God’s Grace

grace

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Timothy 1:9

Grace. It has become one of the words we sing about. We use the phrase as a part of our “Christianese.” But has it become just a word that we casually and haphazardly use without grasping its immensity or the depths of its richness in our lives? Welcome to this new week of Freedom Fighters. I am thankful today that you are part of our family. God’s family. A family blessed by and with the grace of God.

I recently read this powerful devotional that hones in on some of the richness of this word grace:

Salvation: You are saved by grace. The forgiveness of your sins, your justification before God, your redemption from the slavery of sin, your deliverance from evil, and your future home in heaven are yours today because of grace.

Sufficiency: Grace enables you to do all God calls you to do today. Success is not based today upon what you can accomplish, but upon what He will do through you. Grace is not about your strength, but about His mighty power working in you, even in the time of your greatest weakness.

Edification: Grace builds you up, lifts you up, and keeps you standing. Grace is heard in the sound of God’s voice speaking over and over into your ear, “I am for you today. I am with you today. I am the source of everything good, everything lovely, everything holy, and everything mighty.”

Hope: Grace assures you of a glorious future and an overwhelming inheritance that is yours in Jesus Christ. Grace leads you on, cheers you on, and moves you on into all that is in God’s heart for you.

Victory: Grace brings to you all that is yours in Christ. You are victorious today because Jesus is the triumphant One. You are more than a conqueror because He has conquered all. You are above all things because all things are under His feet. You reign in life because He reigns—King of kings and Lord of lords.

Abundance: Where sin once abounded, grace abounds even more. Where darkness ruled, grace overruled. Where death held you in cruel bondage, grace brought you into a glorious new freedom. Grace is never poured out to you like raindrops, but like a cascading waterfall.

Purity: Grace is the doorway into the beauty of God’s holiness. Grace is never a license to sin, a freedom to sin, or a cloak for sin. Grace brings us into a life that is greater than what sin could ever offer us. Grace extends the hand that lifts us out of the miry clay, throws the rope that pulls us from the deepest pit, and lights the flame that brings us out of the darkest cave.

Gifting: Gifts that come to you from God are grace gifts. His grace gifts to you will be different than the grace gifts He gives to others. Grace does not play favorites. The gifts that have been given to you from God are the perfect gifts that are needed for you to fulfill His will and His calling in your life. From Today is Your Best Day – Roy Lessin

This ought to leave us speechless! It should cause your heart to soar. It should bring tears to your eyes, and maybe make you fall to your knees in praise and adoration. God’s amazing grace! I trust that this reminder encouraged you today. Don’t take for granted the amazing grace of God.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Gen 24-27 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: God enables you to do all that God calls you to do today. – Roy Lessin

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, And my soul, which You have redeemed. Psalm 71:23

Pride – the Ugly Sin

Businessman - Mr Bigshot

A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. Proverbs 29:23

It’s something that rears its head so often in our lives and yet sometimes we are blind to it. Maybe?

Pastor and Author Lou Priolo says that “Pride is the AIDS of the soul … Pride blinds us not only to itself, but to every other sin tucked away in the recesses of our hearts and lives. It causes us to hate correction and reproof. It hides our sin from us, it justifies our sin, it excuses our sin, and it keeps us from repenting of our sin. It deceives us into thinking that we are spiritually well when, in fact, we have a deadly cancer and are in desperate need of the Great Physician’s Balm.”

Puritan preacher, Richard Baxter really lays it out for us: Pride is a deep rooted and self-preserving sin; and therefore is harder to be killed and rooted up than other sins. It hinders the discovery of itself … It will now allow the sinner to see his pride when he is reproved; neither will it allow him to confess if he sees it; nor to loathe himself and forsake it. Even when he recognizes all of the evidence of pride in others, he will not see it in himself. When he feels himself despising reproof, and knows that this is a sign of pride in others, yet he will not know it in himself. If you would go about to cure him of this or any other fault, you shall fee that you are handling a wasp or an adder; yet when he is spitting the venom of pride against the reprove, he does not perceive that he is proud; this venom is a part of his nature and therefore is not felt as harmful or poisonous.

Pastor Priolo suggests several things about deadly pride in our lives:

1. Pride is the delusion that our achievements are primarily the results of our doing.

2. Pride is esteeming ourselves above and beyond the condition and proportion that God has appointed for us.

3. Pride is the desire to be esteemed by others above and beyond the condition that God has appointed for us.

4. Pride is the desire to exult ourselves above and beyond the condition and proportion that God has appointed for us.

In the Valley of Vision – Prayers of the Puritans, I found this prayer regarding pride:

Lord, let not pride swell my heart. My nature is the mire beneath my feet, the dust to which I will return … Help me see myself in Your sight, then pride must wither, decay, die, perish.

