His Prayer . . . Our Power

Grace For The Journey

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17Jan

Robert Murray McCheyne, a 19th Century minister in the Church of Scotland, once said, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies.  Yet distance makes no difference.  He is praying for me.”  Did you know that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you right now?

The Bible says in Romans 8:34, “Who is he who condemns?  It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

McCheyne provided great insight into tremendous power in the life of the believer.  Even though he could not hear the Lord praying in the room next to him, he knew that Jesus was indeed praying from His throne room in heaven.  Regardless of what you might be facing today, you are facing it in the power of Christ and His prayer for you.

Jesus is praying for you continually.

Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21, “My prayer is not for them alone but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Your sent Me.”

In His earthly ministry, our Lord prayed fervently and specifically for His disciples who would be left behind to continue the ministry of the Gospel He had initiated.  But notice, that His prayer is not only for them.  It is for you and me and all those who would believe in the truths of the Gospel.

Knowing that Jesus prayed for us then

And is praying for us now

Is a source of great power for every believer.

What is there to fear with Jesus on the throne?  As Robert Murray McCheyne said, distance makes no difference when it comes to the power of prayer from the throne room of grace.

The Bible says in Hebrews 7:24-25, “But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.  Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Jesus is praying for you in the middle of your trials, tests, and temptations.

Jesus is praying for you in the middle of your storms, sufferings, and sorrows.

His prayer is your power, regardless of what you are currently dealing with in this life.

Jesus has already conquered every foe we will ever face.  Even the last and most fearful enemy was defeated when Jesus “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”  (2 Timothy 1:10).

So let us advance confidently in the direction our Lord is calling us to go.  Our praying Savior has paved the way for us to walk by faith and not by sight, because we know He has walked the path before us and is walking it with us today.  His prayer is our power, and that power is greater than any power we will ever encounter in both life and death.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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From Almighty to Aladdin

Grace For The Journey

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Far too many Christians in the contemporary church have exchanged the Almighty for Aladdin, expecting God to grant their daily wishes for wealth and health.  To them, Jesus is little more than a genie in a bottle, just waiting to be released to respond to their every desire.  They mistakenly believe God has saved them and exists in their lives to give to them the things of this world that will make their Christianity comfortable and convenient.

The problem with a comfortable and convenient Christianity is that it is, more often than not . . .

Christ-less!

But this is not what the Gospel is all about.

To be sure, God often gives His people wealth and health; these are good gifts from a good and loving God.

But these happy providences are not the primary “good”

God has ordained to give to His children.

God’s good for us may very well include storms and suffering, challenges and conflict . . . all of which accomplishes the purpose of Romans 8:29a-c – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . .”

I have learned over the years that a comfortable and convenient Christianity is a poor “conformer” to the likeness of Jesus.

God did not save you to make you comfortable

And to make much of your salvation;

He saved you to conform you to Christ

So that you would make much of your Savior.

God saved you to give you . . .

“Every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3),

Not every temporal blessing.

It’s true that our Father has given most Christians in America tremendous temporal blessings.  Like manna from heaven, He rains down blessing upon blessing to His people, but those blessings are not intended to make us comfortable!

Even a cursory glance through the Bible will affirm that God was not concerned about making His children comfortable.  Where were the temporal blessings in the lives of the apostles?  All but John died a martyr’s death, and John died in exile on the Isle of Patmos.

God was not Aladdin to the apostles;

He was the Almighty,

And they knew He did not exist to give to them possessions.

The apostles were His possessions,

And they poured themselves out to expand the cause of His Kingdom.

Far from “comfortable and convenient,” Christianity for the apostles was about a sold-out commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.  They gave no thought to expanding their own little kingdom.  They understood that they had been bought at a price, and that price was the precious blood of their Savior (1 Peter 1:18-19).

They also knew their salvation was not primarily about them;

It was about the One who saved them.

They lived lives of self-sacrifice, not self-protection.

They gave no thought to what they were getting;

Tt was always and only about what they were giving in service to God,

For His glory and the good of others.

So . . . are you serving the Almighty or seeking to be served by Aladdin?

Is your greatest goal to be conformed to the likeness of Christ

Or to be comfortable in your Christianity?

Only when our greatest goal is Christlikeness will we be ready, willing, and able to exchange Aladdin for the Almighty, receiving with glad hearts whatever God delivers . . . knowing that its ultimate purpose is to make us more like Jesus.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Visible Doesn’t Mean More Valuable

Grace For The Journey

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15Jan  We live in a visual society. We are often drawn in by what we see.  This tendency bears on ministry in the life of the Christian: some service is more visible than others. But I’d like to state up front that . . .

