God Cares For You!

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Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may life you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.          1 Peter 5:6-7

Remember God when you lie in bed, think of him through the watches of the night. When you are wakeful during the night, thoughts can fly at you from all directions. Unless you take charge of them, you are likely to become anxious. Your best strategy is to think about the Lord during your night watches. Start communicating with him about whatever is on your mind. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. God is taking care of you my friend. This makes it possible for you to relax and rejoice in the shadow of his wings.

When you remember him during the night, think about who God really is, He is the “Great I Am,”, the Alpha and Omega. Ponder him perfections: His love, joy and peace. Rejoice in his majesty, wisdom, grace and mercy. Find comfort in his names: Shepherd, Savior, Immanuel, Prince of Peace. Be awed by his power and glory, for he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Thus you worship him and enjoy His presence. These thoughts of him will clear your mind, helping you see things from his perspective and refresh your entire being.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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God’s Gift Called Grace

Ephesians 2a.pngBut 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. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 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. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works so that no one can boast.                                                 Ephesians 2:4-9

John Wesley the founder of the Methodist movement, grace was the powerful process by which believes came to experience God and know God’s salvation. Wesley believed grace was ever present and influential in believers coming to repentance. He believed grace could lead believers to love God with all their being and to love neighbors and the world as they loved themselves. Mr. Wesley understood God’s grace as a unified piece, but teaching he defined grace as having three aspects; prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.

Prevenient Grace: Is the grace that comes to us even before we know God. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Through prevenient grace, God takes the initiative in beginning a relationship with us. Prevenient grace is God’s way of showing us that no matter who we are or where we are, God is already there ahead of us, waiting for us. God’s prevenient grace precedes us wherever we go.

Justifying Grace: Brings a big change to the relationship we have with God. Through justifying grace we begin to realize and trust (have faith) that we are restored to relationship with God. We come to acknowledge our sinfulness and trust that we are forgiven by God’s grace. Just as justifying text in a document aligns it a certain way, (right or left-justified) justifying grace aligns us with God through Jesus Christ. This is when “God reaches out to a person with accepting and pardoning love.” This change includes feelings of peace, hope, and joy. Such as experience “may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. It marks a new beginning, yet it is part of an ongoing process.”

Sanctifying Grace: Prevenient grace is God meeting you at every corner. Justifying grace is God reaching out to you with love. When you say yes to the invitation of justifying grace, you turn a corner in your faith journey. One of the most controversial teachings of the early Methodist movement was that it is possible for us to realize Christian perfection in this life, perfect love, loving perfectly. Wesley called this process “going on to Christian perfection,” or sanctifying grace. This part of grace challengers believers to go deeper in faith, to love the world more energetically, and to keep growing in the knowledge and love of God. For Wesley, God’s sanctifying grace led believers to have their hearts “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor. For you, this might mean coming to understand your life as more and more focused on living by faith. Faith becomes the center out of which you live. Little by little, God’s sanctifying grace uncovers more and more of God’s image in you. As one who has been forgiven, you become more forgiving. As one who is loved, you become more loving. Wesley emphasized that we are continually filled with God’s love, we are led more fully to acts of mercy and works of justice.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends npoty

No Compromise

Matthew 6c.pngOur God is a holy God, and He makes no compromise with sin, He doesn’t tolerate it at all! In this day and age, even the idea of punishment is becoming outdated. Children must not be punished anymore because it infringes on their personal right. But sin remains sin before God and we pay a high price for it. Now the sinful human grabs at straws. Is God not merciful? He is after all, love. But He is also just and holy! We must not play His holiness off against His love. Of course God is merciful, The fact that we are alive is proof of God’s mercy. But His love is by no means weak, it is strong and holy. It gives much but also demands much. God is merciful, but God is also just! God is just, but God is also merciful! Do you see the difference between the two concepts? Come with me to Golgotha, there the impossible became possible! There the tension was broken when Jesus was broken. Their righteousness and mercy flowed into one.

Jesus had to die for the sake of God’s righteousness. He paid the highest price so that we, the rebels, could be set free. He endured God’s wrath that we could experience His love. He was forsaken against by God so that we could know God, never to be forsaken again. He carried our curse so that we might be showered with blessings. The message of Golgotha is: God is righteous! God is Love! That is why Jesus teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our trespass, or sins or some Christians may say debts, it all means the same, we have all sin and have fallen short of the Glory of God. But through God’s love that he sent His one and only son Jesus into this world to die for all sinners (all of mankind) so that we will never be separated from God.

