Grace According to the Measure of the Gift

The songs tonight reminded us how blessed we are in Jesus Christ.  The devil tries to shut the source of living water from us.  Sometimes it seems all we get is a drop or two, but there shall be showers of blessings. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Paul said “I am who I am by the grace of God.”  We all are.  He tells us here in Ephesians in plain terms how it works.  What happens to us it not by our merit but by God’s.  Chapter 2 verse 8 says for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.  Never be afraid of the word grace.  It reaches deeper than we think and takes us higher than we know.  In Jesus and his grace life, even with its struggles, is a blessing.  They really teach us we’re on the right side.  The devil doesn’t care about souls.  All he wants is to sabotage us.  If you find yourself on the opposite side of Satan, say thank you, Jesus.  It’s because of the grace of God.

Ephesians 4:But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Grace is often misunderstood but it’s not meant to be complex.  God gives grace.  He shows grace.  My biggest surprises in life are gifts that came my way.  I’m not talking about anything monetary.  Just look at Jane.  She is a channel of grace.  God gives us a whipping when we need it but in the most unlikely times he shows us grace.  If not for grace this church wouldn’t be here.  If we had gotten what we deserved we wouldn’t be here either.  God has shown all of us grace.

Hebrews 4:16 tells us Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  It’s because of Ephesians 2:8.  We are saved by grace through faith.  If this was the extent of the grace we’d be hurting.  God didn’t turn us out on our own.  We needed grace to be saved.  Our best friend sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven.  If not for grace to help in times of need we wouldn’t have made it.  We’d give up on each other and the Lord.

When our soul was lost God didn’t save us because of our good qualities.  Some religions teach that.  There is no Savior in that.  Jesus even told the good Pharisee Nicodemus that he had to be born again.  He asked how he could go back into his mother’s womb.  Our flesh isn’t saved.  The soul needs the birth.  Nothing we do in this body cancels out the sin. Only the grace of God will do it.  What did Jesus tell him?  Look at John 3:14-16.  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It’s by the goodness and grace of God.  We had nothing to bargain with.  We came as a sinner without one plea because we had nothing to offer.  I don’t want to go to sleep without talking to Jesus.  We all can get in the flesh but with God’s grace we get forgiveness and go on.  We need the help of God every moment we live.  If we wake in the middle of the night we can talk to him.  He’s awake!

G-R-A-C-E is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  It’s hard to understand how it works but we experience it.  It’s not as much as what grace is but who grace is.  I delayed becoming a Christian.  I told myself only the goodie-two-shoes got saved not bad old sinners like me.  I’m here just an old sinner saved by the grace of God with a congregation of the same.  Only until we get to the point of seeing we having nothing to offer can we see grace.

If you travelers were going on a trip and they pulled Raymond to pilot the plane would you get on it?  No.  We want the captain to pilot the plane.  Don’t try to save yourself.  Let Jesus have the controls.  He’s the pilot and we don’t even belong in the cockpit.  Quit trying to tell God what to do.  Stay in your seat and do what you’re supposed to do.  Trust the captain and he’ll get us to the gates of glory.

Jesus didn’t come to our heart for a visit.  He came to stay.  In him we have the best:  the great physician, the high priest, and our best friend.  Sinners don’t have anything that can compare to what we have in God.  He’s good to us and it’s by his grace—unmerited and undeserved favor.  A coin has two sides, head and tail or top and bottom.  With one side blank it’s not a spendable coin.  Two things make up the grace of God.  The first is love.  God loves us.  If you’re out of touch with God, it is not his fault.  It is ours.  Love is coupled with mercy.  That is showing and giving goodness when we don’t deserve it.  Love and mercy equal grace.  It is not God and me that equal anything.  It is God’s love and mercy and we put faith in him.

Whatever turbulence we have in life, buckle up.  Do what God tells us and he and God will get us home.

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