The Grace Test

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“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

Some days I just didn’t feel it. Although it is around me in the commonality of everyday life, some days I just didn’t feel it. I’ve read books on it, heard sermons about it, and I do understand that it has been granted to me (though I don’t deserve it), but some days I just didn’t feel it. Living in a world that presses in from all sides will do what it can to squeeze it out of me, but in the long run, God is able to make all grace abound toward me, that I, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. So, when it comes to God’s grace in my life, the more you try to hold me down, the more I press on!! Deal with it!! …Wrong viewpoint huh?

In its basic definition, grace refers to a smooth and pleasing way of moving or a polite and thoughtful way of behaving, but these definitions are subjugated to what man considers to be smooth, pleasing, polite, or thoughtful. That’s not to say that man doesn’t have an idea on what grace looks like, it’s just my way of saying man has, at times, a flawed view. Even we Christians can maintain a “graceful value system” that is geared more towards Christian living rather than Christian relationship, and that really holds us back from showing the grace of God in our lives towards others. We tend to show the right and wrongs of life through Biblical wisdom instead of the person of Jesus Christ.

When we look at the events that are occurring around us right now, how many of us are finding ourselves in endless debates over the moral anarchy that has become a clear and present danger? So many of us American Christians lost our minds when the plaques that had the Ten Commandments engraved upon them were removed from courthouses that you would have thought the wrath of God was just around the corner. Yes, the Ten Commandments outline a moral code that reflects the righteousness of a holy God, but all they can do to the current American mindset is bring condemnation. They can pinpoint that we all have a spiritual disease but offers no hope for a cure.

Even in my own personal walk, I was at an unfortunate crossroads with extending the same grace of God that was shown to me. It is like I became this encyclopedia of what is just and fair and wanted EVERYONE around me to understand that we have to maintain our moral compass and that my role was to be that of a watchman. Now, this may have been a good thing when it started, but I got so rigid within the idea of it that when a major storm came I took an unnecessary thrashing for all the wrong reasons and have been left pretty beaten up by the experience. So much so that I have had to sift myself through the epistle of 2nd Corinthians to see where I went wrong. And there it was, a single word, like a silent whisper in a cave…grace. I forgot to extend grace. C’est la vie….

The attributes of Jesus Christ aren’t hidden from us if we have a right relationship with Him but when we think we got this like I thought I did, all chaos and disorder breaks out. Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to, “test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith.” And then he warns ‘Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need first hand evidence, not more hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you.”

The damage from the storm is still in need of repair, I’m disheartened to tell you, but I am better in understanding God’s grace because of it. My guess is that if we don’t do a regular “accounting of ourselves” instead of accounting others, God will do it for us and we better be ready for that day. It is a humbling thing to have been brought down from the watchtower to be sifted like wheat, but God was faithful through it and He once again showed me undeserving grace. If you feel like you are being sifted be of good cheer because “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b) Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 1| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have been delivered from the law. We are no longer required to live under a system of rules that outline right and wrong behavior. We are now free to enjoy life in the Spirit. God promised the Old Testament saints that a day would come when He would write His law on the hearts of His people. That day has come!” — Steve McVey

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8

 

 

 

How Great the Father’s Grace Towards Me

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“Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.”  ~ Chandler

Amazing grace… I don’t think I can say the one word without thinking of the other. Grace, more specifically, God’s grace is amazing in that by it, I am not treated as I deserve. I broke the command…

I willfully rejected the way God designed life to work.. and justice demands I be punished. But, because I put my faith in what Jesus the Christ finished on the cross, God forgives and declares me justified.. and able to come boldly into His presence. I don’t deserve that.. and nor do you. But, I have it anyway because I am ‘saved by grace, not of (my) works’ (Eph 2:8).

I hope you understand what you have received ‘by grace’… it was not free, you know… Your sin, your willful rejection of God, doesn’t just disappear. Because God is ‘Perfect Justice’ sin must be paid for. That’s what Jesus did for you at the cross, He bore the penalty… your debt, which is all the wrath of God towards all sin. That’s the cup Jesus lamented over in the garden… but He did not walk away, He bore that suffering and infinite agony because He loves you with an infinite love. What work could you do to possibly match that?

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, and now I find rest, meaning, and purpose for my life in His gift of grace.

I hope you open up His Word and discover all His Grace has opened up for you. It would be amazing to know what you discover.

Choose wisely…

Behold the man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

Praying 4 U…

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 27-29 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favor.” – Dwight L. Moody

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” – Proverbs 13:9