November 15, 2016 – Grace
I’ve heard it in many sermons and even the bible says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8, and yet every time I heard a sermon on Grace I never fully understood all the aspects of God’s grace. Merriam-Webster defines Grace as: 1. Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification 2. A virtue coming from God and 3. Approval or special favor.
As I read through the verses in the Bible concerning grace and then looked at the definitions I came to a better understanding. We are sinners, we were born sinners, we will always be sinners, we can never be perfect. There has only ever been one that is perfect, Jesus and he was sent as the final sacrifice for our sins.
Just as it says in Ephesians 2:8, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not because of something we have done, but by simply believing on him, simply recognizing him as Lord, God has favored us with this gift of grace. He has given us special favor in his son, Jesus Christ, he has given us a way for regeneration and sanctification so that when we leave this material world we will dwell with Jesus in a perfect world without sin, without illness, without pain and without evil, and that is an eternal gift. Today I am thankful for the Lords Grace.
November 16, 2016 – Mercy
Mercy was another word I didn’t quite understand. We are told that God is merciful and that we should be merciful to others. I assumed that mercy was the same as forgiveness or kindness and in a way they are all connected. Any preacher can quote bible verses or read from the bible in his sermon, and he may be blessed with the gift of preaching a great, spirit filled lesson, but there are always those in his audience, who trusting him to teach the right way, don’t always understand what some of these blessings such as grace and mercy actually are. I really think that they should give a definition at the beginning of the sermon for those who don’t understand some of these gifts.
Merriam Webster (again) defines Mercy as a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion. I always thought that it meant an act of forgiveness when some one would preach about receiving Gods mercy. I always knew that it was something good, something you should desire, but until I really got into the Bible and started looking up the definitions of some of these words, I didn’t fully understand them
I would suggest, if you are an avid reader of Gods word, if you are really interested in studying the bible, keep a dictionary near by and “Where to find it in the Bible, A to Z” by Ken Anderson. You will be amazed at how much more you will get out of your studies using these two reference books along with the Word of God. Today I am thankful, ever so thankful for God’s mercy.
Psalm 51:1-2 Have mercy on me, O God, acording to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
November 17, 2016 – Gods Love
Do we actually understand what love is? When we were young, maybe just getting interested in the opposite sex, some of us believed we were in love with someone if we had a crush on them, even if we didn’t really know them. Unfortunately in today’s world, many teens associate warm fuzzy feelings, good conversation and sex with love, and because of that we end up without a multitude of teen pregnancies, teens having multiple partners, and teens and young adults who do not grow up understanding what love is.
Love begins in the home, before an infant is even born, but in today’s world of material wealth, many parents associate giving their children everything material they want with showing them they love them. Because so many Federal, State and City organizations have interfered with the way parents are allowed to raise and discipline their children, the children grow up thinking that love is being given gifts.
The gift of love is not a material item. God gave us his son Jesus because he loved us, and Jesus gave up his worldly life because he loved us. God didn’t go out and buy us a bunch of toys to show us he loved us, and Jesus didn’t hand out top of the line cell phones, computers, or video games to show us he loved us. Merriam Webster defines love as: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, warm attachment, enthusiasm or devotion. It says nothing about material items. Today I am thankful for love, especially the love of God.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.