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Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Today's photo of the surging stream was taken by my cousin, Georgia,
who lives in Wisconsin.
"What Grace Teaches"
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"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It (grace) teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:11-14).
In yesterday's message we shared about the power of God's grace to teach us to fear God and the consequences of sin. We shared a familiar line from the hymn, "Amazing Grace", "'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear."
Today we want to study this topic a bit more, considering another aspect of grace as a teacher. It seems to us that many in the modern church have lost this message and too often see grace as a mere "get out of hell free card".
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men."
We thank God for His unmerited favor or as the familiar acrostic states:
God's grace brings salvation. It is the free, undeserved gift available to the entire human race. Our response is to accept and believe. (John 3:16)
But the full teaching of Holy Scripture concerning grace includes the truth that God's transforming grace is a result of salvation. In fact "Transforming Grace" is the title of an excellent book written by Jerry Bridges I read many years ago.
We both have committed the daily Scripture portion to memory and encourage you to do the same. It is a solemn reminder of the very essence of living a life that pleases God as a result of God's grace. I find it helpful to slightly reword it to make it personal: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to me. God's grace teaches me to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live a self-controlled, upright and godly life in this present age, while I wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for me to redeem me from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a person that is His very own, eager to do what is good."
The barrage of ungodliness that abounds in this world can easily pull me down in my emotions and spirit when the sordid details of evil fill the pages of the newspaper or airwaves. It's hard to look upon evil after we have been redeemed from such wickedness. We must choose to keep a heavenly focus by living a self-controlled, godly life so that the dark things of this world will be overpowered by the bright light of God's glory and grace!
As recipients of God's grace we allow it to teach us. It teaches us to "say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions", which abound in this fallen world of which we are inhabitants. Next week we plan to share concerning a little verse buried deep in the Psalms, "The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men" (Psalm 12:8). As those who seek to please the Lord we are called "to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." This is what grace teaches us! The question is are we learning? And, if so, are we obeying?
Be encouraged today!
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for Your grace that meets our most pressing needs. It also helps us to say "no" to those temptations that are common to all and purifies us to be Your holy people who are eager to do that which is good. Your grace helps us to rise above the struggles of this world and most especially when we focus on the perfect, everlasting life to come when the glorious appearing of Jesus is seen by those He redeemed. Fill us with anticipation and expectancy, Father. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Current events note: We can observe from our website statistics the countries where our readers visit and or subscribe. In the last several years we have had nearly 5,000 from the Philippines. We pray for these dear people and their horrific loss of family members and friends, also the devastation of their physical loss. How good it is to read of Christian relief ministries hard at work in coming to their aid. Let us pray daily during this most difficult time for our Philippine brothers and sisters and those who seek to assist.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Grace Greater Than All Our Sin" Video Sounds like congregational singing at its best! (IMV)
"But For Your Grace" Video Rita Baloche
"The Gospel Song" Video Sovereign Grace
"Sinner Saved by Grace" Video Gaither Vocal Band
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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