Service that is less visible is no less valuable.

Why?

Because it is being done for the glory of our Priceless And Precious Savior.

It is often asked, “Who is more valuable in kingdom work?  Is it the person out front in the place of high visibility?  Or is it the person in the background who often goes unnoticed?”  The answer, of course, should be a source of great comfort and encouragement to the majority of kingdom workers.

Very few are out in front in Christian ministry.  They have not been shaped by God to be in positions of high visibility.  The majority of kingdom servants minister in the background.  But we must always remember that ministry that is more visible is not more valuable.  No matter how humble and hidden the service to our Savior may be, the body of Christ absolutely depends on that service in order to be fully functioning!  The Bible clearly teaches this in 1 Corinthians 12:14-18, “For in fact the body is not one member but many.  If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing?  If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?  But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just s He pleased.”

We need the church; but more than that, we need to be the Church.  Of course, this requires a correct understanding of what church is.   A church is not a building, not a club, and not a business.  We do not come to church, we are the church.  The church is not like the country club with perks and privileges. You do not join a church to receive things, such as power, position, or gifts. You join a church in order to honor God and worship Him, learn more about Him and His life in Jesus, to reach out with the Gospel to those who need Christ, and minister to each other.  A church is also not a business. The church is not Burger King where you get it your way.  We are His Church and we do it God’s Way.  So, what is a church?  A church is a living organism.  It can be healthy and it can be sick, and yes, it can even die.  Thousands of churches close their doors each year. Paul used language in this passage to describe a living church.  There are three truths regarding his description we see in this passage: 1) A church is one body with many members, 2) All members are necessary, and 3) Members care and share for one other.

This truth causes us to understand our place and position in the Body of Christ.

It is God who gives us our assignment,

And every person has a perfect place

And portion to serve God.

We need only live it out with

Our eyes steadfastly fixed on Him.

I can tell you from personal experience at First Baptist Church, those behind-the-scenes servants are the glue that holds us all together.

“Less visible” most certainly does not mean “less valuable,”

Because God works through

The different people He has called and gifted

To accomplish His purposes in this world.

So . . . have you been serving in a place of seeming insignificance?  Let me assure you that . . .

There is nothing done for the glory of God

And

The expansion of His kingdom that is insignificant!

Remember, the one thing no one else in the world can be is YOU!  And that makes you indispensable to the expansion of God’s kingdom in this world.  Whether highly visible, less visible, or invisible to the watching world, “visible” does not mean “more valuable” in God’s economy.  It never has . . . and it never will.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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How Can I Experience More of God’s Love?

Grace For The Journey

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11DecPeople often ask, “What do I need to do to experience more of God’s love in my life?”  To which I respond, “Nothing! It’s not what you must do; it’s a matter of what you must accept and believe.”  What you believe in your heart about God’s love for you and the unchanging status He has granted you as a member of His royal family will determine, to an altogether unimaginable extent, the amount of love and grace you experience in your daily life!

Bryan Chapell puts it this way: “Many people feel that the means of grace (prayer, Bible study, church attendance, etc.) are the instruments by which we secure God’s love on a daily basis.  In our humanity it is natural to think in terms of such a barter system of love, but such thinking creates the impression that these Christian disciplines are not means of grace but means to grace.  We reason, as a consequence, that practicing more of the means of grace will cause God to love us more and, thus, the more we do them the more of His love we will get.  Conversely, we reason that we will have less love by not adequately pursuing these practices.  We damage ourselves and our spiritual walk with God by reasoning that practices even as noble as the means of grace will gain us more of God’s affection and approval.”

We are inevitably forced to ask,

“How much more must I do to earn His love?”

And of course, the answer will not be pleasant.

You and I must constantly remind ourselves that God has given us His means of grace, not as a way of gaining His love and approval, but simply as a way of experiencing the love and approval we already have in Christ.  There is no need to strive for God’s affection because we already have all of God’s affection, thanks to our relationship with Jesus Christ – a relationship that is established wholly by God’s grace and apprehended solely through faith.

The way we experience more of God’s love is by keeping in view the love we have already received, which was purchased for us on the cross . . . paid for in full by the blood of the Lamb of God.  From the moment we put our trust in Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf, God loved us completely.  To be completely accurate, God bestowed His love on us before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

He cannot love us any more

Than He has from all eternity,

And

He will not love us any less.

We are completely and unconditionally loved.

The more we learn about this truth . . . The more we live by this truth . . .

The more we will enjoy experience and expressing the love of God

That is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).

God’s love for you is as unconditional as it is undeserved.

