God’s Mercy and Grace (part 2)

Last week, we began a discussion about the mercy and grace of God. We learned about what the terms mean, and we started to look at how realization of God’s mercy and grace can impact every area of life.

As we see ourselves on the other side of the cross, we start to comprehend the reality that we are not still trying to get to the finish line; we have arrived.

Today I’d like to continue this discussion, and explicate these ideas further. As we continue examining God’s mercy and grace, we will see more of what He has accomplished, and more of who we are in Him.

God’s Mercy and Grace (part 1)

Mercy and grace, two wonderful gifts that Jesus has given to us. His mercy and grace are always available to us, and they are always active; never dormant or stale. Yet oftentimes we find ourselves feeling as though God’s mercy has somehow left us. Sometimes we think that His grace has abandoned us in the midst of a crisis. I understand those thoughts and feelings, and I’ve felt them myself many times before. I know that it can be very disconcerting, frightening and even depressing; again I have experienced all of that.

But is it actually true that God’s mercy has left us? Is it true that God’s grace has abandoned us? It can be difficult to even confront that thought, because on the one hand, we are uncomfortable even contemplating it. Yet even so, no problem of any significance is ever solved by ignoring it. We can and should approach the problem directly, and we shouldn’t be fearful about it. For if we do indeed believe as we proclaim that “God is good all the time”, then whatever answer we find, we can be certain that it will be good and beneficial for us.

So today I’d like to have a discussion about the mercy and grace of God, and perhaps tackle some of the more palpable aspects of it, both negative and positive.

Pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes (part 4)

Welcome to part four of our series on seeing pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes. So far we are about half way through, and we have already seen some fascinating and very awesome portraits of Jesus.

And so we will continue today, along the same path, because seeing Jesus is it the very core of our relationship and union with Him, and it benefits us – which is why the pictures are there to begin with. Think about it… Jesus doesn’t share pictures of Himself for His own benefit. God is not a megalomaniac – but rather He shares pictures of Himself with us for our benefit; because as we see more of Him, we can further appreciate and understand what He has accomplished for us, and in doing so, we can further so our new identity in Christ, and our standing in Him.

What if God Wasn’t Recording Your Sins?

I invite you to look at the title of today’s study, and ponder it deeply for a few moments. What if God wasn’t recording your sins? How would that change your life? How would that change the way you think, or the concerns of your heart? How would that affect your conscience, or the guilt and shame that so easily burdens us? How would this change your relationship with God and how you view Him?

In this study today, we will be looking at these questions, and the truth of scripture that surrounds them. We will be examining all of this through the lens of the grace of God, and in the light of the finished work of Christ – His sacrifice for you, and who you are today in Him.

As you see this truth today, your eyes will be opened to the amazing Grace of God, that we sometimes sing about, but never stop to consider the reality of what it means for us. And many chains of guilt, shame and condemnation will be broken as a result of seeing this today.

Jesus in Proverbs 15

The book of Proverbs is many things to many people. Some see it as a book of wisdom. Others see it as poetry. From one standpoint, it is both a book containing wisdom and poetry; many of the wisdom verses are written using Hebrew poetry. However while all of that may be nice, in the long-run, to be quite honest, it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t save anyone, or change anyone’s life, to know that Proverbs is considered a “wisdom book” or a “poetry book” – at the end of the day, it is just an interesting fact, just another piece of what I call Bible trivia.

Reading the Bible is more than just absorbing facts, scriptural knowledge or Bible trivia. The focus should never be on raw data retention or interesting tidbits . It’s not a what that we should be focusing on, but rather a who… it is Jesus. All of the scripture reading in the world, is all meaningless if we do not see Jesus in it; because He is the one who gives it meaning.

So today, I want to share with you, some beautiful aspects of Jesus, directly from Proverbs 15, and by seeing Him, you have a new way to appreciate and savor Jesus, in the book of Proverbs.

Who’s Your Daddy?