Humble my heart before You, and replenish it with Your choicest gifts. As water rests not on barren hill summits, but flows down to fertilize lowest vales, so make me the lowest of the lowly, that my spiritual riches may exceedingly abound.

When I leave duties undone, may condemning thought strip me of pride, deepen me in devotion to Your service, and quicken me to more watchful care.

When I am tempted to think highly of myself, grant me to see the wily power of my spiritual enemy; Help me to stand with wary eye on the watch-tower of faith, and to cling with determined grasp to my humble Lord; If I fall let me hide myself in my Redeemer’s righteousness, and when I escape, may I ascribe all deliverance to Your grace. Keep me humble, meek, lowly. Amen!

Are you struggling with pride today? If so, grab your online concordance and look up verses to help you see God’s perspective on pride. The opposite of pride is humility. Lord, make me more humble today.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 34; Proverbs 4

Daily Quote: The man who thinks he is too big for a little place is too little for a big place. ~Vance Havner

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

You Have An Amazing Position IN CHRIST!

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ … Ephesians 1:3

There is some very crazy teaching on Christian TV and radio that seems to indicate that if we do certain things, God will pour out wealth, health and prosperity that will make us healthy, wealthy and wise.

God has promised us that He will always provide for our needs, but His definition of what we think we need and what He KNOWS we need is often very different.

We are far more rich than we can imagine. We are so rich IN CHRIST because Paul reminds us that we have been “blessed with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in heavenly places IN CHRIST.”

My friend, David Brewer, serves with a great ministry LIFE IN MESSIAH INTERNATIONAL, and he recently gave me an article called “The Wealth of Our Position In Christ: 40 Things That Occur At The Point of Our Salvation.” He adapted an article that has been written by Andy Woods.

This was such a blessing to me that I want to take the next four blogs that I submit to you to hopefully encourage you to understand your position in Christ. Will you take this one step further? Grab your Bible and look up the references that go along with each point. It will bless your heart!

(1) Imputed Righteousness — divine righteousness is imputed from God the Father to our souls and we share the righteousness of Christ (Rom 3:25-26; 4:3-5; 2 Cor 5:21). This is not something we receive by any effort on our part, apart from faith in Jesus’ finished work.

(2) Justification — as a result of this imputed righteousness, we are “declared righteous” or justified by God the Father; we are completely innocent in a positional way (Rom 3:24-30; 5:1; Gal 3:24).

(3) Children of God (“Born again” or “Regeneration) — we are “regenerated” or “born again” through the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:1-12; Rom 8:16; Titus 3:5; 1 Jn 3:2).

(4) A Human Spirit that Has Communication with the Holy Spirit — we receive a regenerated human spirit which is part of the Holy Spirit’s regeneration ministry (Rom 8:16; 1 Cor 2:14).

(5) Imputed Everlasting Life — we receive the imputation of everlasting life from God the Father to our regenerative human spirit. And at the same instant, we share the eternal life Christ through positional truth. This is our double portion of eternal life (1 Jn 5:11-12).

(6) Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Baptized by the Spirit into Christ; 1 Cor 12:13).

(7) Propitiation — God’s anger against us because of our sin has been completely satisfied because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Therefore, everything that occurs in our Christian life is an expression of God’s love toward us, even the trials that we endure (Rom 3:24-25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10).

(8) Reconciliation – this indicates that Christ’s death removed God’s enmity against man. We are reconciled through faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross by God the Father because of the removal of the sin barrier between man and God. This work of Christ guarantees our eternal access to God (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20).

(9) Redemption – we’ve been redeemed (purchased out of the slave market of sin (Rom 3:24; 8:23; Gal 5:1; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Rev 5:9).

(10) Forgiveness — at the moment of salvation, we are granted total forgiveness of all our sins (past, present and future) by God the Father (Ps 103:12; Is 1:18; 43:25-26; 44:22; Micah 7:18-19; Acts 3:19; 10:43; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14).

I needed to be reminded of these truths this week. How about you? Why not forward this to a friend who needs to hear this truth too.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 48; Proverbs 18

Daily Quote: “When a man finds and knows himself to be linked with Christ, his life is altogether a new life. Crucified, then dead. Crucified, then the old life is put away. Whatever life a crucified man has must be new life. Whatever you have of life was not given you till you came into union with Christ. It is a new thing—as new as though you had been actually dead and rotted in the tomb and then had started up at the sound of the trumpet to live again.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. ~Isaiah 55:7