Tag Archives: grace

Concluding with Grace

Titus 3:12-15

 

12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

14 And let our’s also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

By my count, Paul uses the word grace around 90 times in his letters to the various churches in the pastoral letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon.  His emphasis on grace is apparent matter where you look.  He opens every letter with grace be given to the reader, and closes every letter the same way.  I would not be surprised if he said “Grace be to you” as his official greeting when he met people.  As I think about that, perhaps that would be a good way for all of us to greet people or say good-bye.  I understand that in Hawaii it is common to say “Aloha” as a greeting or as departing words.  Why not do the same thing with grace!

Today, we say “Hi’ or “Hello” or “How are you today” as empty words that we really don’t expect a truly honest response from.  Imagine if someone actually told you exactly how they are that day.  Would you take time to listen?  Would we even want them to tell us what was really going on in their lives?  If they did share with us, would we take time to listen?  Would we take time, right there in the convenience store, to pray with them or would we just leave them and say those empty words “I will pray for you,” or do we actually take the time to pray for them.  Then there is the common “Have a good day” wrapped up all in one word almost, as it is said so fast like a mantra, said with little meaning or caring.  I have said that to a young girl at the cash register that I knew.  Her response was I will try, and I responded back, “Don’t try, just do it!  Have a good day.  It’s your choice.”  Now she says “I will” when I say that.  Her perspective has changed.  There is power in our words.

Imagine if we just started saying “Grace be with you” as a greeting and a conclusion to our conversation, instead of just a dull “Hello, how are you?”  I think it would turn a few heads, don’t you?  People would think us a little odd, wouldn’t they?  After all, we don’t hear grace being talked about much in the world around us.  In the church, yes, it is talked about a lot.  But out in the street, the supermarket, the gas station, the dentist’s office, the bank, there is little talk of grace.  It seems there is more doom and gloom going around than grace.

I think the world needs to hear about grace more from the children of God.  I’m guilty, I admit it.  I don’t share His grace enough with those around me.  I talk about Covid, about work, about my day, but rarely about grace.  If I lead the conversation with grace and close with grace, people might start asking me what this grace thing is all about.  Why have I started saying that?  What is it about grace that I want to talk about?  Oh, what a door would be open then!  A door that all need to open if they want to find their home in heaven.  Then I can freely tell them about the grace of Jesus Christ.  How he came to earth to be a sacrifice for their sins.  Heaven is not earned.  It cannot be bought.  It has to be entered into through the blood of the Lamb.  By His grace alone we are saved.  We did not earn it. We certainly do not deserve it, no matter what good deeds we have done.   His grace is our admittance to eternal life in heaven.  Without His grace, we are headed for the Lake of Fire eternally.

His grace allows the fruit of the Spirit to grow within us as we mature in Christ.  Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  Who of us do not want more of these things alive in our lives?   I know I can always use more of each of these, and there are some of these I really struggle with, like temperance and longsuffering (patience).  I need to be more fruitful and the only way I get there is by His grace.  His grace gives me a door to all of the ministry gifts.  His grace allows me to sing, to worship to preach, to teach, to evangelize, to encourage and edify.  If His grave is not in these things, they are non-productive.  When I walk in grace and minister grace, His Holy Spirit will touch the hearts and lives of those I come in contact with.  After all, we are told to speak with words that minister grace to the hearer (Ephesians 4:29).  That verse has become one of my favorites because it challenges me to watch my words much more careful.  Minister grave wherever you go!

I’m going to try it.  Pray God gives me the boldness to carry it out.  That I might say “Grace be with you” everywhere I go and to everyone I meet.  Let’s spread a little grace around us!  It’s one of the best things we can share!

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Grace for All

Titus 2:11-12

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

We take so much liberty with these two verses.  There is no doubt God’s grace has appeared to all men.  Our lives are gifts from God, gifts of His grace.  It started on that Christmas Day, so many years ago, in a manger.  We are coming up on that time of year, and this is a perfect place for me to chare a piece I wrote a few years ago.  This piece is just a little picture of the grace that was given on that day.

