Posts Tagged 'grace'

Posts from 1 Peter: Endurance is Trust

Posts from 1 Peter: Endurance is Trust Sermon Audio Here

1 Peter 2:19-25

Too many “prosperity preachers” talk about what makes the “best life now”. But let’s face the truth: Everyone Suffers SOMETIME. The question is: What do we DO with suffering? How CAN We USE It?

How Can We Respond To Tough Times?

We Endure Through Trusting ~ 1 Peter 2:19-22 It’s not about getting through adversity

  • v19 commendable: org. word is GRACE; suffering not automatically a blessing, but it can be a tool which makes us aware of God’s grace to us
  • v20 don’t focus on the suffering; focus on doing good also a tool for seeing GRACE
  • v21 “an example” a writing copy to imitate, like a PRIMER for kids, to follow step by step
  • v22 HE missed no steps; we can walk as He walked (map through a minefield)
=> scene from football movie: player carries another player on his back blindfolded. Coach convinces the carrier to concentrate on his voice, not his own pain. End result: end zone!

We Trust in Christ’s Endurance ~ 1 Peter 2:23-25 It’s all about HIS work

  • v23 entrusted=committed himself again and again and again; an act of will/choice
  • v24 “might die to sins” KJV “being dead to sin”; the word means that Christ died, and dragged sin’s effects away; it’s NULLIFIED, and only has the power we give it. MEANING: when we remember our SIN IS DEAD ON THE CROSS, it can’t hold onto our life
  • v25 “returned” THIS is the 180 degree turn of “repent”; Jesus is our Watcher Above, our Shepherd

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

When we stop trusting, we wander. When we wander, we waste life. When we return to trust, we recognize again our life in Grace.

The JV Team: Little Brother, Big Impact – Jude

The JV Team: Little Brother, Big Impact – Jude Sermon Audio Here

Jude 1:1-7

Matthew 13:55: “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? ~ Jude was Jesus’ brother, but didn’t glory in that relation. Why not?

Jude’s Humility Reminds Us We’re To Be

Compelled by the Call, not Position (Jude 1:1-4)

  • v1 servant to Jesus, brother to James
  • v2 a particularly helpful reminder when Christians face difficult times: may you have Mercy, Peace, Love multiplied
  • v3 “urge you to contend” MORE IMPORTANT for those who have been called
  • v4 Jude reminds us: we CANNOT allow cheap grace to undermine our faithful
  • cheap grace: the idea that since we know God is all-forgiving, then we can just go ahead, disregard God’s call for holiness, and live however we want because we know God is predisposed to forgive.
  • Bonhoeffer: “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”
  • Keep in mind: I, {Ed} am not chewing you {Warden Community Church and blog readers} out for this: we are together reading Jude’s warning to early Christians. If we find echoes in our own lives, we’d be wise to pay attention to the solutions brought up in Scripture.

Called to Caution, not Permission (Jude 1:5-7)

  • v5 We MUST NOT assume that family connection can substitute for faith: Jude, Jesus’ brother, knows this better than anyone!
  • v6 Angels have NO FAITH: they stood in God’s presence directly with knowledge and invested authority and they STILL decided to go their own way; if THEY who knew directly will be judged, won’t we?
  • v7 NOTICE “gave themselves up” to be tempted is NOT a foregone conclusion to sin!

We do not NEED to fail in holiness, that’s NOT a foregone conclusion. Jude’s warning is to CHOOSE to stand against cheap grace, lazy living, and groundless faith. Ephesians 3:17-19: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Shaped By A Savior: Gifted with Grace

Gifted with Grace Sermon Audio Here

Isaiah 64:1-9
The Father is the Master Sculptor our lives. Sculptures are meant to be viewed; different lighting shows different details in the work. The Old Testament shows new light to illuminate the gospel, and helps us to see God at work in us, bringing the image of Jesus to the surface.

There are Three Presents We Must Unwrap NOW:

The Powerful Presence of the Lord
Isaiah 64:1-5a What does it look like when God shows up?

  • v1/3 look at the expressions of power: Nature reacts
  • v4 difference in little “g” gods and Lord Almighty? God Acts.
  • v5 righteousness and remembrance of God is key

The Significance of our Sin
Isaiah 64:5b-9 How do we respond in the presence of the Lord?

  • v6 self-generated righteousness is a bloody filthy mess
  • v7 our sin repels God; our fault, not His
  • v8 He loves us IN SPITE of our sin
  • v9 request: admit relationship AND repentance

The Gain of Grace
1 Corinthians 1:3-9 How does God compensate for our sin?

  • v3/4 Grace is given, not earned
  • v5/6 we’re enriched when Grace is at work
  • v7 y’all don’t lack WHEN TOGETHER
  • v8 He gives us all strength; together, we are un-accusable (not subject to Devil’s lies)
  • v9 fellowship with Jesus shows God’s faithfulness among us

Sculptors & Home renovation shows: both take great care in choosing the correct material for their projects. God, the master craftsman, has SPECIFICALLY CHOSEN YOU (flaws and all) to demonstrate some of His best work!
 

Unnoticed Grace

Here we are, on the cusp of Fall. As I write this, it’s a beautiful day outside, a pleasant 82 degrees… and that alone shows me how much it is possible to adjust to one’s surroundings. If you’d told me three years ago that I’d consider 82 degrees a pleasant day, I’d have thought you were crazy. You see, when we lived on the West side of the state, a day in the high 70’s was a WARM day… and anything above 80 was a reason to find a location with air conditioning.
Now? It’s merely a pleasant day. It’s amazing what you get used to when it’s around you all the time.
That makes me think about God’s grace. To those of us who live in God’s grace all the time, it can be unremarkable. It’s *normal* to be able to breathe a sigh of relief when thinking about our spiriutal state… because God’s grace covers us. We don’t have to work our way into the Kingdom, or try to earn God’s favor. We understand that earning God’s favor is IMPOSSIBLE – God, after all, is infinite. The love of the Lord for humanity is without limit – and can’t be bought or earned in any way by us. It’s all God’s choice to rescue us.
But we don’t think about that much, because it’s NORMAL for us. We take it for granted because that’s exactly what it is: granted to us, by an act of God’s will.
But what about those who don’t know? There are so many people in our community who don’t really understand the concept of God’s grace, because they’ve never really seen it in action on a regular basis. Personally, I know my family didn’t comprehend grace; there was a much higher emphasis on performance. I see a lot of that in our town – a high emphasis on what one is able to produce. That makes sense in an agricultural community… but it’s terrible when applied to theology.
We, as God’s people who live and move and have our being in the grace of God, need to extend that grace to others who have not yet understood it. “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:15). We can extend God’s Kingdom by spreading the message of God’s grace by whatever means are at our disposal. We even have the opportunity to broadcast our services on local television at no charge… all as a way of sharing God’s grace to those who do not yet live in it.
Please pray with me so that others would see Jesus in us; ” in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)
KFJ – Pastor Ed


Pastor Ed Backell

Flickr Photos

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