important.  We must be careful as we consider it’s meaning, principles, and truths.  What a tragidy to miss out on those truths; but what a blessing when we behold the Bible’s precious treasure.

Loving God with all my Strength

1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

God has given us a physical body and the ability to use that body to live life, honor and glorify Him, interact with others, and embrace with wonder the rest of His glorious creation.  We have eyes through which to look and behold.  We have ears that allow us to hear and listen.  We have legs, feet, and toes to move about, walk, and even run.  We have arms, hands, and fingers with which we can touch, feel, hold, handle, and embrace.  We have mouths to taste, eat, drink, speak, and sing.  We have a brain to think, learn, decide, imagine, and operate this amazing body with all it’s abilities.  With this body we can work, create, make, and build.  We can with great skill perform many amazing things and complete many incredible tasks.  Having such a gift and never expressing appreciation to the God who created it is tragic.  Living life and not giving back in way of service, helping others in need, or using ones abilities for His glory is very selfish.  We are commanded to love the Lord with all of our strength.  This means we recognize our Creator as the source of our abilities and we honor Him by using those abilities in His service.

Loving God with all my Mind

Mark 12:29-30 ”And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is , Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: [30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

God has bless mankind with a mind and the amazing ability to think, learn, imagine, create, and remember.   We live in an age where information of every sort is available within seconds.  There seems to be no limit to what we can gain in the way of knowledge whether it is good or bad, right or wrong, true or false.  The believer understands that God is the source of all truth, genuine knowledge, and wisdom (John 17:17; Psalm 33:4; Poverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10).  He created our mind with all it’s abilities.  For us to live life where God is not a part of our thinking, learning, imaginations, and memories is unimaginable.  A life lived without the precious knowledge of a loving, caring, and saving God is truly a terrible thing.  Loving God with all our minds recognizes and honors the God who created and gave us this precious gift. What a blessing it is to know Him and ponder His greatness!

Loving God with all my Soul

Mark 12:29-30 “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: [30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

 
There is only one true God.  He is the creator of all life, including ours, and everything good we know.  As such, He is worthy of our complete affection and devotion.  Jesus taught this in Mark 12:29-30.  The first commandment of all is to recognize this one true God and love Him “…with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”  The soul is that part of mankind that identifies who we are: our life, personality, our core self.  Loving God with all our soul means we acknowledge, appreciate, and are devoted to the one who gives us life.  We recognize that we are nothing without Him and our existence is all because of Him.  Many live life without ever recognizing our great Creator.  Some despise or even hate the mere mention of His name (Romans 1:21).  Our view of God will affect every area of life including how we respond to Him, live our lives, and treat others.  It would be selfish and ungrateful of us not to express love, appreciation, honor, and devotion to Him having understood that He is the source of life, wisdom, and all blessings.  What place in our life do we give to the one who gave us life?