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, 31 August 2007

Discipline vs. Punishment

  • Punishment is for the purpose of justice, to inflict penalty for an offense. Punishment is payback for wrongs done. That is what God did to Jesus on the cross for you and me.
  • Discipline is for the purpose of maturing us, to correct us and to promote positive growth. That is what God does for us.
  • Punishment focuses on the past things that we have done and reflects God's anger.
  • Discipline focuses on the future and reflects God's love.
  • Punishment produces fear, guilt, hostility and anxiety.
  • Discipline produces security.
We need to understand that all our wrong has been fully punished.

The trouble with us is that we live in a time/space world.
We don't understand the eternal dimension, so when we do something wrong, we think God wants to punish us and he is
angry with us.

But he is not angry with us, because he has already been angry with us and punished us two thousand years ago.

Now all he has left to deal with, is to bring discipline, correction and adjustment to bring us to maturity and he does it with love.

From: Living In The Grace Of God - Rob Rufus - Publisher: Zondervan Bible Publishers 1997

Saturday, 25 August 2007

God's true character


The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and his service one of unspeakable pleasure. He is all love and those who trust him need never know anything but that love.

He will not condone sin, but through the blood of his everlasting covenant he is able to act toward us exactly as if we had never sinned.

For the trusting sons of men his mercy will always triumph over justice. The fellowship of God is delightful. He communes with his redeemed ones in an easy uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not over sensitive or selfish or temperamental. He is easy to please and loves us unconditionally. He expects of us only what he himself has first supplied.

He is quick to overlook imperfections. He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds.

How good it would be if we could learn that God is easy to live with; he remembers our frame and knows that we are dust.

He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this he does with a smile, the proud tender smile of a father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son, who is coming every day to look more and more like the one whose child he is.

I believe that it takes years of being exposed to the truth about God's character until our minds are fully released from the erroneous concepts of God.

He sees us as worthwhile of his devoted, specific attention on a daily basis.

When we have a revelation of this truth, we can come boldly to the throne room of grace to find in abundance the grace that we need.

From: Living In The Grace Of God - Rob Rufus - Publisher: Zondervan Bible Publishers 1997

Thursday, 23 August 2007

What shall we do?

This just got pointed out by the guys from "Growing in Grace" on http://gigcast.graceroots.org/. Thanks for the great job you are doing.

John 6:28 Then they said to Him, What shall we do that we might work(2038) the works(2041) of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work(2041) of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.

How does this change the way we read the following scripture from James?

James 2:14 My brothers, what profit is it if a man says he has faith and does not have works(2041)? Can faith save him?

James 2:17 Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works(2041). Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works.

G2038 ἐργάζομαι ergazomai (er-gad'-zom-ahee)
Middle voice from G2041; to toil (as a task, occupation, etc.), (by implication) effect, be engaged in or with, etc.: - commit, do, labor for, minister about, trade (by), work.

G2041 1ἔργον ergon (er'-gon)
From ἔργω ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: - deed, doing, labour, work.




Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Definition - Grace

Grace is the divine characteristic that enables, furnishes and equips human beings to live in a supernatural dimension.
 
Grace carries the refreshing reality of God's ongoing acceptance of us - an acceptance not dependent on our failures or successes.
 
Grace is God's desire to bless us - not on the basis of our performance, but on the basis of Jesus' performance on our behalf.
 
Grace rescues us from the syndrome of rejection and insecurity, the tyranny of performance oriented living and the endless anxiety associated with trying to achieve and earn acceptance by keeping laws and regulations.
 
Grace reveals that we are loved, valued and accepted by God as we are. Grace means that God's correction and rebuke does not involve a withdrawal of His acceptance but, rather, a proof of His love for us.
 
Grace delivers us from self-effort and the heresy of the self-made person. Grace is not about what we do for God, but what God does for us.
 
Grace - true grace-turns disappointment into divine appointment, and failure into a stepping stone to success.
 
Grace brings the sunshine of heaven into our hearts; it releases us from the oppression of people's opinions, it nullifies Satan's accusations and it evaporates guilt and regret.
 
Grace sets us free to be what God created us to be - an enthusiastic, joyful, spontaneous, unpredictable, risk-taking and secure people.
 
From: Living In The Grace Of God - Rob Rufus - Publisher: Zondervan Bible Publishers 1997


Monday, 06 August 2007

Words from Louisa Stranack

Most of the scriptures are from the Message Bible.

I think one of the biggest traps Christians fall into is not thinking for themselves, not studying the bible for themselves. Not spending time with God learning from Him and consequently not being led by the Spirit. In other words relying on so called experts to determine what and how they should believe. Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you know what the Master wants. Eph 5:15 Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let Him tell you what to do. Matt 23:8-10

Author Gordon MacDonald says, in our pressurized society, people who are out of shape mentally usually fall victim to ideas and systems that are destructive to the human spirit and to human relationships. They are victimized because they have not been taught how to think, nor have they set themselves to the life-long pursuit of the growth of the mind. Not having the facility of a strong mind, they grow dependent upon the thoughts and opinions of others. Rather than deal with ideas and issues, they reduce themselves to lives full of rules, regulations and programmes. Or they simply give up!

