Hi this is our Blog on Grace. We hope and pray that the Grace of God will flood into your life like it has ours. A good place to start is to listen to the mp3 messages, they will not only turn your world around, you will feel like you have just been saved all over again!

Friday, 29 June 2007

Prophetic picture/dream I had of the church

 

I saw what I think was a large group of women, may have been men too, but their hair was shaved off and they were all dressed in black so it was hard to tell, but the one's I saw were women. The most striking thing was the loss of individualism. The next thing that struck me was that they all moved slowly and hypnotically-all the same, like a conveyer belt or on tredmill. The pace was relentless. When I looked closer, they all looked blankly ahead, and couldn't hear and they didn't speak as individuals, but rather chanted in a group -all the same. They were tied together with cords of silk or whispy strands like smoke, that also obscured their vision, hearing and speach. Many fell away too exhausted to go on and they fell away.

 

Some people and one of them was me, looked up and broke out of what was holding them back. But each individual that did so, walked round and round in circles, with would have, could have, should have thoughts. Until I saw myself sitting head bowed down in a shallow circular grave. I cried out to God to help me out of the deep pit of dispair I was in. He said, this is not a deep pit and it's not of my making, but it's a shallow grave of your making, that is easy to get out of. All it takes is a glimpse of hope and a decision. Then I looked up and saw Jesus and the finished work of the cross, Jesus holding out His hand to me and instantly I was on a firm spacious place, accepted and free. All those who had the strength to break away, had the hope of a preferred future. Instantly as they broke away colour, freedom and the joy of the Lord returned. The first love for Jesus was restored energising them to complete the race set out for each individual.

 

But as soon as their gaze drifted from Jesus they were sucked back into despair, sameness and loss of freedom and they either went around in circles with, "The could have, should have would have, thoughts." Or lost freedom and momentum getting caught up in the group going no where.  
 
Louisa Stranack: June 2007
 
 

The one who serves

 
"The Christian knows to serve the weak not because they deserve it but because God extended His love to us when we deserved the opposite. Christ came down from heaven, and when His diciples entertained dreams of prestige and power He reminded them that the greatest is the one who serves. The ladder of power reaches up, the ladder of grace reaches down"
 
"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Jesus' approach to sin

"Jesus took an altogether different approach to sin. Rather than ranking sins as significant or less significant, he raised  his listeners' sights to a perfect God, before whom all of us are sinners. We all fall back on the grace of God.
Isaiah put it in earthy language: all our righteous acts, he said, are as "filthy rags," literally, "soiled undergarments." "
 
"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Israel and history

"The failure of relationship works both ways. As I read the history of the Israelites and their binding contract with God, I see sparse references to God's delight or pleasure. With a few shining exceptions, the history books - and especially the prophets - portray a God who seems irritated, disappointed, or downright furious. The law did not encourage obedience, rater it magnified disobedience. Law merely indicated the sickness; grace brought the cure."
 
"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

How does a grace-full Christian look?

 
"The Christian life, I believe, does not primarily center on ethics or rules but rather involves a new way of seeing. I escape the force of spiritual "gravity" when I begin to see myself as a sinner who cannot please God by any method of self-improvement of self-enlargement.
Only then can I turn to God for outside help - for grace - and to my amazement I learn that a holy God already loves me despite my defects.
I escape the force of gravity again when I recognize my neighbors also as sinners, loved by God. A grace-full Christian is one who looks at the world through "grace-tinted lenses."
 
"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Hypocrisy Part 2

"One of the most sobering passages in the New Testament, and one of few that shows direct punishment, appears in Acts 5: the story of Ananias and Sapphira. This couple had done a very good deed, selling a piece of property and donating much of the proceeds to the church. They did only one thing wrong: in an effort to appear more spiritual, they acted as if they were donating all the proceeds. In other words, they misrepresented themselves spiritually. The harsh response to Ananias and Sapphira shows how seriously God views hypocrisy.
I know of only two alternatives to hypocrisy: perfection or honesty"

"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Hypocrisy

 
"Our only option, then, is honesty that leads to repentance. As the Bible shows, God's grace can cover any sin, including murder, infidelity, or betrayal. Yet by definition grace must be received, and hypocrisy disguises our need to receive grace. When the mask falls, hypocrisy is exposed as an elaborate ruse to avoid grace."

"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.
 