What exactly took place that made
Christmas so important?

The one who strengthens us became weak

He had all the strength of thousands of armies and was victorious in every battle.  No foe could stand against Him, no enemy could stop Him.  No problem was too big, no trial to hard, no test too overwhelming.  Nothing scared Him or made Him fear.

Jesus, who is my strength, became a baby, the weakest of all men.  No strength to help Himself with any need. Only a cry could bring Him someone to provide strength in His little life.  From ultimate strength to ultimate weakness, all for me.

My provider became the neediest of all

He says if I ask anything in His name, He will do it.  He is the creator of all things, the supplier of food, water and air.  All that I need comes from Him.  Without Him, I am nothing and I would have nothing.  All that I have come from Him.  All peace, joy, hope, faith and love comes from Him.  All good in this world comes from Him.  He is the source of life.

Jesus, our provider, became the neediest of all humans, a baby who could not feed Himself, relieve His thirst by Himself, clean Himself, change His clothes.  Completely dependent on everyone and everything. From provider to needy, all for me

He went from knowing all to no knowledge

He numbers the hair on my head.  He knows my every need. He knows my voice and He hears me when I call. He knows my heart, my thoughts, my desires, my dreams.  He knows the plans He has for me and they are good.  He knows all there is to know.

Jesus, who was­­ omniscient, became one with no knowledge. A babe in a manger. Barely learning to know His parents’. Not knowing anything around Him.  Not knowing how to talk, or understand or reason.  From all knowing to knowing nothing, all for me

He went from Creator to created

He was there at the beginning, the Word that went forth when God said “Let there be..”.  He was the Word, and all things were made by Him.  He made the stars above and names them one by one, 400 billion in our galaxy alone.  He made all the animals, birds, bugs, and things in the sea.  He made the earth, the seas, the rivers, the dry land and the mountains.  All things were made by Him and without Him nothing was made

Jesus who was the creator, was now created in Mary’s womb.  He had no control over this creation.  He could not speak His desires into existence.  He was subject to the DNA of Mary.  He could not determine His hair color, or His eye color, or His height or weight.  He was helpless in His own creation after creating all things.  From creator to created, all for me.

He went from being King of Kings to a lowly babe. 

All power, all authority, all knowledge, all wisdom was His. Undefeated for all time. All the kings of the earth are subject to Him.  H controlled their destiny, the length of their reign, the people who serve them, and every battle they fight. Creator of all things.  Knowledge of all things.

Jesus, King if all Kings, Lord of all Lords, humbled himself and became a man. Leaving all His kingly praise, power and strength to come and die for us.  He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.  He withheld His power to escape this excruciating death for all of us.  He humbled himself more than we can imagine.  From King of Kings to Lowly babe, all for me

Jesus gave His all to pay it all so we could have it all.  A divine act of humility

That’s what happened. That’s why we Celebrate Christmas.

That is His love for us.

But we take advantage of this grace by not heeding to verse 12.  I have areas in my life where I do not live soberly as Paul says we must do.  I count on God’s grace to get me through these frailties of mine instead of clinging fast to Him and letting Him help me let them go. I do not always put aside ungodly things. I do not always endeavor to life righteously.  How presumptive of me to just assume His grace will cover me when I don’t walk as He ask me to walk in this present world.  How bold will I have to be to stand before God on that day and say to Him I trusted in His grace when I walked off the path?  I should not be counting on even getting that chance if I walk in willful sin.  I need to deny ungodliness and live righteously, as Paul days, in this present world if I am planning to live with Him in eternity.

Yet, so many rely on His grace to cover anything they want to do.  The church relies on grace when they embrace unbiblical practices and lifestyles.  They say grace has come to all men, but forget that God calls us out of our sinful behaviors and into righteousness.  He asks us, as He asked the women caught in adultery, to leave our sin behind. He asks us to walk toward Him and away from our past, putting those things behind that would hinder our closeness with Him.  He asks us to forget those things which we once were, and run with patience the race that is set before us.  He asks us to press toward the mark of the high calling of God, not live our lives still enslaved to sin.

