VIDEO Grace Greater than Our Sin

Sep 2, 2009

John 1:14-17 (King James Version)
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15)John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17)For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:16 (KJV)
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

[Chorus]

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

[Verse 2]

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

[Chorus]

Look Up! – Get Moving!

Look Up!
mountain tree road
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:2

In a park near our home there’s a trail I enjoy walking on. Along one section there’s a panoramic view of red sandstone rocks in the Garden of the Gods with the majestic 14,115-foot Pikes Peak behind them. From time to time, though, I find myself walking that section occupied with some problem and looking down at the wide, smooth trail. If no one is around, I may stop and say aloud, “David, look up!”

The psalms known as “Songs of Ascents” (Ps. 120–134) were sung by the people of Israel as they walked the road up to Jerusalem to attend the three annual pilgrim festivals. Psalm 121 begins, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence comes my help?” (v. 1). The answer follows, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (v. 2). The Creator is not an aloof being, but a companion who is always with us, always awake to our circumstances (vv. 3-7), guiding and guarding our journey through life “from this time forth, and even forevermore” (v. 8).

Along life’s path, how we need to keep our eyes fixed on God, our source of help. When we’re feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, it’s all right to say aloud, “Look up!”

I look up to You, Father, for You are the One who can help me. Thank You for the joys and trials in my life right now. I’m grateful that I never walk alone.

Keep your eyes on God—your source of help.

By David C. McCasland

Get Moving!
Jesus washing disciples feet
Also…add to your faith… —2 Peter 1:5

In the matter of drudgery. Peter said in this passage that we have become “partakers of the divine nature” and that we should now be “giving all diligence,” concentrating on forming godly habits (2 Peter 1:4-5). We are to “add” to our lives all that character means. No one is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; it must be developed. Nor are we born with habits— we have to form godly habits on the basis of the new life God has placed within us. We are not meant to be seen as God’s perfect, bright-shining examples, but to be seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace. Drudgery is the test of genuine character. The greatest hindrance in our spiritual life is that we will only look for big things to do. Yet, “Jesus…took a towel and…began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:3-5).

We all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill to life, where we experience nothing but the daily routine with its common everyday tasks. The routine of life is actually God’s way of saving us between our times of great inspiration which come from Him. Don’t always expect God to give you His thrilling moments, but learn to live in those common times of the drudgery of life by the power of God.

It is difficult for us to do the “adding” that Peter mentioned here. We say we do not expect God to take us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we do! I must realize that my obedience even in the smallest detail of life has all of the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I will do my duty, not for duty’s sake but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience all of the magnificent grace of God is mine through the glorious atonement by the Cross of Christ.

by Oswald Chambers

Trusting the God of Love

Hebrews 8:6-13

Trusting God is a foundational principle in the Christian life. We are expected to accept that God is perfect in love, infinite in wisdom, and sovereign in control. We don’t automatically grasp these truths at the moment of salvation; rather, we learn them over time. Of these three facts, however, the one we most seem to doubt is the Lord’s love for us. However, Scripture gives us three proofs to rely upon when our certainty starts to waver.

Character love—God’s very nature is love (1 John 4:8). The Bible also tells us that God is light and there is no darkness in Him (1 John 1:5). In other words, there’s nothing sinful or imperfect in His character. If the Father is perfect and loving, He will never mistreat one of His children.

Calvary love—Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for our sins provides irrefutable evidence of divine love. The Father’s heart for humanity was revealed when He gave His Son to die in our place. Through Christ, salvation is available to all, but He would have made the same choice if you had been the only person on earth.

Covenant love—God is committed to making us heirs (Hebrews 8:10). We know that when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become children of God. Our immaturity is the reason He is patient and kind to us. God sees us as we are—little ones learning to navigate in our short-term earthly home.

As growing believers, we can’t trust God if we doubt His devotion. Thankfully, we possess these amazing proofs. It is the heavenly Father’s very nature to love, which He demonstrated at the cross and continues to prove by adopting us as His sons and daughters.

No False Witness

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” (Exodus 20:16)

There are several important and very specific words used in this commandment. An expanded translation could well be, “Do not purposely intend to injure or plan to deceive others by repeating a damaging report about one with whom you have established a relationship.”

The very idea of a lie originated with the great enemy, Satan (John 8:44; 1 John 2:21), no doubt rendering the lying tongue an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:17-19; 12:22).

