Posts tagged ‘grace’

He Arose!

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And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Romans 6

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Pay It Forward

Do you remember this 13 year old movie “Pay It Forward”?

A kid named Trevor is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher. The assignment: Think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor comes up with the idea of paying a favor, not back, but forward. Repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. His efforts to complete his idea revolutionize his life, his teacher’s, his mother’s, and an ever-widening circle of people he doesn’t even know. Pretty cool, huh.

You may not realize it, but your life has the potential to bless everyone you encounter.

Part of God’s plan is to work through the people who have linked up with him to make the world a better place to live. You can be a part of this. In fact, God wants you to be a part of it. You, your life, the way you live it, has the potential to bless everyone you come in contact with each and every day. A kind word. A smile. An unexpected action. A small courtesy. There’re a myriad of ways!

Why simply walk through life when you can dance through life with purpose. Where you can be a blessing for those who meet you. Try it. In doing so, I’m betting you will benefit as much as the people around you.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4

Say Hello Grace

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True story here.

Recently a man was pulled over by police because he had an expired registration. He said he told the police officer that he was struggling financially. He said he had to choose between updating his registration and feeding his kids.

“I don’t have the money,” he told the officer. “It was either feed my kids or get this registration done.”

The police officer then handed the driver a citation, but when the man unfolded the paper, he saw a crisp $100 bill.

He said he “broke down” in his car. “What else can you do?” he asked. The charitable act would have gone unnoticed, except his grandfather was moved to contact the department about the gesture.

With the money he was able to update both his and his wife’s registrations.

Pretty remarkable story. It’s a story of grace. And, that’s just what God is all about. Do you deserve all God offers you? No, you don’t, I don’t, no one does. But, God willingly gives it all to us though we’re undeserving…and that’s grace.

And here’s something else. There’s nothing you can do to earn God’s grace. Nothing. It’s freely given by God. What do you do to get it? Connect yourself to God then just thank him for his grace.

And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved. Romans 11

Second Chances & New Hope

Second chances…do you believe in second chances?

There’s a program in prisons in Oklahoma called New Hope aimed at breaking the cycle by helping hundreds of children hard hit by meth abuse. According to federal statistics, children with a parent in prison are five times more likely to end up in prison themselves.

One of the program’s grads who plans to become a psychologist said: “Even though they have their parent’s genes in them, they don’t have to be the same person, they can be their own person.”

Over the past 10 years, none of the young people who have gone through the New Hope program have spent a day behind bars.

Everything we know about God agrees with this program.

God’s grace means that your past never has to determine your future.

It doesn’t matter who your parents are; it doesn’t matter who you are; it doesn’t matter what horrible, vile things you’ve done in your life; it doesn’t matter what others think of you or how they exclude you. God’s grace covers all of it!

God takes you just as you are. God’s church, his true church, doesn’t exclude anyone. He forgives all and creates a new you.

If you allow him, God will allow you to start over. He’s a God of second chances…and third and fourth and fifth….

With God there is new hope.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5

 

On a Dark Desert Highway

Interesting, isn’t it, you might say: “He tried to do good.” That implies that it’s work to do good. He had to try, to toil, to work to get it done. But, when you’re talking about bad, you say: “I didn’t want to do it, it just happened.” No work there. It’s almost as if someone forced it on you.

Well, get this. Divorce is hard enough on the couple and the people involved, but now in Holland a guy has come up with the “divorce hotel.” Yes, I’m serious. For $3000 you check in for the weekend and hash out matters, with the help of a mediator and other professionals. So now, are we making it even easier to end a marriage? The couples stay for a weekend, the results last a lifetime. (Running through my head is the line from “Hotel California”: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.) Oh, the guy’s shopping his idea to hotels in the U.S. And, of course, there’s already interest in a reality TV show based on this concept!

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good…. Jeremiah 29

God wants to do good things in your life. Not because you’re deserving or because you’ve earned it, but rather because you’re NOT deserving and have NOT earned it. He has compassion on you and your situation.That’s God’s mercy and grace. With him, those are not just words…they’re actions.

When you have a relationship with God, you don’t want to do bad, you make an effort not to. When you fail, you ask and receive his forgiveness. Doing good becomes easier. God encourages you to do so. Maybe God’s hotel is one you might want to check into.

Oops!!!

I have a friend who uses his guitar in his work. He teaches and performs music using it. One night at his house a guy tripped and fell…yes…my friend’s guitar looked just like the picture above. Broken! I don’t like when something of mine is broken. My car, my plans, my life. But, it seems like no matter what you do, sometimes your life ends up broken. It’s a fact. And we want to get it fixed. But, that doesn’t always happen.

God never says follow me and I guarantee you will not be broken. He doesn’t promise that. But…brokenness offers you two paths. One is fear, bitterness, and despair. It begins and ends in darkness. That’s the one without God. The other path is faith, trust, and hope. It too begins in darkness except it ends in light. Jesus understands brokenness.

Each time he (Jesus) said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12

God doesn’t promise to fix all brokenness, but he does promise to help you through it…all of it. Jesus says: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” When you’re broken and weak, he comes through for you with his power. Sometimes the biggest miracles God performs are not in your circumstances, but in our hearts and your attitudes.

You may not like broken. I certainly don’t. But, you don’t have to fear it either. Even when you can’t see the light, reach out. God will be there to guide you down the path. He’s there for you. Try him.

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