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Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Walking Humbly With God

Micah 6.pngWith what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good And what does the Lord require you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.                 Micah 6:6-8

Micah exposed corruption in Judah on every level of society. The rulers, prophets and priests were unjust, the people oppressed the poor and worshipped idols. Micah alternates between words of judgement and words of forgiveness and restoration. Micah is telling the people of Judah what God requires his people to do. To give God His due. God is deserving of our heart, body, soul, and spirit; our wisdom, understanding, judgment. Jesus tells us (Mk. 12:28-30) that the first commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Because He created us in His own image, God rightly and justly deserves all of our worship and adoration. “This is the first commandment.” To give your neighbor his due. Jesus continues (Mk 12:31) His discussion of the greatest commandments with the second, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Can we sin against someone we truly love? Perhaps we might momentarily sin against a loved one, but not continually. True love desires to bless and not to injure. Note however that we are not to give that which is due to God to any man – neighbor or self .To give to yourself what you are due. According to Paul, we are not our own but instead our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). So what we have coming must be tempered by what we must avoid. Paul reminds us first of all to “flee sexual immorality.” Elsewhere Paul gives us lists of characteristics to avoid and attain (Gal. 5:19-25)

To Love Mercy

God realized what man has come to know; justice, while necessary, can be cold and unfeeling. (Micah 7:18.) To do justly alone is not sufficient for a child of God; we must love mercy and do what it requires. Mercy comes from characteristics that include kindness, benevolence, and charity. Part of what mercy requires is to be willing to forgive the sins of others as God is willing to forgive our sins. It is this aspect of mercy through which our own salvation comes (Titus 3:5).

To Walk Humbly

But how are we to do this? We must first acknowledge our sins and then be willing to submit to God’s mercy. It is only through a humbling of ourselves that we will be allowed to walk with God. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:5.) Paul points out that it is high-mindedness that leads to unbelief and lack of faith in the power of God (Rom. 11:20; 12:3). The humble attitude required by the Lord will make itself manifest in a life of prayer, contrition, and service. There is no “Christian To Do List.” It is just not that simple. And yet we know that living Christ-like is not impossible (Mt. 11:29,30). But we must be mindful it is a “life” and not a series of accomplishments.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

 

 

Praise the Lord

Habakkuk.1As I had my time alone with God I once again came across the book of Habakkuk which is in the Old Testament, where this book ends with Habakkuk’s prayer of praise. Through the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, through the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, through there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in God my Savior.                    Habakkuk 3:17-18

To Praise our God, the God of Creation the Great I Am during the difficulties that we are facing is never an easy thing to do, however, it is the only right thing to do. You probably saying to yourselves boy is this person a little crazy. When I go thru many storms I try to do this one thing to Turn My Eyes Upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. During my own storms in life when I stop and sing or say these words the focus immediately goes to Jesus and not the problems. I remember how much I am loved, how I am a child of the Most High King, and remember the words that the Apostle Paul had written in the book of 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.

A Gift Called Grace Part 3

Grace part 3.pngSanctifying grace is God meeting you at every corner. Justifying grace is God reaching out to you with love. When you say yes to the invitation of justifying grace, you turn a corner in your faith journey. One of the most controversial teachings of the early Methodist movement was that it is possible for us to realize Christian perfection in this life-perfect love, loving perfectly. John Wesley called this process “going on to Christian perfection,” or sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace led believers to go deeper in the faith, to love the world more energetically, and to keep growing in the knowledge and love of God. For John Wesley, God’s sanctifying grace led believers to have their hearts “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor. For you, this might mean coming to understand your life as more and more focused on living by faith. Faith becomes the center out of which you live. Little by little, God’s sanctifying grace uncovers more and more of God’s image in you. As one who has been forgiven, you become more forgiving. As one who is loved, you become more loving. John Wesley emphasized that as we are continually filled with God’s love, we are led more fully to acts of mercy and works of justice. Perhaps we are so thoroughly surrounded by God’s grace each day we fail to even recognize it. We are saved not by any effort of our own; there is no way to earn our salvation. We are saved by the unbidden grace of God, which is near to hand, overhead and underfoot, in the eyes of strangers and friends, heard as laughter sometimes and other times as tears and Thank God for that.

But God shows his great love for us in this way, Christ died for us while we were still sinners.   (Romans 5:8) As followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we begin to have a hungry within the depth of our soul, to be able to understand who God is and his unconditional love for us. As we are in this spiritual journey with our Risen Lord we begin to realize how we are changing from the inside out, and for the better. We understand what it is to care and love another human being and more important we understand what it is to forgive others especially ourselves. When we have Jesus Christ as our role model we are changing and when we change one person at a time, the in time we can have Peace on earth for all of mankind.

 

Grace and Peace to you My Friends

A Gift Called Grace

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Can I ask you a question, if I were to give you a gift all wrap up in pretty paper, and a pretty bow on top of it, would you open it, or would you just stare at it. Chances on you would differently open it and see what kind of gift that was inside. Over the next few posts that I put on here I would like to take the time and talk to you about God’s Grace.  What is grace, it is an undeserved favor or gift, the undeserved forgiveness, kindness, and mercy that God gives us. In the book of Ephesians 2:4-9 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. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is grace you have been saved through faith-and this is not from yourselves it is the gift of God-not by works so that no one can boast.

John Wesley founder of the Methodist movement and early Methodists, grace was the powerful process by which believers came to experience God and know God’s salvation. Wesley believers coming to repentance. He believed grace could lead believers to love God with all of their beings and to love neighbors and the world as they loved themselves. Wesley understood God’s grace as a unified piece, but for teaching he defined grace as having three aspects.

Prevenient Grace is the grace that comes to us even before we know God. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Through prevenient grace, God takes the initiative in beginning a relationship with us. Prevenient grace is God’s way of showing us that no matter who we are or where we are, God is already there ahead of us, waiting for us. God’s prevenient grace precedes us wherever we go. This is the grace John Wesley believed is lavish and free and available to us all.

 

Grace and Peace to you My Friends