GOD'S GLORIOUS GRACE
Grace: The freely given, unmerited love and favor of God.
"For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am..."
(1 Corinthians 15:9-10)
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
(11 Corinthians 12:9)
"The substance and essence of the true Gospel is the doctrine of God's grace. If you take away the grace of God from the Gospel you have extracted its very life blood from it. And there is nothing left worth preaching, worth believing or worth contending for. Grace is the soul of the Gospel. Without it the Gospel is dead."
GRACE TO YOU!
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."
(2 Peter 2:1)
"By instinct I feel I must do something in order to be accepted. Grace sounds a startling note of contradiction, of liberation, and every day I must pray anew for the ability to hear its message."
What's So Amazing About Grace
What have we done? We have taken the simple, uplifting, liberating, joy giving, life-changing message of grace and turned it into another do-it-yourself religion.
I see a pained and oppressed church world still seeking liberation; still searching for the real identity, the real character, and the real nature of God.
Charles Spurgeon preached a great sermon called,
"The Throne of Grace"
In that message he made this remarkable statement.
"He that sits upon the throne is grace itself."
The world hungers and thirsts for grace.
Nothing will ever satisfy us,
Nothing will ever sustain us,
Nothing will ever liberate us,
But Grace Itself
Without grace Christianity is just another religion in which people spend their lives wondering if they measure up and fearful that they don't. Attempting to follow Jesus without first being rooted and grounded in grace is sure to produce more failure than success.
I am obsessed with grace because I see it
as my one and only opportunity to succeed,
When religion and church fail,
there is grace
When relationships and careers fail,
there is grace
When all human effort fails,
there is grace.
In a world full of failure
there exists a God full of grace.
"As long as we are trying to do anything, God can do nothing. It is because of our trying that we fail and fail, and fail. God wants to demonstrate to us that we can do nothing at all, and until that is fully recognized, our despair and disillusion will never cease."
THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE
GRACE KEEPS US IN THE RACE
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
The wisest, most honest, most helpful words ever spoken to me came many years ago from my friend Hank, when he said, "Gary, you will never make it without grace." I have known thousands of Christians, including many of the well known ones, and I can state with absolute certainty that there are no spiritual giants in the Christian church. We all have our weaknesses. We all have our temptations, we all need grace.
The throne of God is the throne of grace.
Grace is God's love extended to us
When we least deserve it
and as often as we need it
It is unmerited favor
It is unearned favor
It is undeserved favor
Grace means you and I always get another chance and always have another opportunity to succeed.
Our heavenly father is the God of the fresh start.
God is good, for this mercy endures forever.
We are invited to come boldly to the throne of grace. We can approach it with boldness because we can approach it with confidence knowing that God forgives all our sins! Not some of them, all of them!
"Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more. And there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love.
"What's So Amazing About Grace"
GRACE OFFERS EVERYONE A FRESH START
"I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants. And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him."
The only God I know is the heavenly father who loves and accept all of us.
We fear Him
And we run away from Him
Because we don't really know him.
He is love, goodness, mercy, and grace.
When religion, and church, and Christians
and family, and friends, and associates,
all disappoint you,
Grace is available to comfort you,
to heal you,
to restore you.
I don't know how God does it
I cannot explain it.
But graces is truly amazing!!
In a world full of scams.
God's grace is the real deal.
The foolish person looks at grace as a license to sin.
The wise person looks at grace as an opportunity to succeed.
When everything you have ever tried fails
There is always grace –
Grace and a fresh start!!
"Grace – It's a stained glass, impersonal word until it happens to you... until you have been broken beyond belief and need a miracle for your soul. Until you have betrayed a loved one and cannot bring them back. Until you have befriended every darkness and are desperate for the light. That's when God's relentless, amazing, very personalized grace finds you."
Captured by Grace:
No one is beyond the reach
of a loving God
EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANT GRACE
"And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly
(1 Timothy 1:14)
After studying the Bible for 50 years
I am happy to make the following announcement:
The only God I can find in there is the God of
Exceedingly abundant grace
Exceedingly abundant mercy
Exceedingly abundant love
Exceedingly abundant goodness.
Years ago, on a busy Los Angeles freeway, I observed an old green pickup driven by an elderly man. On the back of his truck was this sign:
GOD IS NOT FAIR
and in small little letters underneath it said:
He is full of mercy
GOD IS NOT FAIR – He is full of mercy!
In God's Kingdom you and I never get treated like we should. There is no fairness and there is no justice. We receive something far better
Mercy & Grace.
It is true-
God is full of mercy
God is full of grace
– Liberated us from all condemnation
--Reconciled us to himself
--Declared us righteous
--Given us eternal life by grace!
God is good – all the time!
"God always offers grace for the need that is presented. So, if you have a need, present it to Him. If you are in a crisis, present it to Him. He does not expect you to go it alone. He does not expect you to stand in your own strength. He wants you to be strong in the power of the Lord, and stand in the power of His might. And the only way you can do that is by learning to avail yourself of the grace of God."
