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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Amazing Grace hymn page

"Qualified By Grace"

Message summary: We've been qualified by the grace of God! That should lead to a joyful and thankful heart!

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"We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light" (Colossians 1:9-12).

Pallet wrapper
There are various qualifications and certifications one might pursue to reach the top of their profession and industry. People need to have training for all kinds of jobs, such as operating certain types of machinery like a forklift. Yesterday I visited a company and saw what initially appeared to be a machine with an invisible driver spinning around a pallet. Of course it was a pallet-wrapping robot! I spoke for a few minutes with the employee who operated the machine and learned how handy it was when preparing many pallets for shipment.

Among our readers we know there are a wide variety of professions and skill sets that you have worked hard to qualify for. Even Mr. Robot was qualified to wrap pallets! But today let's consider a qualification we can all receive that we do not deserve and cannot earn. It is the most important qualification in life.

We quote a long text today though it's only one sentence. If Brooksyne were editing Paul's writing she'd probably have reworked this text. She lovingly scolds me for writing run-on sentences and proceeds to break them down into shorter phrases. Brooksyne also noted that there could easily be about 10 sermons developed from this single verse. In a sense we'll respectfully break down our text today as we choose to focus only on the final portion concerning God's grace in our lives. Paul speaks of "the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light."

Years ago I saw this thoughtful phrase on a bumper sticker, "God does not choose the qualified but qualifies the chosen."

Aren't you thankful for the truth in that phrase? In fact it's a simple expression of the contrast between man's many religious systems and the Gospel of Christ. Man's systems stress the need for our efforts to make us qualified for God's love and acceptance. This may be through our good works, our family heritage, or through religious rituals. But these never accomplish what God through Christ alone accomplished when He died on the Cross. His substitutionary death qualifies us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light based on His grace.

Late Bible teacher William MacDonald (1917-2007) eloquently sums up the gist of qualified writing: "When God saves someone, He instantly bestows on that person fitness for heaven. That fitness is Christ. Nothing can improve on that. Not even a long life of obedience and service here on earth makes a person more fit for heaven than he was the day he was saved. Our title to glory is found in His blood."

The Bill Gaither Vocal Band has a great song titled "
Child, You're Forgiven" with a powerful expression in it. "I've traded performance for amazing grace.  What a relief, I can't earn my way". Today we consider those who grew up in church and in religious homes and yet have an inferior understanding of the singular qualification of grace. You may be extra hard on yourself and unintentionally judgmental toward others. You may have a hard time really accepting God's grace and forgiveness and having an assurance of God's love.

Today let us thank our heavenly Father that He has qualified us. That's a great source of encouragement. And consider this truth as you also deal with whatever discouraging circumstances you are facing today. We've been qualified by the grace of God! That should lead to a joyful and thankful heart!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, if we base our emotions on the happenstance in our lives and the world in which we live we'll be defeated before the day is over. But You've called us to look beyond the changing circumstances of our day and to consider the unchangeable works You've done on our behalf. Because of Your exceeding grace You transferred us from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light where Your glory dwells and where You give us direction for each day. We give thanks to You, Father for qualifying us by grace. Amen

Lancaster County Bluebirds
The last several weeks we have shared photos of the bluebirds visiting our place.
Bluebirds are common in our area but only this winter have they visited our feeders, after living here 18 years. Today we share some friend's photos.

Bluebird (Doug Maxwell)
Our next door neighbor Doug took this one on his deck railing.

Bluebird (Doris High)
Doris High captured the namesake blue in this photo.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Child, You're Forgiven"  Video   Gaither Vocal Band

"I'm Forgiven"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"Please Forgive Me"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"Greatly Blessed, Highly Favored"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band, The Gatlin Brothers

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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