Growing in Grace

Growing in Grace

GRACE is a gift you have not earned, and might not have deserved, or could not have deserved.

It is manifested first in Gods’ grace towards all of mankind by sending his son Jesus to become sin, and become a curse, so that our inherited sin and practised sin can be fully forgiven when we truly repent.

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Because we are made in the image of God, we are naturally inclined to show grace unless we are deeply wounded or have hardened our hearts to others, for whatever reason. If we continually overide Gods’ grace nature within us, then we are more inclined to want to be judge, jury and executioner towards others.

We tend to take that position when we are working out of self righteousness, or the pharisee spirit. The story is told in the bible of the pharisee who went to pray and said “I thank you God that I am not like other men”, then went on to list his own good works, while the humble man came to the same altar in a spirit of repentance. [Luke 18:9-14]

God also gave us spiritual gifts [graces, greek word charis]- for the purpose of blessing others. In the process of blessing others as we use our gifts, we ourselves are blessed in return.

If we could have done something to earn our salvation from the eternal judgement of hell, God would not have sent his son. Sin is simply disobedience to Gods’ word, and also the sin nature ,which we inherited when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden. So as Paul frequently teaches in the new testament, our in nature constantly wars with us to do things which are against Gods’ word.

If we turn to our own works, or skills or any natural part of our personalities, to justify our selves as eligible to go to heaven, we will be deeply disappointed, It took a divine act of God to take the sufferingof Jesus on the cross and recreate that as righteousness we did not earn and salvation through faith in Jesus only.

Perhaps you were raised to perform certain acts or ceremonies to make you worthy of Gods’ forgiveness,It is necessary to renounce those acts or ceremonies and the lies you believe about yourself and exchange them for a childlike belief in what the bible says.

Perhaps your identity is so damaged that you don’t think you deserve this gift, so refuse it.

It is true, you don’t deserve salvation from sin and you never could, stop trying to earn it, simply believe like a child, without natural reasoning, the live your life as Jesus taught us in his word, and as his disciples taught the church of the day.

The only way to salvation is faith in the work Jesus did on the cross

How then, once we have accepted this grace, do we outwork it?.

By showing grace love and forgiveness to others, as we have received from God, we give back to others.

2.Keep short accounts, if you quarrel with someone, make up quickly, and make a genuine apology, without justifying or excusing your actions or words.

Saying “ I am sorry you feel that I hurt you,” is not a genuine apology, we need to say “ am so sorry I hurt you etc”,  without qualification or pointing the blame towards the persons’ perceptions and feelings.

Find ways to use your spiritual gifts and find the people God wants you to bless

Use the words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, [where that person isopen to it], gifts and quality time, that Gary Chapman speaks of in his book “the five love languages”.

  • Identify the personality types of people you interact with, and learn how to communicate with them according to their personality needs. Florence Littauer gives and excellent understanding of personality types and needs in her book “ Personality Plus”.

Finally;

Recognise and be sensitive to those times when you “lose grace”, to do those things you usually do in your ministry. Grace to use your gifts allows you to do it in the strength of Jesus, when it seems too hard, or you get eaasily irritated with those people you minister to, or the fruit of your ministry is no longer obvious, it Is time to ask Jesus if the season of the operation of that ministry has changed.

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