Grace, Truth, And Acceptance By Our Lord Jesus Christ

Salvation is simple enough for a child to understand, but it’s also so profound that we can’t plumb its depths. One thing we can know for certain is that it’s a work of God, whereby He regenerates a spiritually dead sinner into a new creation filled with the life of Christ.

How does Jesus receive us?  I know how he treated me. I was a sinful twenty-something on a downhill path.  Though I’d made a commitment to Christ a decade earlier, you wouldn’t have known it by the way I lived.

Finally I came to Jesus, and he welcomed me back.  Please note– he did not accept my behavior but he accepted me, his wayward child.  He said, “Come back.  I’ll clean you up.”  He was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  Not just grace, but also truth.  Not just truth, but also grace.

Grace and truth. Grace told the adulterous woman at the well, “I do not condemn you.” Truth told her, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).  Jesus shared truth but did it graciously.  Jesus offered grace but did it truthfully.  Grace and truth.  Acceptance seeks to offer both.

We Must Confess Unrighteous Anger As Sin

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.—Romans 12:17-18; 21

We must confess unrighteous anger as sin and then begin to deal with it immediately. Anger is often a response to hurt and care must be taken not to excuse or defend it in the name of justice. Even when someone has sinned against you, it’s important to realize that holding onto anger in response is also a sin. Scripture tells us to overcome evil with good, not to repay it.

Some people want to hang on to ill feelings, but nursing a resentful attitude isn’t sustainable; anger must be put aside. If we retain our “right” to hold grudges, we can’t expect to live in the new nature Christ has created for us.

The place where we will find strength is in our new Christlike personality. Our responsibility is to put it on. He invites us to cooperate with Him in the process of transformation. With each step of obedience, the peace of Christ will increase and anger will diminish.

What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.—John 16:13

If someone asked what the Holy Spirit does, how would you answer? Some Christians may not be aware of what He is accomplishing in their life, but the Spirit’s work isn’t a total mystery—Scripture tells us what the role of our divine Helper is.

He convicts us of sin (John 16:8). This is the first step in awakening us to our need for salvation. But even afterwards, the Spirit continues revealing sin in our life so we can immediately confess and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

He guides us into all truth (John 16:13-14). The Holy Spirit teaches about Jesus Christ and God’s Word, and He helps us discern the difference between truth and error.

He fills us (Eph. 5:18). To be filled with the Spirit means that He is directing our path, much like a ship that is driven along by the wind filling its sails. This requires that we surrender our life to Him, acknowledging that He owns us and has the right to lead.

He bears fruit through us (Gal. 5:22-23). The Spirit produces qualities we could never consistently display on our own: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Although the Holy Spirit indwells and seals us immediately upon salvation, His work within each believer takes a lifetime. He is our constant Helper, who transforms us into Christ’s image and equips us for our daily challenges so we don’t have to struggle through life in our own strength. In all of our difficulties, conflicts, and heartaches, He guides our way, guards our hearts, and gives us His wisdom.

Do You Have Doubts About Your Salvation? Read This!

5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.—1 John 1:5-7

One of the main reasons Christians doubt their salvation is the presence of sin in their life. According to 1 John 1:6, people who profess faith while continuing in a sinful lifestyle are deceiving themselves and walking in darkness. Verse 7, however, offers reassurance to those who are truly saved: Though they’ll still sin at times, this doesn’t mean they’ve lost their salvation. Today’s passage explains how believers are to deal with sin when it occurs in their life:

Confess your sins (1 John 1:9). Confession should be our first response when we stumble and fall. It means acknowledging to God that we’ve acted in a manner inconsistent with His character and standards and are in need of His promised forgiveness and cleansing.

Know that Christ is your Advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1-2). It’s never God’s will that we sin, but when we do, Jesus is our Defender in God’s courtroom. His sacrifice fully atoned for our sin and satisfied divine justice. When we repented and believed that Christ died for our sins, we were justified and declared righteous before God.

Know that sin is not a continuing practice in the life of a true believer (1 John 3:9). Since we’re born of God and the Holy Spirit abides in us, we cannot continue in sin. Although there may be brief periods of transgression, God’s Spirit works in us to change our desires and practices.

A believer’s disobedience brings the Lord’s discipline, not loss of salvation. However, as God’s children, we should never excuse our disobedience or abuse God’s grace by living in sin. Instead, we’re to pursue obedience and holiness.

(Presented with permission | © In Touch Ministries)

My Thoughts After Reading James Chapter 1:1-27

After reading James chapter 1 in the bible I am struck by the idea of our need for faith. It is something we must have and direct toward God, the Father.

James 1:2-3 says we should consider it all joy when we are faced with various trials in life. These trials will test our faith with the idea that our faith will in turn produce endurance.

Sometime trials are not brief in duration but instead can last for a long time. God wants us to know He is there with us and will be with us during those trials and testings giving us the endurance we need.

Another key component in facing our trials is having wisdom from God. He gives us wisdom liberally if we ask Him for it. I believe He wants us to ask Him so we can be successful in facing our trials and making decisions.

I pray Father that this day you will give me your wisdom to face the day and make the right choices with faith through your Holy Spirit. Bless me with your Holy Spirit, O’ Lord. May I be sensitive to His leading.

I praise you Father for these and all other blessings you give me. In Christ’s name…..Amen.

Our Reason For Worship—God Deserves It.

Worship adjusts us.  It lowers the chin of the haughty and straightens the back of the burdened. It bows the knees, singing to him our praise. It opens our hearts, offering to him our uniqueness. Worship properly positions the worshiper.  And oh, how we need it!  We walk through life so bent out of shape.  Cure any flare up of commonness by setting your eyes on our uncommon King. Worship lifts our eyes and sets them “on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power” (Colossians 3:1).

We worship God because we need to.  But our need runs a distant second to the thoroughbred reason for worship—God deserves it.  God would die for your sin before he’d let you die in your sin.  What do you do with such a Savior?  You lift up your gift in worship!

You Are An Overcomer

You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”—1 John 4:4

How often do you sin? Every day? Once a week? Once a month? When you think about it, sin is sin and the frequency of your committing sin is not the issue. The issue here, of course, is that you have sinned.

God’s word says that, “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23). Not immediate physical death but future spiritual death and ultimate separation from God. It’s impossible to have self-control over committing sin. Especially if the sin you commit is one that has haunted you for a life time. If you fall into this category of sinner realize that Satan has your number. He knows exactly where you are weakest.

But there is hope for those who have failed to remain righteous in their life. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He gave you the Holy Spirit to live within and help you with just these sort of things and weak moments.

God’s word says, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) The Holy Spirit is greater and more powerful than Satan will ever be. It’s up to you to tap into that power, harness it, and use it for strength to resist temptation, which happens just before you sin.

Now’s not the time to throw a pity party and wallow in the failures of the past. Instead it’s time to praise God, for his goodness and to move forward! You are an overcomer.