The willing false witness will not escape punishment (Proverbs 19:5, 9). Indeed, such a person may die prematurely (Acts 5:4-10).

Untruth is not overlooked by God. In fact, those who are “liars” by practice will likely wind up in hell (Revelation 21:8, 27; 22:15).

While the focus of this commandment prohibits a “formal” false witness against someone—which would result in damage to their person, property, or reputation—the biblical applications are many and varied. Our holy God hates a false witness.

So-called “half truths” are not godly, either. Flattery and hypocrisy are wrong (Psalm 12:1-3; Proverbs 29:5), as are malicious joking and jesting (Proverbs 26:18-19; Ephesians 5:4). Even deceptive refusals are considered ungodly behavior (Proverbs 3:27-29; 1 John 3:17-18). And, of course, slander, gossip, and “tale bearing” are wrong (Psalm 101:5).

Those who name the name of Jesus Christ are, simply, to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:25), render sound judgment (1 Corinthians 6:1-5), and not to enter into a plot to do evil (Zechariah 7:9-10; Romans 12:9, 17, 21). Our “yes” and our “no” are to be precise and accurate (James 5:12). HMM III

What Good Is It?

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. —Isaiah 6:3

If you want to pray strategically, in a way which would please God, pray that God might raise up men who would see the beauty of the Lord our God and would begin to preach it and hold it out to people, instead of offering peace of mind, deliverance from cigarettes, a better job and nicer cottage….

What good is all our busy religion if God isn’t in it? What good is it if we’ve lost majesty, reverence, worship—an awareness of the divine? What good is it if we’ve lost a sense of the Presence and the ability to retreat within our own hearts and meet God in the garden? If we’ve lost that, why build another church? Why make more converts to an effete Christianity? Why bring people to follow after a Savior so far off that He doesn’t own them?

We need to improve the quality of our Christianity, and we never will until we raise our concept of God back to that held by apostle, sage, prophet, saint and reformer. When we put God back where He belongs, we will instinctively and automatically move up again; the whole spiral of our religious direction will be upward.

Lord, I do indeed pray that You might “raise up men who would see the beauty of the Lord our God and would begin to preach it and hold it out to people.” Amen.

Everything God Does Is Worthy of Our Praise

God is a spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

It is characteristic of the unregenerate man that he sees God only in nature, and of the immature Christian that he can see God only in grace!

Because sin has injured us so deeply and because the whole transaction of repentance and deliverance from the guilt and power of iniquity makes such a mighty impression upon us emotionally, we naturally tend to appreciate the work of God in redemption more than in nature.

But everything God does is praiseworthy and deserves our deepest admiration. Whether He is making or redeeming a world, He is perfect in all His doings and glorious in all His goings forth.

Yet the long, long ages, however far they may carry us into the mysteries of God, will still find us singing the praises of the Lamb that was slain. For it is hardly conceivable that we sinners can ever forget the wormwood and the gall.

We human sinners above all other creatures have benefited by His grace, so it is altogether natural that we above all others should magnify the blood that bought us and the mercy that pardoned our sins.

Yet we glorify God’s redeeming grace no less when we glorify His creating and sustaining power. If we miss seeing God in His works we deprive ourselves of the sight of a royal display of wisdom and power so elevating, so ennobling, so aweinspiring as to make all attempts at description futile. Such a sight the angels behold day and night forever and ask nothing more to make them perpetually satisfied!

Ascription of Glory

Yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 PETER 1:8

I am discovering that many Christians are not really comfortable with the holy attributes of God. In such cases, I am forced to wonder about the quality of their worship.

The word holy is much more than an adjective saying that God is a holy God. It is an ecstatic ascription of glory to the triune God. Everything that appears to be good among men and women must be discounted, for we are humans. Abraham, David and Elijah, Moses, Peter and Paul—all were good men, but each had his human flaws and weaknesses as members of Adam’s race. Each had to find his own place of humble repentance. Because God knows our hearts and our intentions, He is able to restore His believing children in the faith!

So, we should be honest and confess that much of our problem in continuing fellowship with a holy God is that many Christians only repent for what they do, rather than for what they are!

Lord, I confess before You this morning that at my very core I am a sinner— but one who has been saved by Your grace. I desire to please You, Father, as a child adopted into Your family.