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.

Jesus’ Payment For Your Emotional Peace

If you have been viewing the studies here for any length of time, you have probably heard me mention that Jesus has made complete redemption available, and that He has made complete provision for your spirit, your soul, your body and even your finances. And indeed we have studied about His provision for your spirit, His provision for your body, and His provision for your finances.

Yet it occurred to me that we had not really explored His provision for your soul (that is your mind and emotions), in quite some time. And this area of His provision is just as important, just as powerful, and just as freeing as the others; and so we will be looking at it today in this study.

God Works While You Rest

The natural reaction when things aren’t going our way and situations look bad, is to work more, try harder, strive more intensely – yet as we examine the scriptures, what we find is a different reaction being demonstrated over and over again. A reaction that is not one of stress, worry, striving or fear, but a reaction of rest.

This is not the kind of reaction that we typically expect, because it is not a worldly reaction; and it is not a worldly type of rest either. It is not “sitting on your hands and doing nothing” as opponents of this rest might imply; but it is a rest that originates in our spirit, as we behold the finished work of Christ and live our new identity in Him.

Do You See Jesus as a Provider?

The title of today’s study might seem a bit silly at first, but it’s meant to cause us to honestly stop and think. Each of us carries with us a certain perspective of God – a perspective that has been shaped by the events of our life, the doctrines and traditions we have learned, and the general thoughts and feelings that we have on a day-to-day basis.

The question found in the title of today’s study, is one that each of us must ask… Do we actually see Jesus as a provider? – because it is one of the ways which He has clearly revealed Himself. A provider in every single way and sense of the word.

In some cases, there has been push-back against the idea of seeing Jesus as a provider, because they say “it makes God into a genie” – some have felt that it is flat-out wrong to ask God for things, or that it is somehow greedy, selfish or worldly. Others have been taught that God really doesn’t care about provision, because that is too carnal, and God only cares about spiritual things. But again, is that how He has revealed Himself? Is that the picture He has painted Himself as in the scriptures?

Today we will take a look at the picture of Jesus as a provider, as demonstrated in scripture, and see a crucial aspect of Himself, that is sometimes ignored, but one that He wants us to see and receive, as much as any other.

Your Purpose: To Be Loved By God

What is your purpose in life? Why are you here? What exactly does God want or expect from you?

These are all common questions that people ask, and they are questions that sometimes cause doubt, confusion and even feelings of guilt and inadequacy for not knowing the answers. There are people that I have spoken with who feel restless, and unfulfilled because they think that more is required of them, and so they are constantly looking for the answer to the question of “what must I do?”.

In our conversations, I would gently suggest to them that perhaps God just wants you to relax and enjoy Him. To which, these people would force a half-smile, and a muffled laugh, because they didn’t really believe that God could want them to do nothing but simply enjoy Him – it couldn’t possibly be that simple…

Or could it…

What I want to share with you today, as you probably have guessed by now from the title of today’s study, is that yes, it really is that simple! God does simply want you to rest and enjoy Him, and enjoy the identity which He has given to you. In-fact it is vital that you do so – for your own well-being (and He knows it)! By seeing this truth today, you will finally be able to release the burden of “what must I do” – a burden which you were never meant to carry in the first place.

World Information vs. Spiritual Information

In a few of our past studies, I’ve alluded to the fact that faith is information. And I have received some messages from people since those studies, with questions regarding exactly what this means and how to apply it.

In those messages which people sent to me, it became immediately clear that they were not understanding the difference between world information and spiritual information. Indeed, those two things are very different. Not all information is faith. Faith is a very specific type of information; information that deals specifically with Christ, what He has accomplished, and who we are in Him today.

So today in this study, I would like to share with you, the very important difference between world information (information that comes from worldly circumstances and what the world presents to us) versus Spiritual information (information about Jesus Christ, what He has accomplished on the cross, and our identity in Him today) – that is the information which is properly identified as faith.

This is what we will be looking at today.

Relax, God is Not Angry With You

I’ve encountered many people throughout my years, whom I have shared the truth with, that God is not angry with them. And many times, their response, was “I wish I could believe that.” They couldn’t receive the truth of God not being angry with them, because they were measuring His attitude towards them using a different standard. Instead of looking at the truth in scripture, they were looking at their current circumstances, their emotions and feelings of the moment, to gauge God’s mood, instead of what His eternal word says. When things were going well, God was obviously happy, and when things were not going well, God was obviously displeased. And so for these people, thy were constantly living a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Never on a solid foundation, but always on the shifting sand of the present moment.

However, God does not want us to live that way… that’s not the abundant life that He came to give us. He paid a high and precious price to reconcile us with Himself – and that is not a maybe, or a half-hearted reconciliation. Jesus has done a complete work, one that has a sure result; one that we can be confident in, and one that does not waiver back and forth like the wind, or get tossed around by the waters of daily life. What we will be studying today is why you can be absolutely sure of your status with God today. Why you can be bold and confident in your relationship with Him, and know beyond all doubt, why He is not angry with you today.

Seek First the Kingdom of God

One of the more notable statements made by Jesus can be found in Matthew 6:33, in which Jesus says that we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of the other things will be added to us. Now, as believers we have become fairly adept at seeking God’s righteousness, as that was made available for us by Jesus on the cross. Yet it is interesting that His righteousness was not the first thing mentioned by Jesus when telling us what to search for. Jesus said that we are to seek first the Kingdom of God.

Now in many Christian circles, the Kingdom of God is not talked about very much; most people don’t even properly know what the Kingdom of God even is, or how to define it. We haven’t really sought it first as we were told to, but we have instead been seeking His Righteousness without His Kingdom. That’s why today in this study we will be examining what His Kingdom is, and what it means to seek (and find) the Kingdom of God.

Being Secure in Christ

Many times in scripture God has said to not be afraid (it’s not actually 365 times, closer to 110), but really once should be enough for anyone who takes the word of God seriously. However, we still find it difficult to not be afraid in certain circumstances. Often we think that being afraid of certain things is normal. Just a part of being human. However we still have the very words of God that tell us to “fear not”, “do not be afraid”. Was He just saying it for the sake of saying it… or is there something for us to learn and see in His words?

It might be interesting to note that whenever God said to not be afraid, it always accompanied a revelation of Himself… who He is and His nature, character and power. This is key when considering His words. God never tells us to not be afraid, without telling the reason why we do not have to fear. It’s one thing to simply say “aww, don’t be afraid!” – but it’s quite another thing to say “Don’t be afraid, because I am here!” and when God is the one saying it, you now have a very solid foundation upon which to securely stand. What we will be studying today is the security that we have in Christ, and how His words of fear not, are not just empty suggestions, but a reality for us to live in – all because of Jesus.

Let God’s Word Determine Your Future, Not Your Experiences

Many times when trying to determine the outcome of a situation, we look to our past experiences. I find that this is true in many places, but especially in Christian circles, and often in prayer as well. I have been in prayer groups, where we would pray for someone who had a debilitating condition, and we would pray, but then someone would say, “you know, there was a great Christian who had this condition, and they died”… and the moment that was said, it was as if it sucked all of the belief out of the room. People’s thoughts were moved from, “Yes God is a great Healer”, to, “Well if that great Christian died, I guess God doesn’t heal”.

We tend to allow our experiences to determine our future, even without being consciously aware that we are doing it. And we also are influenced by all of the negativity floating around from all of the other people who do the same. So today we will be looking at what God Himself says about your future, about His outlook and forecast for your life… unlike the weather, His forecast is always one-hundred percent reliable and trustworthy.