Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grace Upon Grace

I really need this truth tonight, so I'm glad I said I was going to write more about God's grace.  Today has been one of those days when I haven't felt as productive, effective, organized, joyful or whatever as I wanted to be.  I'm fighting feeling overwhelmed by lots of little things and important people that are waiting for my attention. (At least, I think they are.)  It feels, once again, impossible.  So it's a good time to remember what God says about His grace and me.  And contrary to my usual way of wanting to over-analyze and elaborate on every little detail, I'm just going to get straight to the points and leave it at that.

"GRACE and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 1:2)   That greeting or a similar version of it is used in the New Testament SEVENTEEN TIMES.    And it means God's grace and it's sister peace are FOR ME.

God’s GRACE was announced by the ANGELS when Jesus WAS BORN!  (Luke 2:14)  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."  (Undeserved favor is what grace is all about!)
God’s GRACE is GLORIOUS and given to us FREELY.  (Eph. 1:6)  vs. 4-6 “For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
God’s GRACE is LAVISHED on us.  (Eph. 1:7-8)  “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
God’s GRACE SAVES US through FAITH in Jesus.  (Eph. 2:8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”     
God’s GRACE is AVAILABLE to us because of God’s great love for us.  (Ephesians 2:4-5) “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions –it is by grace you have been saved.”
God’s GRACE is incomparably RICH.  (Eph. 2:7)  “in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
God’s GRACE is given to us for SPECIFIC TASKS.  (I Peter 4:10)  “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in it’s various forms.”  (Eph 3:2-8)  “Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ...”
God’s GRACE EMPOWERS us to do God’s will.  (Eph. 4:7)   “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”  
God’s GRACE is given to the HUMBLE.  (James 4:6)  “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:  "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
God’s GRACE frees us from the POWER of SIN.  (Romans 6:14)  “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
God’s GRACE HELPS us in our time of need.  (Hebrews 4:16)  “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
God’s GRACE gives us eternal ENCOURAGEMENT and good HOPE.  (2 Thess. 2:16-17)  “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
There's more...  but that already seems like too much, so I'm going to stop.  This is all from our women's retreat a couple of years ago, so don't think I did all this studying today.  : )  But I saved my favorite parts yet, so there's even better stuff coming.  And now I think I'm going to go spend a little time at the throne of grace because I need some mercy and help and encouragement and hope...  And I know that's where I'll find it.
To the praise of His glorious grace!  : )
Day 8

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart with me.