Gifts from Jesus
December 9, 2018
by: Jim Eschenbacher
This is late this week. That is partly by design and partly because of schedule. Schedule dictated many obstacles this week. By design is because I write this as a reminder to me what was taught. Have you found that to be necessary?
I have… When I was a pastor in our last location, a friend would ask me about a recent writing of mine and I couldn’t remember what it was about. The same was true of sermons I preached. This week I will let you know what is still with me after a whole week. Pastor Drew is teaching about the gifts Jesus gave us when He was here. And since He is the same always, we still receive the gifts. This week he taught on the gift of grace.
Titus 2:11-14… For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, who are zealous for good works.
In this scripture we see the past, present and future referenced. Notice that grace appeared to bring salvation to all people. If you are reading this, chances are you are saved. At some point in the past God, by His grace, reached into your feeble life and lifted you out of the miry clay. There are many songs about grace that saves. We tend to relate rather easily to past grace. But grace is not done yet. “And to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.
Grace teaches us how to live. And, not just in anticipation of heaven… in this present age. Drew gave us some scriptures to look up on our own.
Ephesians 2:8&9…(read) Grace is not a result of works; works are a result of grace.
John 4:1-26… Drew paraphrased this rather lengthy passage. Jesus as walking alone and He struck up a conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well. What sets this story up is that Jewish men rarely addressed a woman for conversation, and especially a Samaritan. After a rather involved and lengthy talk, she returned to her home town and proclaimed what had happened. As a result, many people believed in Jesus that day. By grace, Jesus approached her, and grace activated her.
Does grace activate you? Is there an activity that you have avoided but you know God is gently nudging you? His grace is ever at work in our lives.
And, it works beyond our visible lives. It gives us hope for the appearing of Christ. For centuries, the church has called that the Blessed hope. Grace is in our future as well. Our blessed hope is that things will not always be problematic; we have a bright, problem-free future with God. He created time and space, the dimension in which we live, but He is not bound by either of those inventions. However, we are making decisions about his existence in another dimension even while we are trapped in this one. No matter how much persecution and tribulation we must endure, grace has prepared a place of infinite beauty for us… If we endure to the end.
So, as you can see, grace did not end at the cross. And for us, it does not end with our moment of salvation. ”Grace” is a gift that keeps on giving.