  • In your disobedience you are loved.
  • In your weakness you are loved.
  • In your self-centeredness you are loved.
  • In your doubt or unbelief you are loved.
  • In every moment that you are unlovable you are still unconditionally loved.

Wow!  What a great and motivating truth!

God’s love for us is not based on our performance,

But rather on our position in His beloved Son.

And that position, dear reader, never changes, for the Bible declares in 1 Samuel 15:29,  “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent.  For He is not a man, that AHe should relent.”  Let that truth increase your experience and enjoyment of God’s love today and every day … until that day when you are received into your eternal glory.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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HOW TO RENDER OMNIPOTENCE POWERLESS

Grace For The Journey

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11Jan

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:17, “Christ [sent me] to preach the gospel – not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

That seems like a crazy title for a blog aimed at encouragement, doesn’t it?  First of all, no child of God would ever want to render the Omnipotence God of the universe powerless.  Second, how could that even be possible?  To be omnipotent means to have absolute, unlimited authority and power.  So could you or I possibly render the All-Powerful, Almighty God . . . powerless?  Here’s how we do it: through self-effort – living our lives and serving our God in our own strength rather than in His strength.

In today’s passage we see that the apostle Paul refused to render his Omnipotent God powerless.  If Paul decided to preach in his strength, using his natural gifts, talents, and abilities, the cross would be emptied of its power.  Natural wisdom, eloquence, and rhetorical devices were not the means that Paul depended on to preach the message of Christ; if they were, his audience would still be in their sin.  Paul knew that the only way to serve God was to serve in God’s strength.  When the preacher thinks it is his own preaching that persuades, he robs the cross of its power.  And this is true for all the saints of God in all that we do.  When we do anything in our own strength, we render Omnipotence powerless.

Our God has no interest in working through self-sufficient vessels.  When we close ourselves off to God’s leading and become unwilling to live and serve in His strength, we doom ourselves to failure, leaving a wake of disappoint, disillusionment, and destruction behind us.

Peter tried to serve Jesus in his own strength on the night our Lord was betrayed.  When Jesus told Peter he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed, Peter proudly protested, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you” (Matthew 26:35).  Peter’s spirit was willing, but his flesh was far too weak to fulfill his vow.  In his own strength, Peter denied Jesus, just as Jesus had said.  And the same thing will happen every time you and I choose to work in our own strength; we will find that our confidence in our own abilities is greatly misplaced!

What Peter should have said was, “Lord, apart from You I can do nothing.  Apart from you, I am weak, helpless, and foolish.  If you strengthen me and hold me up, I will never disown You.” That kind of humility and dependence is the key to seeing Omnipotence displayed in our lives.  We must look away from self-sufficiency and self-effort and look to the power and provisions of our Savior.  When we do, no weapon formed can come up against us and defeat us.

Living and serving in the strength of our Savior allows the power of God to be put on display in and through the lives we live.  At that level of living, we can echo Paul in saying, “May it never be that I should boast, expect in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry 

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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THE SUPERNATURAL STRETCHER

Grace For The Journey

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Is anything too hard for the Lord?  (Genesis 18:14)

How many loaves of bread and how many fish does it take to feed 5000 men, plus women and children?  How much food did Jesus actually create?

Short answer:  An amazing amount.

But how much?

Let’s do some estimating (and focus only on the bread):

  • 5,000 men + one women and one child per man = 15,000 people.
  • Each person eats about 1/3 of a loaf of bread.
  • 15,000 people X 1/3 loaf per person = 5,000 loaves.

5,000 loaves.  That is a lot.  How much?  Here’s how much – 5000 loaves of bread would fill up about 1.2 semi-truck trailers.

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This is amazing:  Jesus makes over a semi-load of bread appear from nowhere!  Truly Jesus is the Son of God!

The biblical answer, based on the Gospel narrative, is five loaves and two fish. How was that possible?

Because our Savior is a supernatural Stretcher

Who is in the business of making much out of a little.

If the truth be known, the answer to the question

Cannot be found in the supply that was on hand

For feeding 5000-plus people;

The answer will always and only be found

In the supernatural power of God!.

And what was true in Jesus’ day is true today – our Savior is in the business of making much out of a little.

However, our problem is the very same problem the disciples faced on that miraculous day.  The Bible says in John 6:8-9, “Simon Peter’s brother Andrew spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’”

You and I are just like Andrew.

We see scarcity and our Savior sees surplus.

We see a meager amount and

Our Savior sees another opportunity for the miraculous.

You see, in God’s economy, one plus one is not always two.

It is whatever God wants it to be

In order for His purposes to be accomplished

And His glory to be manifest.

