Archive for the ‘Grace’ Category

SUPER GRACE PART 2

Posted: May 11, 2010 in Grace

Why do I refer to God’s grace as “Super-Grace”? It’s really pretty cool how I came to call God’s grace Super-Grace. God placed a word into my spirit in December of 09 that would guide the vision and direction our church is taking for 2010 and prayerfully into our destiny as a body of believers. That word is RADICAL.

If any word has ever been over used by churches all over America it’s this one. But God gave me what I feel is a different twist to the concept. We are moving away from concept of being radical for God and are diving head first into being radical in Christ. You may be asking yourself, “What’s the difference, dude?” Even though it appears that there is very little difference, God began to show me major differences. When we are radical for Christ the emphasis is on us, what we do. When we are radical in Christ the emphasis is on Jesus, what He will do and what He has already done.

Back to Super-Grace… the second message I preached this year was entitled, Radical Grace. God began to show me, through His Word, many different truths about grace that we (the American Church) had been neglecting. During my study of God’s grace (and I have a lot more studying to do) I came across a verse I thought I knew well, but now I admit not well enough. Romans 5:20b (NIV) …But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

A closer look at the Greek meanings opened my eyes to a wonderful truth. Where sin increases God’s grace superabounds. There are actually two different words used in the original language; pleonazō—abound and hyperperisseuō—to superabound. Think about that, where sin abounds (and we must admit sin is abounding in the church and our culture), grace SUPERABOUNDS! Wow!!! That’s what I call Super-Grace!

Once that reality began to penetrate my heart it opened my eyes to a more complete understanding of God’s marvelous grace. I’ve got a lot more to learn about grace and every new insight God gives me just makes me more and more excited about what God has given us in the gift of His grace.

One of the first truths that God ignited in my spirit is the reality that God’s grace is much more powerful than sin. Pastor Paul Shepherd put it something like this… God’s grace gets rid of the “can’t help its”. So many people categorize their struggle with sin into the can’t help its, “I can’t help it, that’s the way I grew up” or “I can’t help it because of my circumstance” or—and this is one really ticks me off—“God understands, that’s just the way I am”. The one major flaw with these reasons for giving into sin is simple, the focus is on ourselves not on God’s Super-Grace. When I look back at my life I can now see how much God’s Super-Grace has impacted my life. I am a product of His divine Super Grace!! My family, my marriage, my job, and especially my ministry are successful because God’s grace has been active in my life, even when I didn’t realize it. I thank God everyday for His Super-Grace upon my life! Superman ain’t got nothin’ on me! Why you ask? There is no kryptonite when it comes to Super-Grace!

PEACE

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SUPER GRACE PART 1

Posted: May 3, 2010 in Grace

This has been an interesting year. There have been old hurts and disappointments to get over and new lessons to learn. (Yes, even though I order off the senior menu I still have things I need to learn… You Too!) Have you ever felt that you knew something well only to realize you knew very little at all? That’s how I feel about grace.

The biblical concept of grace is one of the most powerful realities in Christianity yet what I have discovered is that most Christians know little about grace and are not utilizing grace in their everyday walk with God.

My journey into the power of God’s grace actually started a few years ago. Being a bi-vocational pastor has many challenges that the average Christian (or pastor for that matter) doesn’t have to deal with. I am not complaining by any means, I know what I am called to and I thank God every day that he chose me for such a demanding ministry. But my calling does get tough at times, and very exhausting. People come to me quite often with a statement similar to this, “I don’t know how you do it all!” or “I could never do what you do!” I really appreciate their loving concern for me, but honestly, I have a power that comes from God through grace. This has been a lifesaving verse for me because of the demands of work and ministry: But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)

The grace of God has had such a profound effect on my life that when facing the trials of life and ministry I have not been overwhelmed to the point of defeat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been no walk in the park. I have faced some extremely difficult situations, from breaking up a fight in front of a drug dealer’s coffin to countless hospital visits and crisis counseling for families. I have also seen God do miracle after miracle (over 100 healings in 2009 alone) and have been able to rejoice with hundreds of people as God’s power meets them where they hurt the most!

Even with all I’ve experienced I have barely touched the surface of the power of God’s amazing grace!

As the year began I was about as low as I have been in a long, long time. Saying that I was discouraged is a major understatement, I was as close to defeat as I had ever been. But right in the middle of my pain God spoke into my spirit a word I thought I knew, GRACE. For the first time in my Christian life grace came alive! Like I stated before I was utilizing grace more than most people… but I was not even close to the power that grace offers every believer.

For those of you who feel grace is one of those elementary concepts that you mastered long ago, stick around. Maybe we can learn more about grace together.

PEACE