His grace teaches us these things.  His grace is our instructor in righteousness.  We have an obligation to share this grace with all we see, because it has appeared to all men.  That day in a manger the world was changed forever.  That day at the cross the grace of God became available to anyone who wants it.  It is there, just waiting for one hearty to cry out and ask for Him for grace.  Never forget that His grace is for all men, but that once we have received that grace, we have work to do.  This ungodly, unrighteous life must transform to a righteous, holy lifestyle that honors the one who saved me.  We have been made new creatures on the inside, and now we have to work our own salvation with fear and trembling.  This transformation only begins at the cross.  It continues through the rest of our lives as we learn, by His grace, how to live for Him. Let us all examine ourselves and see if we are taking advantage of our sin.  May we have the heart cry of David in Psalm 139:23-24, where he says “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart.  Ty me, and know my thoughts.  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in thy way everlasting.”  Allow God to search your heart today and bring you closer to Himself.  That is where he wants you to be, right by His side, walking in the garden with Him in the cool of the day.  Do you know where your heart is today?

Use the Law Lawfully

1 Timothy 1:8-11

8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Today our cities are being torn apart by the unlawful use of the law. We have seen many riots in the streets because law enforcement officers are suspected of using unnecessary force against people of different color than they are, They are accused of paying closer attention to infractions that minorities commit than the majority commits. They are accused of playing favorites between their own race and those of a different race. It is thought that the over zealous actions of the police has resulted in a large majority of minorities in prison, not because they commit more crimes, but because the police concentrate more on catching them. This is a perfect case of using the law unlawfully. The law is not a respecter of persons. The law should be applied to everyone equally and not single out anyone of one race or one social class. The law should be pure and undefiled. The law should be used lawfully!

In this plea to Timothy, Paul is addressing the fact that many well-intentioned Jews were trying to make the Corinthians live under parts of the law after they had been converted. They were saying that circumcision must be done to truly be a child of God. It is an old case of works vs. grace. They claimed you must do something to earn your salvation. They taught that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was not enough to receive a pardon from God and be adopted into His family.

The fallacy of the necessity of works for salvation is still alive today. There is nothing in the Gospels or the writing of Paul, Peter, James, John or anyone else in the Bible that says we must do something to earn our salvation. The gospel is a simple message. Jesus said God loved the world so much He gave His Son so whoever believes in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16). The key word is “Believes”. That is all it takes. Faith. Pure and simple. Paul wrote that we are saved by faith through grace (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is given to us so we can have the faith to accept Christ’s sacrifice. Paul goes on to say it is not works that saves us (Ephesians 2:9). This is because if we were saved by works we would tend to become full of pride that we were saved because we found favor with God through our works, and that pride would puff us up. Romans 10:9-10 says if we confess Jesus Christ with our mouth and believe in our hearts God raised Him from the dead we will be saved. Once again, no mention of works is made.

We can do nothing to earn our salvation. It is a free gift from God. If you have been trying to earn God’s favor, you will never be able to do it. All you need to do is accept it, accept His sacrifice for your sins, accept that He rose from the dead to give you eternal live. Believe it! Have faith in God and His word. Paul goes on to say here that the Jewish law is what was given to show us our sin – it is for the unsaved. It was given to teach us what sin is. The heathen nations around that area had all kinds of ungodly mannerisms and practices that God did not want His people practicing. So He gave them the law to give them an idea of what holiness was.

Now once you are saved, you have a responsibility to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Jesus says if we do not do the commands of the Father, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21). You cannot just get saved ands go on your merry way. Grace covers a lot, but Paul tells us that we should stop sinning. We have no right to keep sinning so He will shed more grace on us
(Romans 6:1-2)

There is preaching out there that once you are saved, you are always saved. The Bible does not support that idea. John 10:28-30 tells us that no one can snatch you out of the Fathers hand., But that does not mean that you can’t leave on your own. You have a choice. You can decide to leave God’s safety by not following His word and walking away from repentance when you do disobey. His grace reaches a long way, and it will reach you no matter how far away you might get. But if you decide you don’t want to be reached, that is your choice. If you decide you will not follow what He has said, then you are in danger. Repent!