Remember . . . five loaves and two fish were not needed for the miraculous feeding of the 5,000.  It could have been a smaller amount or even no amount at all.  The Israelites who wandered in the wilderness for forty years had absolutely no food supply in storage.  Their bread came from heaven each day.

So regardless of where this finds you today, I want you to consider today’s verse and be greatly encouraged.  God spoke the beginning words of today’s blog to Abraham regarding the child of promise who would be born to Abraham and Sarah, well beyond the age of being able to conceive a child.  But it applies to all the children of God in all ages.

There really is no easier question to answer in all the world:

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!

One more thought before I end this blog . . . the most important thing in your life that Jesus is interested in stretching will not be found in your pantry or in your pocketbook.

Jesus is primarily interested in stretching your belief.

We tend to think in the natural realm.  Natural thinking requires no stretching.  Without stretching, we shrink the size of our lives down to the size of our lives.

 Stretching only happens when we begin to think spiritually.

The disciples were thinking naturally when they saw only five loaves of bread and two fish.  But Jesus was thinking spiritually – and supernaturally – and all things are possible to those who believe in Him.  May that be the testimony of our lives!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry 

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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The Only Appropriate Response To The Almighty

Grace For The Journey

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9Jan  For the Christian, God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light to engage our culture through the process of expanding His kingdom in this world (1 Peter 2:9, 11).  How have you responded?  What has been the testimony of your life?  For today’s blog, let’s take a brief look at the life of Moses and see what we can glean.

After Moses killed an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave (Exodus 2:11-12), he fled Egypt and lived on the back side of the desert for 40 years.  While tending sheep near the mountain of God, Moses saw a bush that was burning . . . yet would not burn up.  When he drew near to see this strange, supernatural event, the Lord God spoke to him, which must have seemed even more strange and supernatural than the burning bush!  God called Moses to deliver God’s people out of their bondage in Egypt.

And what was the response of Moses to God’s call?  It is recorded in Exodus 3:11 and 4:10,13, “Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’” … “Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ . . . Moses said, ‘O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

Moses was full of excuses for not answering the call of God in his life.  “Who am I” . . . “I am slow of speech” . . . and “Send someone else to do it” were his ways of saying “I CAN’T!” and “I WON’T!”

And how did God answer His troubled deliverer?   The Bible tells us in Exodus 4:11-12, “The LORD said to him,  ‘Who gave man his mouth?  Who makes him deaf or mute?  Who gives him sight or makes him blind?  Is it not I, the LORD?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’”

God answered Moses then the same way He answers us today.

When God calls us into service, He equips us for that service.

The calling of God presupposes

The equipping and preparing of God;

We simply need to answer His call and go in His strength.

God gave Moses everything he needed to get the job done.

From providing Moses with his staff to enlisting the service of his brother Aaron,

God sent Moses off into Egypt

With His provisions and in His strength

To complete the task He had called Moses to perform.

So . . . what is God calling you to today?  What excuses have you made for not answering that call?  Trusting in God, leaning not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), and going in the power and provision of Almighty God will turn every “I CAN’T” into “I CAN” and every “I WON’T” into “Here am I. SEND ME!”

This is the only appropriate response to the Almighty.  It is true for our salvation and it is true for our service.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry 

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Rescued from Self-Righteousness

Grace For The Journey

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Self-righteousness is an inner feeling that springs forth from the wicked well of moral superiority.  By nature, as children of Adam, we all drink from this well daily.  We are like the Pharisee described in Luke’s gospel (Luke 18) who thanked God that he was “not like other men” who (he imagined) were far less noble than he.

So if we are all afflicted by this scourge by nature,

How will we ever be rescued from it?

The answer is found in clearly seeing the picture the Bible paints of who we truly are: The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of estcape that you may be able to bear it.”  My Greek professor in seminary – Dr. Curtis Vaughn, unpacked a more literal reading of this verse, explaining that the phrase “what is common to man” is translated from a single Greek word: anthropinos (“man-like”).

The deepest meaning of this verse goes far beyond acknowledging that we are all tempted in ways common to everyone.

It actually reveals the awful truth

That the seeds of the most sinful man

Are planted deep within the hearts of every man.

In other words, the seeds of the worst sins, sins committed by the most depraved people, are in all of us.

When this truth seizes us,

We are on the road of being

Rescued from self-righteousness.

What sin is beyond your reach?  When we see sin in others that we believe we could never commit, we become their judge, and self-righteousness drives its roots deeper into the soil of our sinful hearts.

