I received a remarkable message this week from Kelli Ryan, a dear sister in Christ who also has an online devotional ministry. I edited and summarized her beautiful expression of God’s grace. What a perfect message to share during this Holy Week. It’s a time to reflect on the unending Amazing Grace of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. He hung on the Cross for us….and by that incredible act of His Grace, we can live in His presence for Eternity!
For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
GRACE as defined by Merriam-Webster online:
a: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
b: a virtue coming from God.
c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.
Duct Tape or A Nail (Author Unknown)
A man dies and goes to Heaven. St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into Heaven. You tell me all the good things you have done, and I will give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”
“Okay,” the man says. “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.” “That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter. “That’s worth two points!”
“Two points?” the man says. “Well, I attended church all of my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.”
“Terrific!” exclaims St. Peter. “That’s certainly worth a point.”
“One point?!” Weary, the man claims, “I started a soup kitchen in my city, and I worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”
“Fantastic….that’s good for two more points,” St. Peter says.
“Two points!?!” Exasperated, the man cries, “At this rate the only way I’ll get to Heaven is by the grace of God.”
“Bingo! Yahtzee! 100 points…come on in!” St. Peter exclaims.
We often try to fix problems with WD-40 and duct tape. God fixed it through His Son Jesus Christ with a NAIL! Amazing!
“Anyone can devise a plan by which good people go to Heaven. Only God can devise a plan whereby sinners, which are His enemies, can go to Heaven.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer)
Christianity is separated from other religious faiths by this biblical truth:
There is nothing man can do to earn the favor of God. Salvation in other professed faith arenas depends on good works of man to please the deity.
Only Christianity sets man’s good works aside and maintains focus on salvation by the GRACE of God alone. Even with this biblical clarity, believers and non-believers alike get the position of “good works” out of whack.
Christians are not saved by good works, but they are saved for good works. No one is saved by being baptized either. Baptism represents a decision one has made in his heart regarding salvation.
We are saved by grace alone through faith in order to accomplish good works for which God saved us. Our ongoing works, carried out by God, become a sign and testimony of the reality of our salvation. A person saved by grace stops working for self and begins living for God. The Cross of Christ removed any necessity of our works to be saved.
When you love someone, you want to please that person. If we truly fall in love with Jesus Christ, we desire to serve Him by serving others…..and we know that this pleases our Savior. Just as a child wants to please his mom or dad, we will be inclined to please our Father when we are adopted by Him as His child.
G – R – A – C – E
G – GOD’S LOVE (John 3:16)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
R – ROYALTY (1 Peter 2:9)
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
C – CHILDREN (1 John 3:1)
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” A – ADAM (Romans 5:12)
–Death through Adam, Life through Christ–
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
C – CROSS (Colossians 2:14)
Having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. E – ERASED (Isaiah 43:25)
“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.”
HOSANNA! THANK YOU FOR SAVING US!
HAVE A BEAUTIFUL EASTER EVERYONE!