Blown away by God’s grace……!


I would like to share one of my favourite passages of scripture.  It speaks about God’s kindness and grace…. In your own time you can read the whole chapter because it is powerful but I will touch on a few verses that touch me the most:

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and in irons, 

Because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the most High. 

Therefore He bowed down their hearts with hard labor; they stumbled and fell down, and there was none to help.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. 

He brought them out of the darkness and the shadow of death and broke apart the bonds that held them. Psalm 107:10-14

I understand as humans we sin. We get ourselves into trouble by making really bad decisions. We all make mistakes.

The people in the passage I just shared got themselves into trouble. They made all the wrong decisions. They rebelled against God. They were bound and in chains because they rejected God……

Because of their actions they were abandoned with NO ONE to help! They had no one to turn to but……..

They cried to the Lord!!!!! They cried to the Lord in their trouble and He saved them from their distresses! God had every right to leave them but He didn’t. It doesn’t make sense to the human mind. They were on the wrong, they abandoned God…..but in His grace and love and kindness He heard and answered their prayers!!!! That blows my mind and reminds me how little I know God’s grace!!

And that is the trend we see in the rest of the chapter. We see people getting themselves into trouble and God coming to save them as they cry out to Him! For effect I am going to share another story!

Some are fools [made ill] because of the way of their transgressions and are afflicted because of their iniquities. 

Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivers them out of their distresses. 

He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. Psalm 107:17-20

God loves you and cares for you not because you are perfect. He knows your every mistake but still loves you. He knows every mistake you are still to make, bad decisions you are still to make but He still extends grace to you. He has given you a chance to cry out to Him. That is how good He is……!!!!! He doesn’t give up on you. He is waiting on you to turn to Him! It’s scripture like this that humbles me. I don’t understand the beauty of God’s grace and love but I am thankful for it because without it I would be abandoned and dead! I would be in hell with no hope of rescue!!

The last part of the chapter is so powerful. It talks about men who do their business at sea! I would guess these men are sailors and have great experience and understanding of the sea. They are totally qualified to be out at sea. But something happens out at sea! They encounter a storm!!

[Those aboard] mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the deeps; their courage melts away because of their plight. 

They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits end [all their wisdom has come to nothing]. 

Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. Psalm 107: 26-28

For a while they tried to rely on what they know to get them out of the storm but that didn’t work! How many of us have tried to get ourselves out of trouble? It says “all their wisdom has come to nothing”.

God is so good because even when they tried to solve a situation in their own strength and failed, God by His grace saved them!!!! As I end I would like you to think about His grace! It is so amazing! He wants you to rely on Him, on His grace. He knows you are human and He wants to deliver you. He wants to save you from sin. No matter what you have done, no matter how bad it is, know that He wants to heal you and set you free. He wants to break the chains that have bound you! It is not to late for you……Turn to Him and He will answer you!!!

Whoso is wise [if there be any truly wise] will observe and heed these things; and they will diligently consider the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord.   Psalm 107:43

Rolain

 

 

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They truly missed it……….


Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium (judgement hall, governor’s palace). And it was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled (become ceremonially unclean), but might be fit to eat the Passover [supper].
John 18: 28

I was reading this verse when it occurred to me how far off the mark the pharisees were. They did not enter the Praetorium because they didn’t want to defile themselves!! If they defiled themselves they would not be able to partake of the Passover meal. Are you serious???!!!!  Didn’t they know the Passover was a shadow of Christ? They had the Messiah with them, the sacrificial Passover lamb but they didn’t realize it!!!!

That got me thinking about the Pharisees. How did they get so blind? We can learn a lot from them for sure. The one thing that came to mind was law and tradition. To the pharisees everything was about law and tradition. You had to do this and do that. Wash your hands in this way, pray this way, you have to, you have to……
And because of that attitude their hearts became hardened. Grace was not part of their vocabulary.
We need to be careful. Are we living by law or by grace?

Now a great crowd of the Jews heard that He was in Bethany, and they came there, not only because of Jesus but that they also might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.
So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also,  John 12:9, 10

The Pharisees were out of control and they were supposed to be spiritual leaders!!!
Another attitude that contributed to their crazy behavior was the fact that they thought works was enough! They relied on their own strength to get them to heaven. They thought by doing, they could obtain salvation. They prayed, tithed, went to church, memorized scripture, fasted, all because they thought it would impress God…..How wrong they were. Our works in the sight of God, are like filthy rags! Works are not enough.

Something else to notice about is this, to the pharisees everything was about what you could see. They focused all their attention on the external instead of what was on the inside. They measured themselves and other people on outward appearances!!! They ignored the heart. They never searched their own hearts. They never realized their hearts and become hardened. What a shame.

All these things blinded them. They blinded them and hardened their hearts. Let us be careful how we walk. Ask God for wisdom. Let us not be like the Pharisees who missed God. We can easily be misguided just like the them. Let us be aware of the enemies devices…….

Rolain

The Sad Truth About The “Bride”!


I had an amazing church service today. God really showed up in our services. I serve in my church in our visual arts department which consists of dance, flags, banners, ballet and drama. I am directly involved in banners and flags and I love it. I also teach young people at kids church. I love that as well.
I was reading a book called “An Hour On Sunday” by Nancy Beach. This is an amazing book especially if you are serving in a department. If you serve at church you need to know that your role is important. It doesn’t matter what you do, just know your role is critical. It is not just something we do, No! It is an opportunity to bring someone to Christ. The book addresses how we should be people who serve with passion. Where is your passion when it comes to the ‘Bride’?

Before I go further into passion let me tell you the sad truth of the ‘Bride’. For many people the hour at church is a time when attenders minds tend to wander aimlessly and their hearts go untouched! This should not be so. An hour on Sunday should be a time of wonder, a time of transformation, and perhaps a time of awe!
But most people would describe their experience at church as tolerable at best. These same words are used quite frequently when church is talked about: boring, irrelevant, mediocre, hypocritical, academic, stuffy.
A few people expect to be moved or encouraged or transformed in significant ways because of the hour on sunday.
And that is so true. We have a responsibility as people who serve to allow God to move powerfully in this time on Sunday.

Our God longs to use the gathering time in communities of faith for some of His greatest work in human hearts!
Is that the way you view the hour at church?

I will pick up on this important topic in part two. In the part two we will look at the zeal we should have for the church and we will look at how the hour on Sunday is a cooperative effort. It is God working through you. But more about that in the next post. See you then.

to be continued………

Rolain.P