There are a lot of other teaching out there that say we must do something on top of our confession of faith in order to truly be saved. Paul says it is the glorious Gospel, the simple gospel that will save us, not laws. Let us never be ones to put burdens on new converts saying they must do more. Let us encourage them in the faith and show them the way to grow in their newfound faith. Faith that came by grace. Grace that saved their souls

Seek First

Matthew 6:33

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

It is so easy to get my priorities messed up. It seems life throws things at me so quickly I have trouble deciding what should come next. Even now, when I am not working full time, my time is in high demand from so many projects. It seems I flutter around like a honeybee goes to various flowers, trying to get a little from each one to take back to the hive. He never spends too long on one flower, and wants to get to many flowers before he heads back. This is me, project after project, one at a time for short amounts of time.

I have considered setting up some kind of schedule now that I am home all day, but have not come to any determination on that. The following things would have to fit into that schedule:

respond to email
respond to text messages
writing projects which include
Poetry when the Lord gives me something
This blog from the sermon on the mount
My next book project, which is about my cancer battle
Working on the maps that I update (this is my paying job right now)
Building my web site
Worship service for church each Sunday – this has several pieces:
Choosing the songs
Pulling sheet music
Printing up a word sheet (we do a lot of choruses)
Power point for the big screen
Checking Facebook
Taking care of our puppy – inside and out (he does not like to be left outside)
Fixing meals (my wife works 2 jobs, so I fix most meals for my granddaughter and me)
Laundry
House cleaning
Grocery shopping

Now, let’s see, what am I forgetting? Oh yes, time with God. How could I forget that!

It’s easy to see how I could forget that with all the other things I try to work on each and every day. I am not even working again yet, and I am lost in a sea of constantly doing something. What is going to happen when I get back to my job as an independent insurance agent for Aflac? How will my time work out then?

Believe me, if I could afford to, I would not go back to work. God has blessed me with the ability to write, and much of that will have to be forfeited when I am on the road again. I can’t see how I will have the time. Right now, my days goes from 4:30 to 9:30 or 10 each day. I do take about 20 minutes each morning to spend in the word, dong a bible study with a friend of mine. We work out of the same book and text our thoughts back and forth, with a little prayer, every day. I am utilizing scripture many times in my writing through the day. My mind is on Him, praying or just meditating even as I go through my daily tasks. But is this putting Him first? Is my schedule designed to make sure God gets priority in my life each day? I am inclined to say no, it is not. I am inclined to think I should make a more precise schedule which would keep me on task each day. It might look something like this:

4:30-5:30 – Time in the word. Praying, reading, meditating on God and His words
5:30-6:15 – Take out the dog and check email, play a couple games
6:15-7:15 – Breakfast and time with my wife watching news
7:15-9:15 – Working on maps
9:15-9:30 – take a break
9:30-10:30 – Chores and errands, take dog out
10:30-11:30 – work on maps
11:30-12:15 – fix lunch for my wife and I
12:15-1:15 – writing
1:15-3:15 – work on maps
3:15-4:30 – email, games, talk with a friend, take dog out
4:30 – 5:00 – time with wife between jobs
5:00 – 6:00 – fix and eat supper
6:00 – 8:00 – work on maps or write
8:00 until bedtime – relax, take dog out

Would this work? Maybe. Maybe I should try it. I never have scheduled myself that thoroughly. I have some elements missing even from this. Exercising, whether it’s walking or riding my bike, will have to be fit in once the weather improves around here (March). More time with the Lord is something I need to work on and there is no room for that. Poems come up at all sorts of time and I need to write them down when God gives them to me or I’ll lose them. Phone interruptions come often.

And what will happen if and when I get back to my Aflac work? All this goes out the window and has to be condensed down to early morning and late evening hours. Aflac has to take primetime from 8 to 4 or 5 each day. Then there will be paperwork to do at night. It will all become quite a blur. I have thought about just ding Aflac part time but if I did it would not provide the income I need right now.