Yes, I believe there is a place for leaders and the five-fold ministry-pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets, evangelists- in our Christian walk. But this should be an informed thought through submission and not a blind unquestioning allegiance. Because in the end it's to God that we will give an account of our lives. I've also come to the conclusion that you can't make informed decisions when you're bound, by the fear of man-a people pleasing spirit.

Drawn by the "Good News" I became a Christian and joyfully freely gave my heart to God and began to walk with Him, doing His will. But after 27 years of being born again, I came very close to giving up. I felt like an iron fist was clasped around my heart. I felt too tired and dispirited to go on. But I cried out to God and He heard my cry!

Slowly over the years I fell into the trap of trying to please man and play church. My heart was breaking I couldn't keep it up. Thankfully God called me back to Him and brought me back to my senses!

In my life what took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so I could be God's man. Gal 2:19

God promises in Matt 11:16-19, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

This is what I'm doing and slowly I'm learning once again- Gal 5:1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

But this insidious pull away from freedom is subtle and relentless and has been ongoing since Jesus first preached the Good News! This battle is constant and has to be fought continually. The solution is not to fall back into a mixture of law and grace: It's all about relationship and not formula. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law- dominated existence? Gal 5:18 (But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control of you, CEV)

Heretical teachers go to great lengths to flatter you, but their motives are rotten. They want to shut you out of the free world of God's grace so that you will be dependent on them for approval and direction, making them feel important.Gal 4:16-18

Adolf Hitler once boasted, "What luck for rulers that men do not think."

Lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in-nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes. Staying with it is what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry and you'll be saved. All during this time, the good news-the Message of the kingdom-will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come. Matt 24:10-14

I don't want to be loose out I want to be all God has designed me to be.

I had a picture during worship this morning of a rose being crushed under foot. The picture was in black and white. Then the single colourless rose became a colourful bunch. Just like a photograph of a bride when the rest of the picture is done in black and white or sepia and the roses retained their beautiful red colour. Then I saw many pictures of people in partial colour, slowly the colour and life was returned in perfect splendour. Then I saw myself as a beautiful joyful bride, dressed in splendour, twirling around dancing. Restored!

The healing return to wholeness has begun, for me and for many others as we wake up to a fresh revelation of God's grace! Praise God!

Regards Louisa

Friday, 03 August 2007

Rob's in the house

Great news South Africa!!
 
Rob Rufus will be at Victory Faith Church in Pinetown on 26th August.

Advice to a friend

I sent an email to a friend who has just had the wonderful grace of our Father revealed to her. She has been a Christian for most of her life, but says that she feels born again, again.

I am taking the liberty, and I am sure that she would not mind, to post some of the points that I sent her.

1)I once heard someone say, "teach the gospel all the time and sometimes use words." The spirit of grace permeates out of one. You don't have to say much. Just your joy, peace, energy and love will force people to want what you have.

2)Try and use the word "Grace" as little as possible. I have found that people, especially legalists, close up very quickly when they hear the g word. Substitute it with words like the Fathers heart, the gospel, etc.

3)You will ask why you are not experiencing Gods power, and start chasing signs and wonders. I have been shown recently, by Rob Rufus' teachings, that Gods power is in His glory, and God's glory is in His presents. Just seek Gods presents. Have a relationship with your Father. That is all He wants. Out of that, miracles will happen, including people getting saved and healed.

4)Most importantly remember that one obtains the revelation of grace from the Holy Spirit. It is He who will remove the scales from the peoples eyes. We are there to take the message to the people. Some will choose not to see and often they will be the ones we love the most. This will hurt.

5)There is a grace hating spirit that will persecute you. Paul writes about this all through his epistles. Take comfort that "If God is for us...". Pray much for your husband, your household, family and friends.

6)You are not alone. There are many people in the same boat as us. Go and read some of their blogs.
Here are some of the other sites
http://www.julnbde.blogspot.com/
http://www.gigcast.graceroots.org/
http://www.gracefortheheart.org/
http://www.carm.org/

7)Spend much time reading Pauls epistles. Also listen to Robs teaching often. Our minds have had many years of works based teaching that has to be renewed.

8)Guard your heart against critisism. You will hear someone say something that you know is wrong. I heard a saying the other day, "You can't stop birds flying over your head, but you can stop them building a nest in your hair". If you feel that you have to correct, do so with LOTS of grace and remember that your were in their shoes not so long ago. If you allow critisism to creep in, offense will occur and this leads to a root of bitterness (Heb12v15). This is what I am really struggling with at the moment and it sucks.

I hope this helps. I also hope that I never look like I have a "know it all" attitude. I have not even begun to scratch the surface, but I am so excited for what I am going to be shown.