Monday, April 15, 2013

It is so important for us to understand grace!

      I don't believe we can hear the message of grace enough because most of us have been taught a message of grace-plus-works, or grace-plus-Law.  It is imperative that we truly understand that all we need do is believe that Jesus is who He says He is.  He died in our place, so that all our sins (past, present, & future) could be forgiven.  We are now new creations--old things are passed away.  The Holy Spirit now lives in us to will & to work God's good pleasure.  Jesus has done it all.  There is nothing we can do but believe and act as if it is so.  There are no other requirements for our righteousness than trusting Jesus and His finished work on the cross.
      Joseph Prince is an excellent grace teacher/preacher.  He explains it so well again in this email to his Daily Devotions subscribers.  For a much more detailed explanation of grace read his book, Destined To Reign.
    Another great explanation of grace comes from Paul Ellis in The Gospel In Ten Words.  
    I highly recommend these books!

Dear Friend,
      Have you ever gone for a walk in the rain?
If you have, you know that every part of you gets drenched. Your hair, your clothes, what you are carrying, whoever is with you. Nothing remains untouched under open heavens.
      Beloved, I have good news for you today. Just as the rains pour from heaven, God is pouring out His blessings on your life, soaking every part of your life with His goodness.
       Because of Jesus, every blessing is yours. You are living under open heavens.
      Your home, your family, your relationships, your finances. The big things, the little things. Your coming in and your going out. It's all soaked in the favor, health and provision of Jesus!
In Deuteronomy 28, there is a beautiful list of the overwhelming blessings God has for your life (more about these in a moment). But before the list is unveiled, look at what Scripture says:
     "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth." (Deuteronomy 28:1)
       You see here that there is a "condition" before we can be set on high, "if you diligently obey..." Most of us read this and think, "How will I ever qualify to be positioned to receive the blessings?"
        By our own efforts, that condition can never be met. But the good news is this—Romans 5:19 one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
       Jesus diligently obeyed every single commandment, and His obedience has been set to your account!
       Notice the order in Deuteronomy 28:1. Before the blessings are listed, your position is promised. You have been placed high above! You are seated together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6)  Your position in Christ qualifies you for the blessings of heaven.
      The Bible goes on to say in Deuteronomy 28:2 that "all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you..."
       The picture of blessings overtaking you is one of great abundance. It's the same picture we see in the book of Amos. Amos 9:13 says...
        "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it."
       Friend, this is the picture of the blessings of God. Scripture says that they overtake you and that the plowman will overtake the reaper. We are living in these times right now!
       Let me give you another picture. Psalm 23:6 says: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
        In the original language, that verse is actually translated, "goodness and mercy will hunt you down." That means you can't get away from God's goodness and mercy. They are pursuing you.
      No matter how far off they feel, no matter how unlikely it seems, the blessings of God are chasing you down.
       You don't have to perform at a certain level to receive the blessings. You can't earn God's favor or merit His goodness.
      Jesus is all the qualification you need.
      Perhaps you are thinking, "Pastor Prince, Deuteronomy 28 listed conditions for the blessing. It said, 'If you do this and that. What happens when I fall short? How can God still bless me?"
       Beloved, if it depends on us to obey all of God's commandments, none of us can do it. That's why Jesus came. Jesus met all of the stipulations. All of the "if you keep the commandments" have been kept by our Lord Jesus.
       The work is finished. Grace has won!
       The heavens are opened to you and every blessing is yours today because you are seated with Christ...
        ...I want to remind you that you are blessed already. Even as one blessing is being poured out in your life, another is overtaking you. Don't look to your circumstances or your own strength; rest in the finished work of Jesus.
       The heavens are open. So receive the downpour of blessings today.
Seated with Christ,
Joseph Prince

       I want to leave you with this powerful truth: One of the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 is that God will cause your enemies to be defeated for you to see. Just as the Red Sea split in front of the Israelites and Goliath fell before David, God will bring the victory before your very eyes. Don't be discouraged by an enemy or obstacle before you. God will allow you to come face to face with your trouble so that you will see His hand do something mighty in your life.

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