Living by grace
WE ARE ALWAYS UNDER GRACE
"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."
Grace is the good news that sin can't win, and you can't lose.
Grace is the good news that in God's Kingdom, you are now loved, valued, accepted and forgiven forever.
Grace is God's unearned, unmerited, undeserved favor extended to you yesterday, today, and forever.
Every believer is under grace. You may not look like it, act like it, understand it, or appreciate it. But you are under grace.
You are not under law
You are not under bondage
You are not under punishment
You are not under wrath
You are not under judgment
You are not under condemnation
You are under grace
Being under grace is like swimming under water. When we are under water we are surrounded by water. Water is everywhere. In God's kingdom we are under grace. We are surrounded by grace. Grace is everywhere!
"You are not only saved by grace, but you also maintain your relationship with God by grace. When it comes to our daily relationship with God, most people try to maintain it according to their performance. God loves us independent of our performance. The only way to have peace with God is to be justified – made righteous – by faith, not by works or performance."
Grace – The Power of the Gospel
LOOKING UNTO JESUS - JESUS DID IT ALL!
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God."
Looking unto Jesus. In these three words we find the secret of life. In these three words we find the key to living by grace.
Grace is all about looking at Jesus. Not at ourselves, not as out sins, not at our weaknesses, not at our failures, but at Him.
Grace is all about receiving from Jesus. Receiving strength from him, Receiving forgiveness from Him, receiving mercy from Him.
Grace is all about knowing Jesus. Knowing how faithful he is. Knowing how friendly he is.
Grace is all about abiding in Jesus. Abiding Means resting, not striving. Abiding means resting, not working. Abiding means resting, not struggling.
Grace is all about the finished work of Jesus. Work that brings us into God's Kingdom. Work that keep us in God's Kingdom. Work that makes us righteous in God's Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God is not the kingdom of do, do, do. It's the kingdom of done, done, done.
Jesus did it all!
"Preaching grace will always produce controversy. Some people want a balanced message. But how do you preach grace balanced? Grace is not a thing, it's a person. Grace is all about Jesus. Jesus did it all. How do you balance that? Do I preach one half hour in favor of Jesus and one half hour against Him? Would that be balanced? Grace is all about Jesus. My only hope is in what Jesus has done, not in what I can do."
How The Gospel Of Grace Works
GRACE - HOW WE ENTER GOD'S REST
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Jesus came to take the pressure off!
Grace is God's gift of rest.
Our redemption is a finished work.
The War is Over.
The victory has already been won.
The prison door is open.
"Liberty to the captives."
"Liberty to the oppressed"
How do you turn that into a big ugly religion?
But we did it!
Jesus never offers anyone a religion.
He offers us a relationship,
Complete with love, forgiveness, and rest.
Religion is a man's attempt to win God's approval.
In Christ, we already have God's approval.
Religion demands sinless perfection,
Grace offers merciful redemption.
So, how do we live the Christian life?
For me, there is only one way: by grace.
When all our best efforts fail, grace succeeds.
Grace produces rest
Self-effort produces stress
Rest will sustain you
Stress will destroy you
"Legalism wants you to strive every day to try to become what God has already made you to be in Christ... whoever is set aside for God alone has been set aside by grace alone... without grace all preaching is just wasted hot air. Sin cannot be removed apart from grace. Hearts and minds cannot be transformed apart from grace. Grace is God's program. Grace is God's design.
Grace Plus Nothing
GREAT ABOUNDING GRACE
"Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"
We need to treasure these words.
We need to embrace this scripture.
We were saved from judgment,
condemnation and punishment.
Saved by grace!
Sin lost; grace won!
Now we maintain our salvation by grace.
Where sin abounds in our lives,
Grace bounds much more!!
Sin loses; we win!
Years ago I attended the memorial service of a prominent San Diego Christian leader. This man had fallen into some sin that resulted in his divorce and death. The minister eulogizing him shared with us an emotional meeting the two of them had shortly before this mans death. They discussed the fact that when sin abounds, grace bounds much more. The end result was that this man repented of his sin. Was at peace with God, and knew he was going to heaven.
Sin lost; grace won!
You and I can rejoice and say
Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more
Where condemnation abounds, liberation abounds much more
Where failure abounds, forgiveness abounds much more
Where judgment abounds, acceptance abounds much more
Where evil abounds goodness abounds much more
Where fear abounds, hope abounds much more
Where shame abounds, glory abounds much more
Where darkness abounds, light abounds much more
Where death abounds, life abounds much more
"Grace can pardon our ungodliness and justify us with Christ's righteousness; it can put the spirit of Jesus Christ within us; it can help us when we are down; it can heal us when we are wounded; it can multiply pardon, as we through frailty multiply transgressions."
GRACE IS OUR FOUNDATION IN CHRIST
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich."
