SOMETHING VERSUS NOTHING!
As I journey through my Christian life and ministry I am increasingly discovering that some things
have actually no relationship whatsoever to other things. In fact, it is becoming increasingly evident
that the spirit-realm and the soulish realm are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes
to the things of God. The wisdom is for us to be able to make the distinction in our thought-walk-talk
as we continue on our journey .
'Love has nothing to do with what I feel or others' love towards me
Faith has nothing to do with what I see
Knowledge has nothing to do with my reasoning
Hope has nothing to do with hard data
Joy has nothing to do with my circumstances
Grace has nothing to do with my deeds'
'Riches have nothing to do with what I own
Wisdom has nothing to do with what I know
Salvation has nothing to do with what I do
Freedom has nothing to do with what I choose
Glory has nothing to do with how others see me
Food has nothing to do with what I eat or drink
Value has nothing to do with my accomplishments
Beauty has nothing to do with what I see
Strength has nothing to do with what I can bear
Pleasure has nothing to do with me
Power has nothing to do with what I control'
Continuing to live in the balance of grace-faith-truth - Albert
WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY NOT?
Why did the early church explode during the first 100 years after Christ's death?
They did not have elaborate buildings or facilities! Nothing like that!
They did not have elaborate programs or activities! None!
They did not have political power! None at all!
They did not have fancy magazines! Powerpoint's! Live streaming! Blogs! Television cameras! Sound effects!
They had none of this ?
Thousands were added unto the church daily!
Could it be that the answer is found in the following scriptures from the Book of Acts (The Acts of the Holy Spirit) :
Acts 4:33 - And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Acts 5:11 - And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Acts 8:8 And there was great joy in that city.
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Great power+Great grace + Great Fear + Great Wonders + Great Joy + Great Harmony = Heaven Invading Earth with Kingdom of God expansion!
Still living in the balance of Grace + Faith + Truth
Pastor Albert Trask
Christianity isn’t primarily about our own efforts to be a better person. I know that might raise a few eyebrows , but put down the stones and read on.
Christianity isn’t good people telling bad people that they should be more like them.
It isn’t even the telling of bad people that they should be more like God.
Christianity is Jesus loving sinners so much that he gave Himself for them so that anyone that wanted, could come home (John 3:16).
We who would never think to seek God on our own are rescued by Him. We are given a gift by a loving Father who adores his wayward children. The gift of Himself dwells within us, and although we still live in a fallen world, in fallen flesh, and are still pulled toward those fallen ways, he shows us a more excellent way (1 Cor 12:31) and guides us toward it. So, even though we do become more like God by way of trusting and following what God’s Spirit is doing within us, Christianity is primarily about a relationship with God, through Jesus, and sharing that relationship with others.
MORE RAMBLING GRACE-FULL THOUGHTS!
Grace doesn't "dumb" down on sin to make it more palatable. Grace is much more greater than that . In fact, grace is greater than all of our sin because grace is personified in the person of Jesus Christ who was "full of grace and truth". (John 1:14) It is of that fullness that we boldly can receive by faith. GRACE AND TRUTH ARE BOTH OF EQUAL IMPORTANCE . Truth points out the way while grace empowers us towards that way. You will notice however that grace comes before truth. Grace clearly acknowledges the fact and full implications of sin but yet it does'n judge, criticize or condemn. If you don't believe me then re-read the story of the grace encounters that Rahab, the Samaritan Woman at the well, the woman caught in the act off adultery, and Levi (Matthew) the tax collector . Those stories paint a picture of how grace thinks, speaks, and acts. We all have a story very much similar to those mentioned above who had an encounter of the grace-kind. Grace is not a new Testament concept or experience. Grace didn't begin with Jesus Christ. It began with God at the very beginning - in Genesis! Grace was demonstrated by God from Genesis to Revelation. By the way - the very opposite of grace is not the law but "an absence of grace". Yes, the opposite of grace-full-ness is grace-less-ness! Grace is only understood (both given and received) within the context of relationships. Truth simply locates us in relationship to God while grace transports us from where we are to where God wants us according to His plan, purpose, and destiny. Have grace-filled day in Christ.
Rambling Grace-full Thoughts !
Grace is not ours to earn - like a wage; Rather, it is God's to give - like a free gift! Grace has been the basis of our relationship with God from the very beginning . Even in the beginning it was grace. It is because of grace that God chose to clean up what we messed up to start with. The Incarnation is an act of grace! God's grace us not reserved for good, deserving people. It is reserved for those who access it by a deliberate, intentional act of faith - simply by being persuaded of the goodness of our God. The grace of God always precedes the law of God's grace. WOW! The purpose of the law was not to make us good enough to establish and maintain a relationship with God , but to merely show us more quickly our need of God's empowering love, forgiveness, and mercy . His grace is slow to judge, critique, condemn or answer , quick to forgive, and full of loving kindness. ..... more rambling grace-thoughts to follow!
I speak words of grace over this fantastic nation on its birthday today! May God bless our nation.
They walk among us, they greet us on Sunday mornings, they wear crosses on their necks, and they have fishes on their cars.
They believe they have cornered the Truth.
The are quick to clamor the good they have done.
They have a strong opinion on people they do not know, or seek to know.
They stay away from 'bad' people.
They are quick to find what is 'wrong' with others and seek to catch them in it, adding that they would never have done the wrongs that others did.
They cowardly murmur gossip about others.
They assume the worst about others and accuse them.
They judge others for not doing something that they do, or believing something differently than they do
They are self-righteous .
They abuse God's name for their purposes and their arguments.
They skew the Word to their advantage.
They are easily offended.
They enjoy talking about their spiritual accomplishments.
They give themselves the credit for God's work and God's grace.
They 'exhort' and 'console' those in difficulty simply by telling them : 'just pray' or 'read your Bible' or 'God is in control' or 'search the sin in your life'.
They preach judgment and hate from the pulpit or in their homes.
They picket funerals and events.
They denigrate those of different faiths.
They are the embodiment of everything Christ came to destroy.
They are pride incarnate.
They are a rampant disease in the 'Christian' movement, distorting Christ's message by presenting the world a moral and legalistic gospel.
They often call themselves Christians.
They are Pharisees.
And I was (we were) one of them.
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.”
Grace is the unmerited , undeserved, and unearned favour (love, provision, presence, enablement) of God bestowed upon us, the undeserving, which empowers us to become all that God calls us to be . It can't be captured any more clearly than the brief illustration listed below:
When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award—yet receives such a gift anyway—that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.
When we have a revelation of what God has DONE for us in Christ Jesus we then are empowered to DO and BE all that He calls us to be.
Have a great day in God!
GRACE is not simply God's riches at Christ's expense. GRACE is also, God's real attitude clearly expressed!
Grace is simply not about us performing good works to get God to save us and keep loving us. Grace is God loving us - we who are the unmerited, undeserved, and unearned people that we are. He loves us even when we did not and could not impress him with our fine performances. Romans sates that "while we were yet in our sins Christ dies for us". There is no gradations of grace, just as there are no gradations of