A Paralyzed People

Grace For The Journey

graceforthejourneythemefor2017

Here are textbook definitions of the word paralyze . . .

  1. To make unable to move or act;
  2. To impair the progress or functioning of; make inoperative or powerless

At some level we are all “paralyzed people” when it comes to our walk with Christ.  From time to time we seem to be unable to act; we behave as if we are powerless.

We are paralyzed by a variety of conditions.  Here is a brief list; I could easily make it ten times longer!

  • Unbelief
  • Under-belief
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Failure
  • Acceptance
  • Approval
  • Religion and non-religion
  • Obsessions, addictions, and disorders

Only keeping the truths of the Gospel in clear view will overcome our tendency to paralysis.  The supernatural power of the Gospel is enough to counteract any attack made by the world, the flesh, and Satan, “the accuser of the brethren,” who goes about “seeking whom he may devour.”

The Gospel truths bring healing and hope.

The Bible says in Romans 8:1-4, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

God declares that because of what Jesus has done on the cross and the empty tomb that that is “no condemnation” to those who know Him and have accepted Him as their Savior and Lord.  It would do us good to think about that for just a moment.  “No condemnation” means “no accusation” – not today . . . not tomorrow . . . not ever! Jesus came to set the captives free (4:18), and that includes you and me.  We are freed to repent and receive forgiveness . . . which further frees us to continue moving in the direction God is calling us to go.

Someone has said, “a past littered with set-backs is simply a set-up for a comeback! ” Your past does not determine your future; the truths of the Gospel empower you to deal with your history so you can move in the direction of your destiny in Christ.

The Bible is full of stories of people who could have – and probably should have – lived paralyzed lives.  But they did not, because they knew the God who had set them free.

  • Noah became senseless after drinking too much wine.
  • Abraham lied to save himself.
  • Jacob schemed to get what he wanted.
  • David dishonored and disobeyed God.
  • Elijah became afraid after hearing of Jezebel’s threats.
  • Peter denied the Lord Jesus.
  • Paul persecuted the church.
  • John Mark became alienated from the apostle Paul after he left Paul in Perga.

The list goes on and on.  Yet in spite of a past that could have easily paralyzed them, these men continued moving in the direction God was calling them to go.  They realized the wonderful biblical truth in Proverbs 24:16, “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.”

So . . . how about you?  Is there anything that has been keeping you paralyzed?  Are you imprisoned by a problematic past?  Remember to live by the principles and power the Gospel and you will rise above paralysis to progress and productivity!

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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A GREAT ETERNAL CONSTANT

Grace For The Journey

graceforthejourneythemefor2017

2Jan  Change is happening all around us. Everything changes: lawns never stay cut; shelves never stay dusted; babies never stay dry. Amidst all of the ongoing changes in this life-changing relationships, changing careers, changing addresses – there is a great comfort for the Christian in knowing that one thing never changes…GOD!

The Bible declares this truth . . .

“I the LORD do not change.” (Malachi 3:6)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

There is truly no end to the comfort found in the unchangeable character of our Creator. In a world of ceaseless change, we can depend on our unchanging God. What God was in the beginning, He still is today, and will be forever!

His purpose is unchanged

His plan is unchanged

His power is unchanged

His promise is unchanged

His wisdom is unchanged

His justice is unchanged

His mercy is unchanged

His grace is unchanged

His truth is unchanged

His forgiveness is unchanged

His love is unchanged

How incredibly reassuring to know that our God changes not!

We could never in a lifetime exhaust these precious truths about our God, but I would like to sharpen our focus for a moment on His unchanging love. His love is an everlasting love: he loves us today as much as He did yesterday and as much as He will tomorrow. And this is not because of anything we have done to cause God to love us, but simply because He chose, from before the foundation of the world, to love us.

This truth sets us free from the anxiety and fear of losing a love we did nothing to earn.

The love that God in Christ lavishes on us is a gift. It was not gained by our merit, but given by His mercy. And because we did nothing to earn it, we can do nothing to lose it! If we did not gain the affection of the Almighty by being good, we cannot lose His affection by being bad. We are eternally loved . . . even when we are messing it all up. Romans 8:38-39 plainly asserts that nothing can separate us from the love of God . . . nothing . . . period!

Now, there are certainly times when you and I are not loving God as we should. But our Great Wonderful God loves us with an everlasting love. We must remember that we love simply He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We are kept by His love for us, not by our love for Him. It is His faithfulness to us, not our faithfulness to Him that keeps us in our faith.

This truth of God’s unchanging, eternal love liberates us from the prison of our past and propels us into the promise of our future with the freedom and joy of knowing we are securely held in the nail-scarred hands of our precious Lord Jesus 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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Resolution or Reality?

Grace For The Journey

graceforthejourneythemefor2017

1Jan  At this time of year, many set pen to paper and write down all the things they resolve to do to make sure the new year turns out better than the year just concluded . . .

  • Some want to lose weight.
  • Some want to get out of debt.
  • Some resolve to give more to ministry.
  • Others want to save more.
  • Still others want a happier home life.

So . . . what is it for you?  What are you resolving to do this year that will make 2018 better than 2017?  Let me suggest one thing above all else:

LIVE IN THE POWERFUL OF THE GOSPEL EVERY DAY!

No matter what we resolve to do, resolution will not make this year better than last year.

Never has a life been made better by resolution in the long run.  Sure, we can change behavior for a season and see measurable change in our lives.  We can be less slothful and more disciplined.  We can be less impatient and more forgiving.  But inevitably . . .

If our resolution is not accompanied by transformation

Through the power of the Gospel,

We will find ourselves in pretty much the same place

At the end of this year as we were last year.

And that is a place no child of God should be!  The Bible commands us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), not to remain mired in inertia!

Resolutions become reality when we keep the Gospel before us.

When the eyes of our faith stay fixed on the Gospel – virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, and glorious ascension – cold hearts thaw, hard hearts soften, and distant hearts draw near to Jesus.  It is only by trusting in Christ’s promise to finish what He started in us (Philippians 1:6) that we are empowered to keep getting up every time we fall.

Growing in grace means more than growing in Christian character, as important as that is.

To grow in grace is to grow in the awareness of our spiritual bankruptcy and the knowledge of the yawning chasm that lies between sinful man and a holy God that was bridged by Jesus Christ.

  1. C. Ryle summed it up this way, “When I speak of a man growing in grace, I mean simply this: that his sense of sin is becoming deeper, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, his love more extensive, his spiritual mindedness more marked.”

Resolution becomes reality as our understanding of God’s astonishing, unmerited favor becomes more real to us.  Deep down, we know we are great sinners, both by nature and habit, and yet we are loved by an even greater Savior who laid down His life for us.  The Bible  emphatically assures us that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).  You are loved in spite of your past failings, your current failing and your future failings!

The truth of the Gospel is the only power that can remove the merit-oriented mindset we bring into our faith and turn our resolutions into reality.

Happy New Year … Happy New You!

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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