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Monday, November 3, 2014

Grace...A Journey Not A Destination

Last Wednesday, our friend from Kenya, Africa, came to minister to our church. He was in for only one day and I think his message will feed us for years to come.  This wonderful, anointed, humble man, preached the message at Jake and Scovia's wedding 3 years ago.  I love to hear him preach because in his calm delivery lies such wisdom and love.  His name is Tom Otieno...he is an Anglican Priest.  His wife was the Matron of Honor for Scovia.  Beautiful people. I am so thankful that Father Tom was able to be with us last week.

Father Tom's wife, Susie, is standing next to Scovia.

Here are some quotes from the notes I took.  I hope they bless you as they did me and Christ the King Church.

15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 
16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”[a]
17 But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not!
18 Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 
19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[b] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
-Galatians 2:15-21 NLT

He spoke of Grace...Grace is the total substance of who God is.  The total heritage of what God gives us.  

When you are having trouble with someone, "God wont cut that person out but He will cut that person into your heart." (This one made me almost cry).  So many times we want to cut people out who disappoint us or who annoy us but by the grace of God, He changes US so that we can truly love this person.  They become a part of us.  I love it.  

4 Grace Positions

1- Verses 15-16...Learning the bridge of Grace...when we deal with just the law, it always comes up short...Grace is the bridge from the law to Christ, to forgiveness. This has stirred in my heart since the Wednesday...the law has a purpose but so does grace.  

2- Verses 17-18...Cannot continue in sin while claiming to live by grace.  The law of liberty is when God sets everything in it's rightful place.  

Just like your body needs to be aligned, everything in it's rightful place, to work perfectly...that's what grace does for us...it aligns us with Christ, so that He can work perfectly in us and through us...(By me, not Tom)

3- Verses 19-20...Die to yourself...take responsibility and take it to God.  Grace is worked into us...we take the things we struggle with to the LORD.  Doing whatever He requires.  

4- Verse 21...Everything is a work of grace.  We cannot take credit for any of it.  It's a journey from the beginning to the end.  All of it is the grace of God.

To set aside the grace of God would be fatal.

Different faces of Grace

1- Saving...Ephesians 2:8-9
2- Ministry...1 Corinthians 15:20
3- Strengthening...2 Corinthians 12:7-10
4- Speaking...Colossians 4:6
5- Standing...Titus 2:11-14
6- Giving...2 Corinthians 6:1-10  
7- Abounding...2 Corinthians 9:8
8- Preaching...Luke 4:22
9- Sustaining...Deuteronomy 8
10- Pardoning/Forgiving...Matthew 6:14-15

Father Tom also said that there are many more faces of grace but these are the ones that stood out to him.  

Amazing grace.  I have such trouble wrapping my head around this amazing grace sometimes.  When I think, "this is it, He wont save me this time", God comes in and loves me even more.  You see we have to come to the end of ourselves.  That is where God really shows His abilities and love.  

Give it to God...
Let Him empty us so
He can refill us with something

I am not sure if this is for anyone out there reading this blog today or if I just need to chew on it for a while but this is truly burning in my spirit.  I will continue to search it out and study it until it becomes a part of who I am.  

Grace empowers us to live as Christ designed us...In my living in grace, I have to be careful not to be so careless that I stretch my idea of grace to disgrace. Remembering that God will give me grace in order that I may be in perfect alignment with Him.  It changes me and molds me into His servant and causes me to fall deeper in love with Jesus...not for my worldly gain but for my eternal gain...Everlasting life.  

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