Why do I tell you all this? It is simply to say that life is busy for all of us. I am not working full time and I don’t have the time for anything extra. Much of this stuff that I do now I was not doing before I came down with cancer and stopped working Aflac. God has repurposed my life. Now I need to find ways to put Him first amidst the chaos of my day. How do I do that? How do you do that?

If you don’t schedule like the above (which I don’t) it is still critical that you do schedule time with God each day. It can be anytime of day you desire, but I recommend first thing in the morning. There are several reasons for this thinking:

If you don’t take time now and you are busy, you can just set your alarm earlier to take time with God. It is easier to do that than to try to squeeze Him in somewhere in the middle of the day, or stay up later to do some reading and praying.

Taking time first thing in the morning seems to make the whole day go better, at least for me. God’s word is an uplifting influence no matter where you study. It will set the stage for your whole day, and you can carry the things you learned and read with you all day long.

If you are scheduling time in the morning, it is unlikely anything will interrupt that time. If you schedule during the day or evening, it is very easy for interruptions or other options to come up, and then your time with God will be diminished.

But seeking first the kingdom is even more than this. It is keeping Him in your thoughts all day long. The word tells us to rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4), pray without ceasing (I Thess 5:17) and acknowledge Him in all our ways (Prov 3:6). There should never a moment pass when we are not mindful of His mercy and grace toward us. There should never be a moment that we are not ready to praise Him, pray for others, or give an account for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). We must be instant in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2), ready to give a word to someone who needs to hear it. We must be ready, willing and able to show mercy whenever confronted with someone who needs mercy, as Jesus did. We musty make sure our words and actions are there to minister grace to those who hear and see them (Eph 4:29).

You see, putting God first is more than just scheduling Him into your day. It is more than just taking time to read scripture and study a book. It is a lifestyle. It is our “conversation” as the KJV puts it. Everything we do and say comes from our relationship to Him. If we are close to God, our words and actions will speak of Christ and His love wherever we go. My best friend has been close and has been drifting in His life. I can always tell when he is drifting away again because His language starts to get bad again. I will tell Him when I see this happening and sometimes he gets mad and defends Himself, and sometimes he takes the word of rebuke and thanks me for it. In either case, I will always tell Him. It is my duty as His friend and brother in the Lord.

We are to be a light that shines in the darkness (Matt 5:14-16), lighting the way so others will be drawn to the Lord. We are to be salt (Matt 5:13) making others thirsty for the things of God. We are supposed to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit those in prison (Matt 25:35-36). We are to love one another because that is how we show we are His disciples (John 13:35). Everything we do or say reflects our relationship to God. Putting Him first means putting others first (Phil 2:2-4).

Not only are we to minister to others as a way of putting God first, this verse says we should seek out those opportunities to touch others for the Lord. We should seek out the lost and lead them to Christ, we should seek those that are sick and pray for them, or those in prison and minister to them. We should seek opportunities to feed the hungry and provide shelter to the homeless. There are opportunities to do these things all around us every day. Jesus travelled hundreds of miles during His ministry seeking ones who needed to know about the kingdom, preaching, teaching, healing and delivering every step of the way. He was our example, sent from God to show us the kingdom. He said the kingdom was here within us! When we first seek His kingdom, the rest of our needs will not be near as concerning to us. We will be walking as he walked, in harmony with God, knowing that others are being touched.

So do not think about seeking God first as putting Him into your schedule. I spent a lot of time on that just to show the futility of it. Think of putting Him first as your lifestyle, as a result of everything you do during each and every day. Seek Him in those you come in contact with and minister to those who have a need. Do take time in His word, in prayer and in meditation on the things of God, but don’t do only that. There is so much more to His kingdom.

Jesus said we cannot even see the kingdom of God unless we have been born again (John 3:3). He said except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. It is wonderful to seek the kingdom, but we will never find it if we have not done what Jesus told us to do, be born again. We have to put off the old man, and put on the new man (Ephesians 2:22-24). How do you do that? It is very simple.

