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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Your Grace is Enough

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My 3 year old, Logan, loves Veggie Tales.  Every time we get in the car to go somewhere its, “I wanna listen to Bob the Tomato grace is enough!”.  They have a praise CD that we listen to quite a bit, and one of the songs Logan always requests is  “Your Grace is Enough” by Chris Tomlin.  It’s a great song that talks about God’s unmerited favor to us and how nothing can separate us from His love.

But I’d like to look at this phrase “your grace is enough” from a different angle.  Most times we think of this as meaning that God’s grace is enough to save us, there is nothing we need do to earn our salvation.  So we know that God’s grace is enough for God, but the question I would like to ask is this: Is God’s grace enough for you ?  Or do you think that you are entitled to more?  Read II Corinthians and see if you can follow my train of thought here.  This is the account where Paul pleaded with God to remove his thorn in the flesh: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  

You know, that’s something that just doesn’t make sense to a finite human being like me.  I don’t know what exactly Paul’s thorn in the flesh was, but don’t you think Paul could have been even more effective as a missionary and evangelist if he didn’t have to deal with this?  From man’s viewpoint it seems as though he would have.  And yet God chose not to remove it, even though Paul pleaded with Him three times.

And not only do I find myself expecting God to remove my infirmities, but sometimes I also think that He needs to remove the consequences for my sin as well.  Now God’s grace has freed me from eternal damnation, the ultimate penalty for our sin.  But is it reasonable to think that I am entitled to be removed from the consequences of a past sin while here on earth?  The Bible is clear on this, read Galations 6:7: Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  I believe that there are times in our life where the consequences of a bad choice we’ve made lives on even though grace has been extended and received.  Despite the forgiveness of God and others, the consequences must still be dealt with.

We’ve probably all heard the questions, why does God choose to heal some people but not others?  And why do bad things happen to good people?  I don’t know the answers to these questions.  The only explanation I can come up with is that we live in a fallen, messed up world.  It doesn’t seem fair that some people get all the breaks and some go through trial after trial.  But we need to remember that sometimes God chooses to reveal these answers and sometimes we just won’t know why this side of Heaven.  Keep in mind that we are only looking in a dirty mirror, but one day we will see God face to face and see things clearly.

But in the meantime, God has given us this awesome promise: My grace is sufficient for you!  God’s grace truly is enough and consequences that we may suffer because of sin are NOT a sign of a lack of grace.  God really does promise to carry our burden and walk with us no matter what we are struggling with.  Don’t be angry at God if you are still dealing with consequences from your “old man life” or if trials in life have you down.  Praise Him in this storm and try to see these things as an opportunity to bring glory to God!

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Has Fear Become a Four Letter Word?

I’ve been hearing a lot recently about the subject of fear, especially with how it relates to a Christian.  There are a lot of headlines out there about how to “punch fear in the face”, and how that “fear constipates faith”, and so on.  It seems as though fear has become a bad word in today’s Christian circles.

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That’s all well and good, but let’s not be so quick to jump completely on that bandwagon.  We need to remember that there is also a good kind of fear: the fear of God.  This subject is not something we hear much teaching on.  Honestly, when was the last time you heard someone speak on this subject?  Are there any books out there that you can think of off the top of your head that have to do with the fear of God?

So what exactly is this fear of God and how does it fit in with all these anti-fear messages out there?  Most people will say that the fear of God is simply a respect and reverence for God.  I agree, but i think the meaning goes much deeper than that.

Reading Romans 3 really got me thinking about this subject.  It talks about sin and the corruption of the human race.  Verse 18 says “They have no fear of God at all”.  When you think about this, it makes sense.  At the root of every sin is this common denominator: no fear of God.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all discrediting those who preach about the limiting factor of fear and how it can hinder your Christian life.  They are absolutely right.  But take a look around you and ask yourself: Which is the bigger problem in society and even in Christian circles today?  Is it fear?  Or is it a lack of fear?

But to have the fear of God doesn’t mean that we cower in terror before God either.  He’s not up there with a big stick ready to whack us when we sin.  I’d like to compare it to the relationship between me and my dog Baxter.  Baxter has a tremendous amount of love and respect for me and would do anything for my approval.  He has a fear of offending me not because he fears punishment or torture, but because he is afraid of displeasing me, the source of his security and love.  So a better definition of the fear of God would be a “wholesome dread of displeasing Him”.  A God-fearing person is not necessarily afraid of God, but afraid of “what have I done to offend Him?”

Psalm 27:1-2 are well known verses that really tie in the subject of fear with the fear of God: “The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should i be afraid?  The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should i tremble?”  What these verses say to me is that when you fear God, you will fear nothing else!  What a powerful way to live!

What does the fear of God mean to you and how does it apply to our everyday life?
 
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Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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