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Freedom is more difficult

At first glance legalism seems hard, but actually freedom in Christ is the harder way. It is relatively easy not to murder, hard to reach out in love; easy to avoid a neighbor's bed, hard to keep a marriage alive. Easy to pay taxes, hard to serve the poor. When living in freedom, I must remain open to the Spirit for guidance. I cannot hide behind a mask of behaviour, like the hypocrites, nor can I hide behind facile comparisons with other Christians."

"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997

Friday, 22 June 2007

Quote: Henri Nouwen

"I know, from my own life, how diligently I have tried to be good, acceptable, likable, and a worthy example for others. There was always the conscious effort to avoid the pitfalls of sin and the constant fear of giving in to temptation. But with all of that there came a seriousness, a moralistic intensity - and even a touch of fanaticism - that made it increasingly difficult to feel at home in my Father's house. I became less free, less spontaneous, less playful...."
 
"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Subtle danger

"Legalism is a subtle danger because no one thinks of himself as a legalist.
My own rules seem necessary; other people's rules seem excessively strict."

"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Should we carry on sinning

"If we truly grasped the wonder of God's love for us, the devious question that prompted Romans 6 and 7 - What can I get away with? - would never occur to us. We would spend our days trying to fathom, not exploit, God's grace."

"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

Romans 8v28

His Grace is sufficient, to understand, to grasp this, is 'to calm the
turbulence of life and to bring quiet and confidence into the whole of
life. Nothing can touch me unless it passes through the will of God.'

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Spiritual Maturity

The proof of spiritual maturity is not how "pure" you are but the awareness of your impurity.
That very awareness opens the door to grace.

"What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.

A good read

I am reading "What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey - Zondervan 1997.
This is an incredible book that looks at grace in a practical way.
Over the next few days I will be quoting some of the brilliant insight this man has.

I hope you are as encouraged by this as I am.

Bless you

Monday, 18 June 2007

Not Ashamed

Mar 8:38 Therefore whoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man shall also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Get the picture?

 

Grace is unmerited favor. It is God's free action for the benefit of His people. It is different than Justice and Mercy. Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. In grace we get eternal life, something that, quite obviously, we do not deserve. But because of God's love and kindness manifested in Jesus on the Cross, we receive the great blessing of redemption.

Grace is God's Riches At Christ's Expense. Grace rules out all human merit. It is the product of God that is given by God, because of who He is not because of who we are. It is the means of our salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). We are no longer under the Law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14). (See 1 Cor. 15:11; Rom. 5:2, 15-20; 2 Cor. 12:9; and 2 Cor. 9:8).

Thursday, 14 June 2007

The Better Aspects of the New Covenant of Grace


He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." (Heb_8:6-8)

These verses contrast the old covenant of law ("that first covenant") with the new covenant of grace ("a second"). The old covenant of law is good, but the new covenant of grace is far better. The law is ordained of God, but it can never bring to people what God desires for them to experience.

The law is good, but only if it used properly. "We know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners" (1Ti_1:8-9). The lawful use of God's law pertains to the unrighteous, the rebellious. The law is not designed to give people a righteous standing in God's sight (justification). "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ" (Gal_2:16). Nor is the law intended for developing a godly walk (sanctification) in those who are justified through faith in Christ. "For the law made nothing perfect" (Heb_7:19). The proper use of the law is to lead people to the grace of God found in Jesus Christ. "The law was our tutor to bring us to Christ" (Gal_3:24).

Grace is far better than law. If the law was without lack, then God would never have sent His Son to die for the establishing of a new covenant. "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second." Since the law was lacking (regarding justification and sanctification), God's plan included the new covenant of grace. "Because finding fault with them, He says: 'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will make a new covenant'." The new covenant of grace has Jesus, the giver of life, as the Mediator. "He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant." This new covenant also has greater promises than the law: "a better covenant, which was established on better promises." In the days ahead, we will examine the better aspects of the grace of God.

Dear Father, I agree with You that Your law is good. It tutored me to Your magnificent grace. Lord, teach me the better aspects of Your grace, that I might fully embrace all that You want to accomplish in and through my life, in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Doctrines

Heb 13:9 Do not be carried about with different and strange doctrines, for it is good for the heart to be established with grace, not with foods, in which those who have walked in them were not helped.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that you so soon are being moved away from Him who called you into the grace of Christ, to another gospel, 7 which is not another, but some are troubling you, and desiring to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from Heaven preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed.