(2 Corinthians 8:9)
"Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will
God begins his work in us by grace.
God continues his work in us by grace.
God completes his work in us by grace.
Human effort puts self on the throne and takes God off the throne.
Grace puts God on the throne and takes self off the throne.
The throne of God is the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16)
The gospel of God is the gospel of Grace (Acts 20:24)
The word of God is the word of Grace (Acts 14:3)
The spirit of God is the spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10:29)
The New Testament age is the Age of Grace (John 1:17)
We receive grace
We stand on grace
We call on grace
We depend on grace
We endure on grace
We overcome on grace
We win on grace
Grace is how we enter God's Kingdom.
Grace is how we remain in God's Kingdom
"If my relationship with God depended on my being righteous and good, I would never make it. I have failed. Grace is being accepted by God even though I do not deserve it, even though I am not worthy of it."
Why Grace Changes Everything
GRACE IS OUR LIBERATION IN CHRIST
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."
Grace is the great liberator! We are liberated from all condemnation in Christ.
Not some condemnation
Not most condemnation
-Saves us from all wrath
-Liberates us from all condemnation
-Delivers us from all judgment
-Spares us from all punishment
-Releases us from all religious bondage
-We are accepted in God's Kingdom
-We are forgiven forever
-We are reconciled to God
-We are declared righteous
-We are complete in Christ
all the benefits and blessings of God's kingdom
belong to us by grace.
"The message of the new testament is simple, direct, and unmistakable. We are all saved by God's grace through faith alone, not on the basis of any good works we have done. The sole responsibility of a Christian is to believe In the love and grace which God freely offers."
Why Grace Changes Everything
GRACE UPON GRACE
"And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth... And of his fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
(John 1:14, 16, 17)
We all fail, fall, flip and flop.
God's love finds us when we are down and out.
We all need God's love.
We all need God's grace.
The more we fail, the more we need.
The more we need, the more we receive.
Grace upon grace
Is ever increasing grace.
Grace upon grace
is grace that endures forever.
Grace upon grace
is God's gift that keeps giving.
Grace upon grace
is our eternal opportunity to succeed
Grace keeps our spiritual lives afloat
in spite of all our setbacks.
Grace is a glorious gift
from a gracious God
to undeserving people like you and I.
grace upon grace upon grace
because we are
loved and loved and loved.
Grace - when you deserve it least
you receive it most!!
"Grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it and I am one of those people. I think back to who I was – resentful, wound tight with anger, a single hardened link in a long chain of ungrace learned from family and church. Now I am trying in my own small way to pipe the tune of grace. I do so because I know, more surely than I know anything, that any pang of healing or forgiveness or goodness I have ever felt comes solely from the grace of God. I yearn for the church to become a nourishing culture of that grace."
What's So Amazing About Grace?
GOD'S VERDICT: I WILL NEVER FIND YOU GUILTY
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has ever lasting life, and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death into life."
We shall not come into judgment!
We shall not come into judgment
because we have already been judged.
We have been judged and forgiven.
We have been judged and declared righteous.
We have been judged and placed under grace.
We have been judged and liberated from all condemnation.
We shall not come into judgment!
No judgment means no charges.
No prosecution, no trial, no judge,
no jury, and no guilt.
Salvation is innocence by association –
Our association with the innocent one.
Jesus paid the price for my sin,
and for your sin, and for all sin.
There is no guilt in grace.
Grace changes everything!
I will never find you guilty!
If that statement sounds radical
It's because everything about grace is radical.
Grace is the most awesome thing in the world.
Because grace is the most radical thing in the world.
Grace is far out
It is totally out of this world.
And that is where you and I need to be.
Many people have a concept of a cross that only looks to the rear of their lives, but never looks ahead. That's only half of a cross and that's really no cross at all. When God says he forgives us all our sins, that's a cross with two arms, one stretching back into our past and one reaching into our entire future."
The Liberation of Planet Earth
GODS PROMISE: I WILL NEVER STOP LOVING YOU
"I have loved you with an everlasting love."
God offers his children a long grace period –
My insurance company gives me a 30 day grace period.
My heavenly father gives me 30 years,
or 60 years, or whatever I need.
We all receive
What a deal!
You may fail and fail and fail, every moment of every day, but God will never fall out of love with you, and you will never exhaust his mercy.
In God's Kingdom
You can never earn anything.
You can never lose anything.
The Kingdom of God is about a great God
Giving great gifts to undeserving people.
Our salvation cannot be earned.
Our salvation cannot be revoked.
We don't have a temporary probation
We have an eternal salvation.
Eternal salvation means eternal love
You are loved today.
You will be loved tomorrow.
You are loved forever!!
"Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are... As I look back on my own pilgrimage, marked by wandering, detours, and dead ends, I see now that what pulled me along was my search for grace. I rejected the church for a time because I found so little grace there. I returned because I found grace nowhere else."
What's So Amazing About Grace?