Tuesday, September 21, 2010

HE...is the good in you!

God is GOOD!

He is exceedingly and abundantly good, and His goodness is a bottomless ocean filled with treasures beyond our wildest imagination:

Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Message)
God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

Ephesians 3:20-21 (Amplified Bible)
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].
To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

It is HE who, by HIS GRACE given to us through JESUS CHRIST, provides us with the fullness of an abundant life - Fruits and all!

So don't worry!
Abandoning yourself to His Grace will not cause you to forget to be good...afterall...HE is the only good in you!
Any good we offer out of self righteousness is no good at all. Only the good we allow Him to do in us (it's by His grace through faith).

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (The Message)
So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (Amplified Bible)
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us everlasting consolation and encouragement and well-founded hope through [His] grace (unmerited favor),
Comfort and encourage your hearts and strengthen them [make them steadfast and keep them unswerving] in every good work and word.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Sufficiency of Grace!

Read, enjoy and be blown away by extracts of some simple truths, from "Growing in Grace Articles" (Joel Brueseke):

Luke describes Martha’s problem, by saying that she was "distracted with much serving" (Luke 10:40)...

"The Father who dwells in Me does the works" (John 14:10). His service came not from a focus on performing for His Father, but from knowing His Father. There's a huge difference! In the same way, how many of us busy “Marthas” would do well to stop and consider if we're letting our service for Him get in the way of knowing Him? Countless times I’ve been in the homes of friends who were so busy serving their guests that they essentially spent the entire evening ignoring their guests! I don’t knock on my friends’ doors, and ask if I can come in, so that I can have them serve me. I want to come in so I can spend time with them. I want to know them, and them to know me. I’m convinced that God’s purpose in creating mankind was not to create a bunch of weary, worn out servants, but rather that we may “know Him, or rather be known by Him” (Gal 4:9).

To stop, and wait, in this fast-paced world is a challenge, I know. But what if we end up actually hearing what He says – and what if we find that it’s not what the Marthas in our lives expect of us?

I believe grace is the ESSENCE of the whole Christian life! Do we really think we’re adequate to live any moment of our life in Christ apart from grace?

When it comes to spiritual gifts Paul tells us that we’re each gifted differently “according to the grace given us.” In speaking of his own spiritual growth and ministry Paul writes, “by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain, but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” Elsewhere he testifies, “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.”

Was Paul saying, “I put forth my best effort and grace covered the rest?” To me it seems more like, “Every single thing I did was solely the result of grace working in me.” “This is our boast,” he affirms, “our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace.” Paul’s boast in his accomplishments wasn’t really a boast in his accomplishments! It was a testimony to the power of grace. His devotion to his call, his understanding of the gospel, his abundant labor in the Lord, his servanthood, his persistence, his humility, his… you name it, wasn’t sustained for a moment by his own strength, striving or abilities.

Rather than a “strong Christian,” I see Paul reckoning himself as a weak person with complete dependence upon grace. Paul even went so far as to say “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Trying to stir up the flesh in order to make a good outward showing was off limits to Paul. All arrows point inwardly to the Spirit of God who dwells in us and to His grace that powerfully works in us. Paul’s exhortations for the body of Christ are infused with phrases like “according to the Spirit,” “by the power of the Spirit,” “through Christ,” “Christ in you” and countless mentions of grace. What else, besides yielding to grace, can enable us with power for Christian living!

As we take the focus off ourselves and turn to trusting in His grace we can be assured that rather than passivity, our lives will be fully animated by Him.

The Lord Himself described the fullness of the power of His grace: “Sufficient.”