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Faithlife

Trusting the Grace of God

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Have you ever seen or witnessed something that is too good to be true. Something, maybe like, the Cubs winning the World Series. Meeting an icon or celebrity? Maybe it was the scam phone call you recieved at 11 last night proclaiming that you have won a free cruise. We have all experienced things that are unfathomable and unbelievable.
I can promise you this though. I have never experienced anything in my life more unbelievable, more incredible, and more stunning then the Grace of God. I have struggled so many times in my life actually trusting in the Grace of God.
There are many people that believe in God, or a “god”, but they do not believe in the Grace of God.
I spent a lot of time ministering on the streets of New Orleans while I lived in Southern Mississippi. 65 percent of the people in New Orleans claim to be religious. (thats false). But of that 65 percent, close to 40 percent are catholic. This says a lot about the culture in NOLA and almost every person I ran into on the street, homeless or not, says they attended mass. I would almost always ask the same question when witnessing to them. I would ask them if Hitler or Bin Ladin or someone of that nature realized they were wrong and confessed their sin to God, would they go to heaven. Everytime i recieved an answer it was generally an explicit word followed by no!
Even those who say they believe in God, do not believe in the Grace of God!
I am here this morning to tell you that God’s grace is THAT great. It is unimaginable.
Now when I preach about grace, I am careful to make sure the mature Christian does not turn their ear and zone out. God’s grace is not an excuse from your responsibility and discipline. God’s grace covers your sin but he calls us to press into holiness and be perfect as my father is perfect.
Should we keep on sinning.

7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

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5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Sometimes, we treat God’s grace as if it is something that is new or starts with us. God’s Grace far precedes us. As Deuteronomy tells us, God kept His covenant with Abraham through the patriarchs and His covenant with us is kept because of the promise through Jesus. We did not earn or deserve His grace. We are the benefactors of the work of Jesus.
Dad as a police chaplain
There is a comfort in knowing that God’s grace is not a new matter. It was in affect many years before me and I can rest in the reliability of His grace.
Relying on God’s grace means that you can trust Him at His word. You can believe in what He has done.
The irony is that sometimes I need the Grace of God to rely on the grace of God.
When Paul greated the church in Corinth, he coined a new word for Grace . He had used chairen before but used charis this go around in unison with the word peace. This is the grace that carries through the life of the believer. Grace is more than just saving grace. It is sustaining grace.
It is the sustaining Grace of God which carries me and you and where we can find peace. If you do not know the grace of God, you do not know peace.
It is God’s grace that I wake up with new mercies every day. It is God’s grace that allows me one more oppurtunity to share the Words of God.
I do not have to tryout for the Christian team and I do not have to worry about being cut from the Christian team. I am at peace because of the Grace of God.
I have seen many people buried and many people bury their close loved ones. Parents burrying kids and kids burrying parents. It is hard. There is no way around it. In the moment, I think how can they makeit. But I know they make it because of the grace and peace of God. Thereal question is, how does the unbeliever make it through these times.
The peace of God’s grace is an incredible message that you and I have to share with this hopeless world. We will get back to this.
Jeremiah 2:13 ESV
for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
The third benefit of Grace is freedom. One of the most controversial aspects of God’s grace is freedom. Those who see God’s grace as an excuse to sin have abused the Grace of God and I believe have never really tasted the real Grace of God. The other end of the pendelum are those who preach and teach the wrath of God without the Grace of God. They believe your works and actions carry more wait then the Grace of God.
So where should we be? WHat is the proper way to view the freedom we have in God’s Grace?
Galatians 5:13–14 ESV
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
I think we have to always start by asking this question. Is God’s grace in your life god-centered or man-centered?
If you think the Grace of God is all about you then you can easily find yourself in trap we spoke about before. What I am discovering is that God’s grace isnt about me. I didnt earn it. I didnt deserve it. I cannot sell it and I cannot deny it. God’s grace is about God.
GODS GRACE WAS INTENDED TO SET YOU FREE SO THAT THERE WOULD BE NO BARRIERS THAT STOP YOU FROM LOVING HIM WITH ALL YOU HAVE AND LOVING OTHERS WITH ALL YOU HAVE!!!
His Grace is not a get out of jail free card.
If God’s grace pushes you towards sin. it isnt God’s grace. It ought to press us towards holiness and towards a loving God that we cannot wait to serve.
If this is not happening in your life. I have good news God’s grace is good enough for you.
The last important aspect of Grace is the message of God’s grace. To me, God-centered grace points to this.
A believer that has experienced the Grace of God(which there is no believer that hasnt experienced the grace of God) should be so excited to share the message of God’s scandalous grace.
A while back, I was doing a study on the parables with students. We were discussing the Good samaritan that week and I was trying to study this story deeper than I had ever studied it before. I began to look at this story and there was not really something that just stood our or profound, nut I geniunely felt the weight of my sin through this story. I talked with the students and I relayed for the first time that we are rarely the good samaritan. While we judge and despise the priest and the others, that is us most of the time. When we walk down our hallways of our schools and work place and we walk by those who are lost and dying in their sin. If we do not communicate to them the greatness of God’s grace we are no better than the priest that walked by the beaten man.
God’s grace is too good to keep a secret.
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Hebrews 12:12–15 ESV
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
Hebrews 12:
That German soldier was Juergen Moltmann, who would go on to become one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. Years later, with the message of the loving, crucified God still indelibly printed on his heart, he penned these beautiful words.
But the ultimate reason for our hope is not to be found at all in what we want, wish for and wait for; the ultimate reason is that we are wanted and wished for and waited for. What is it that awaits us? Does anything await us at all, or are we alone? Whenever we base our hope on trust in the divine mystery, we feel deep down in our hearts: there is someone who is waiting for you, who is hoping for you, who believes in you. We are waited for as the prodigal son in the parable is waited for by his father. We are accepted and received, as a mother takes her children into her arms and comforts them. God is our last hope because we are God’s first love.
Ephesians
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
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