After trusting in Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, I had difficulty accepting the Scriptural assessment of King David as being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). You will recall that David was the guy who should have been on the battlefield leading his troops; instead, he was in bed with another man’s wife.  And if that wasn’t wicked enough, he tried to cover up his sin by arranging for the woman’s husband to be killed in battle!  How could this David be a man after God’s own heart? I have never forgotten my dad’s explanation:

 “Terry, your problem is that you don’t

See David’s story as your story.

And until you do, you will not begin to

Plumb the depths of the truths of the Gospel!”

Well of course, he was right.  There was no way I saw my life story as David’s life story. I had not committed adultery.  I had not committed murder.  I was not what David was … Or was I?

In his book, Holiness By Grace, Bryan Chapell put it this way, “The scandal of Scripture is nothing less than the revelation of our own humanity.  However untouched by the world’s corruptions we may believe ourselves to be, the Bible says our humanity makes us no more beyond the most detestable sins than was King David.”

I have been rescued from self-righteousness by coming to understand the biblical truth that I am never more than one poor decision away from damaging my witness, disgracing my family, and disqualifying myself from pastoring the church God called me and my family to.  That sobering thought protects me from any misguided notion of moral superiority and keeps me focused on this truth:

Like the apostle Paul,

I am the chief sinner,

With the seeds of every sin within me.

And that is why I need Jesus

Every minute and every hour!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

 Pastor Terry

 Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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You Are Not Alone!

Grace For The Journey

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05Jan  Even in a place filled with people, we can feel all alone at times.  We may feel just like the paralyzed man lying by the Bethesda pool when Jesus showed up.  The Bible says in John 5:3-7, “In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.  Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

Notice the words: “I have no one to help me.”  How often we feel like we are all alone, with no one to help us!  There is something the Christian always needs to remember – Jesus is always there with us and always helping us, even when we don’t know it.  Jacob realized that truth at a desperate and lonely moment in his life (Genesis28:16)  Jesus promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves in (Hebrews 13:5).  Jesus is not a “fair-weather friend” who disappears when we are engulfed in the storms of life; He is with us from beginning to end.

Jesus cares about everyone, and in John chapter 5 we see just how much He cares for those who feel they “have no one to help.”  He cares about those who are alone.  He cares about those who reside in nursing homes.  He cares about those who are confined to hospital beds.  He cares about the widow and the orphan . . . and He cares about you!

If you have been feeling lonely, shift your focus to your faithful Friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Remember His words to the one who had no one to help him into the pool of water:

“Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked …” (John 5:8-9)

Whatever proverbial “mat” you may have been lying on, paralyzed by the thought that you have no one to help you, do as Jesus instructed that man to do:

Look to Jesus for strength and ability,

Knowing that you have His power and presence;

Knowing that Jesus is walking alongside of you every step of the way.

If you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation, you are not alone. You never have been . . . and never will be.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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Reminders

Grace For The Journey

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I would like you to take a few moments today to prayerfully consider what all of the following just might have in common:

  • A stain on your carpet
  • A dent in your car
  • A tear in your pants
  • A limp in your walk
  • A scar on your body
  • A lost reputation
  • A hole in your wall

All of these, and many other examples I’m sure you could think of, can be reminders of some kind of unpleasant experience in your life.  The Bible teaches us in the Old Testament that the people of God had constant reminders of their sin and sinful natures.  With every new sin they committed, whether it was a sin of commission or omission, intentional or unintentional, they were faced with these reminders:

  • The sound of a bleating lamb
  • The smell of fresh-spilled blood
  • The sight of smoke rising from the altar

Every sin required a “sin offering” in order for the sin to be covered and cleansed.  This process accomplished two very important things:

1) The sinner was constantly reminded of the seriousness and sinfulness of sin;

2) The sinner was reminded of being forgiven and restored in relationship with God.

That was great news for people in need of redeeming!

However, this wonderful news gets even better!

The Bible teaches us in the New Testament that there is only one reminder that God has for redemption and reconciliation to Him.

Glory be to God, today we need only one reminder: the cross!

We are to daily remember the cross, where our Lord and Savior hung on our behalf and died in our place.

Jesus paid the penalty and price for our sin – once for all.  We are totally free from the endless requirements of making sacrifices for our sins.  The cross reminds us of this incredible truth:

When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He meant what He said!

The devil would rather have you be reminded of your past sins daily.  He wants to keep you as a prisoner, chained to your painful past.  DON’T YOU LET HIM DO IT!

Keep the cross in view daily.  Remind yourself every day of the truths of the Gospel and live by its power.  Remember what Jesus has done for you daily, and you will know the freedom and joy of what it means to be living under the banner of the finished work of Christ.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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