2Co 3:15 But until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart


Tuesday, 12 June 2007

John Wesley

 
The grace or love of God, whence cometh our salvation, is FREE IN ALL, and FREE FOR ALL.... It is free in all to whom it is given. It does not depend on any power or merit in man; no, not in any degree, neither in whole, nor in part. It does not in anywise depend either on the good works or righteousness of the receiver; not on anything he has done, or anything he is. It does not depend on his endeavors. It does not depend on his good tempers, or good desires, or good purposes and intentions; for all these flow from the free grace of God; they are the streams only, not the fountain. They are the fruits of free grace, and not the root. They are not the cause, but the effects of it.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Christ redeemed us


Gal 3:12 But the Law is not of faith; but, "The man who does these things shall live in them." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree"); 14 so that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Jesus Christ, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Saturday, 09 June 2007

Signs of being under the law

1) Taking ourselves too seriously.


2) Loss of joy.


3) The way you answer the question, "How are you doing?"

If the first thing that comes to mind are the things you have to improve on.


4) A sin complex.

Are you more aware of your sin than Jesus finished works?


5) The way you respond if you do sin.

If you sin, do you make all sorts of promises to God?


6) Corrections make you insecure.

Even taking compliments is tough.


7) Super Spiritually

Try and call attention on yourselves by trying to impress by our externals.

Our True Identity In Christ

Rom 3:24 We are justified (declared "righteous").
Rom 8:1 No condemnation awaits us.
Rom 8:2 We are set free from the power of sin that leads to death.
1Cor 1:2 We are sanctified (made holy) in Jesus Christ.
1Cor 1:30 We are pure and holy in Christ.
2Cor 5:17 We are new persons.
2Cor 5:21 We are made right with God.
Gal 3:28 We are one in Christ with all other believers.
Eph 1:3 We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Eph 1:4 We are holy and without fault.
Eph 1:5 We are adopted as God's children.
Eph 1:7 Our sins are taken away, and we are forgiven.
Eph 1:10 We will be brought under Christ's authority.
Eph 1:13 We are identified as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit.
Eph 2:6 We have been raised up to sit with Christ in the heavenlies.
Eph 2:10 We are God's masterpiece.
Eph 2:13 We have been brought near to God.
Eph 3:6 We share in the promise of blessings through Christ.
Eph 3:12 We can come boldly and confidently into God's presence.
Eph 5:29 We are members of Christ's body, the church.
Col 2:10 We are made complete in Christ.
Col 2:11 We are set free from our sinful nature.
2Tim 2:10 We will have eternal glory.

Friday, 08 June 2007

Can Christians be cursed?

Rom 4:6 Even as David also says of the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness without works, 7 saying, "Blessed are those whose lawlessnesses are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man to whom the Lord will in no way impute sin."
BUT

Gal 3:10 For as many as are out of works of the Law, these are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them."
I know this is difficult to swollow.
If you are living under the law/works, no matter how holy you are trying to be, you are under curse.
Choose life!



Thursday, 07 June 2007

How wonderful is this new covenant

Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more." 13 In that He says, A new covenant, He has made the first one old. Now that which decays and becomes old is ready to vanish away.
(Also read Isaiah 54)

Hi Mom

 
 

Is it important to live in pure grace?

Gal 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness is through law, then Christ died without cause.

Gal 5:2 Behold, I, Paul, say to you that if you are circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.


Tuesday, 05 June 2007

So how does the work of God get done?

1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was toward me has not been without fruit, but I labored more abundantly than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

Col 1:29 For which I also labor, striving according to the working of Him who works in me in power.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Monday, 04 June 2007

Only believe

Act 16:30 And leading them outside, he said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your household.

Today's homework

What is the "Mystery of the gospel" that Paul talks about in Eph 6v19?

Be Bold

Eph 6:19 And pray for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds; so that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Saturday, 02 June 2007

Weekend Quiz

  1. What did you do to create your relationship with Jesus? (Romans 5:8-10)

  2. What has the Law made perfect? (Hebrews 7:19)

  3. What have you been able to add to the work of Christ in your life? (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

  4. What can you accomplish for God apart from what Christ does in you? (John 15:5)

  5. What do you need besides the grace of God? (2 Corinthians 12:9)


Friday, 01 June 2007

Quote: Tolstoy

 

A man who professes an external law is like someone standing in the light of a lantern fixed to a post. It is light all round him, but there is nowhere further for him to walk. A man who professes the teaching of Christ is like a man carrying a lantern before him on a long, or not so long pole; the light is in front of him, always lighting up fresh ground and always encouraging him to walk further.