There are literally millions of people who claim to believe in God, and Jesus Christ. Millions of people claim to be part of a vast spiritual family, and claim to be brothers in Christ. The question that I want to pose to you today in this study, is the one in the title… Who’s Your Daddy? Do you know who your daddy is? Do you know His character? Do you know His love? Are you simply existing in a spiritual family that you don’t really know… and if so, what can you do about it?

I had a conversation recently with a person who claimed that they didn’t really know what the will of God was… they didn’t really know what He would do (this happened to be in regards to healing, but the same could be applied to anything really) – this seemed strange to me, because if you have a close, personal, intimate relationship with someone, you get to know them, and you get to know their character and how they respond to things. If you see a couple that has been married for a long time, you find that they know one-another so well that they finish each-others sentences!

So what I want to share with you today, are some things about the character of God, the way in which He has revealed Himself, and how you can get to know Him in a more personal way.

The Generosity of God Revealed

God is generous. I know by making this one statement, I’ve probably managed to offend someone. The idea of a truly generous God is not very popular today. Many people will say that they believe in a giving and generous God, but when you dig a little deeper, you will find that those same people only have a superficial belief in the generosity of God – which is to say that they don’t really believe that He is generous at all. I have encountered quite a number of people who feel that they must beg God to give them things and barely scrape by in life, and even some who think that the more needy and poor they are, the more it gives God glory and keeps them holy and humble.

On the other side, I have encountered people who say that God could not possibly be generous, because He wants to “test and try us” or “teach us lessons”, and then there are those think that God would just be some kind of magical genie, and so they oppose His generosity on those grounds. So what I want to share with you today, what the scriptures say about God’s generosity, and what He says about Himself.

The Healing Heart of Jesus

Healing is a controversial issue among believers, and most of the contention is around whether it is God’s will to heal, or whether He wants to or not. Many people question God’s heart when it comes to healing, thinking that He only heals in certain circumstances or at certain times. But I want to share with you a different perspective. It comes from Mark chapter 10, and it shows us an amazing picture of Jesus’ heart for healing if we stop and take a look at it.

Why is it important to see Jesus’ heart for healing? Some people would think that it is superfluous; some people would think it’s not important… they relegate healing off into the territory of a curiosity… but for the many people who are sick, in-need and even dying in their physical bodies, the healing of Jesus is very much center-stage – and God knows it. That’s why these pictures of Jesus are in your Bible., not merely to fill pages, but to show you the life that is available to you through Jesus Christ.

Trust in Christ and Be at Rest

There are many verses in the Bible that speak of rest… the importance of rest, finding rest and remaining in rest are all topics that can be easily found – or even stumbled across when reading scripture. Why is it then that so many believers are searching for rest? Why is it that so few believers have actually found rest, both for their body and for their soul? Have we all been deceived? Is the scripture on big lie? Or is something else going on here?

Today in this study, we will be taking a look at the rest mentioned in the Bible, to see the details of it, and exactly how it is received. This information is crucial to living the abundant life which Jesus came to bring, and He wants every one of His children to be enjoying His rest.

God Will Surely Show You Kindness

Over the years I have spoken to believers from all across the globe. Different nationalities, different ages and different backgrounds. For all of their differences though, besides their admission of being believers, they all have something else in common: They are all worried and unsure – not unsure of God’s existence, but rather unsure of His intentions. They aren’t sure of God’s intentions towards them – whether He will do them good or evil… they aren’t sure whether God will protect them and provide for them.

In all honesty, I do understand this mentality, because I used to experience it myself. It’s impossible to be totally sure when it comes to God if you’re on a shifting foundation based on self. If you are looking to your own behaviors and performance to dictate whether you receive blessings or not from God, then you will always be on the shifting sand of your current performance-level. However, thank God that the Bible does not actually teach that we earn favor from God through our own performance or behavior! Today we will be studying how God will surely do us good, and all because of Jesus Christ and His perfect obedience.