Romans 9:9-10

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:13 says that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Come into the kingdom today, seek Him first above all else and your deepest needs will all be met

Give all the Glory to God

Galatians 6:11-14 (KJV)

11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

The first thing He says was here and said that he wrote this letter by his own hand. Typically a scribe would take down word for word what Paul was saying in his letters. But for the Galatians he decided to write this letter himself and it seems like he must have had large handwriting. It’s not that this letter is very long because the letters to the Corinthians are much longer. I think he’s talking about his handwriting, that he writes in a large fashion. He wanted to make this point because he wanted them to know he was really emphatic about this point concerning the law and circumcision.

At the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Galatians he spent a lot of time talking about the fact that circumcision was of the law and he was trying to minister the grace of Christ. The people who are coming around telling them they need to be circumcised were telling them a lie. They wanted them back under the law. Now towards the end of his letter he brings up the subject again. This is how much emphasis Paul wants to put on the subject of the law versus Grace. This battle still rages in the church today. The law vs grace. Saved by grace or saved by works, which is it? To me, it’s saved by grace and kept by works. There can be no other price paid for our salvation – Jesus paid it all. Thus, we do not have to do anything to recieve that salvation except to exercise the faith that God gives to every man and place that faith in Jesus Christ. Once we have done that, works of mercy should result from our lives, and we have become new creatures in Christ..

It’s also interesting to me that this of the letter comes after he talked about walking in the spirit and not walking in the flesh. In verse 12 Paul says the only reason there is to be circumcised is so you can glory in the flesh. In other words he is equating circumcision with Walking In the Flesh here. If they were going to do that it would be because they wanted to be recognized for the fact that they had done this thing. He points that those people who were telling them they needed to be circumcised were not keeping the rest of the law. They were only concerned with people keeping that one point. But keeping one part of the law does a person no good! If you’re going to keep one part, you need to keep it all. If you’re living under grace, that is not a concern.

We see this in churches today as well. There are all kinds of rules that govern this church or that church. Having Biblical doctrine has become “uncool”. So we have decided to follow our own gospel and made our own rules to be a Christian. Some might say you must receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, others will say you must be baptized to be saved. Some say you must tithe, others will say you must do work for the church to be saved. In any case, they are trying to put you under the law, not under grace.

Grace is all about God, not all about you. Grace is what called you out of darkness into an understanding of what the gospel means. Grace is what drew you to admit you were a sinner and needed a redeemer. Grace is what helped you recognize that Jesus was the only Savior. Grace was what reached into your heart and turned that stony ground to a soft clay. Grace is what began to mold and shape your heart and mind into the new creation Christ wants you to be. And grace still works today inside you to help you work out your salvation with fear and trembling. It’s all about grace, not about works.

They wanted to glory in their flesh, to be able to say the did something to be saved. But heaven forbid did any of us should ever try to glory in our flesh, or preach a message that might change their lives and then we take the glory for it. It is God that does all of it not us. He may give us a dynamic message. God will move in a mighty way and heal people and deliver people and people might get saved. We all would love to see that kind of a service in our church. But heaven forbid when that happens I should think something of myself. Let me never glory in the flesh but always turn all the glory to God and all the things that He does for us. That’s what Paul is saying in verse 14 God forbid that I should Glory.

There is no place for Glory in my life. I am a sinner and it’s only by the precious blood of Jesus Christ that I can even live a good life. He gives me strength. He gives me hope. He gives me love and joy and peace. He gives me these things so that I can give them to others. And above all things He gives me mercy and Grace. When I see His mercy and Grace alive and active in my life, I often start to weep and say Lord why me. Why do you care so much about me. Why do you lavish your mercy and grace on me. I am undeserving of any of it. Yet you shower me with blessings every single day. I cannot count the mercy that you have in my life. I cannot count the times that your grace has caught me off guard. Precious savior may I always only glory in you. May I always give you the praise for what you have done in my life May I always make sure that everybody else knows that it’s you who’s working in my life. It’s you that’s healing me from this cancer. It’s you that is giving me the strength in my legs to go on. It’s Only You Lord.

If you are getting the glory, STOP IT! Give all the glory to God. He deserves it!

Be blessed.