Grace On The Increase

Scripture

Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:15, CSB

Quote

To accept GRACE is to admit our sin, a step we are hesitant to take. We opt rather to impress God and others with how good we are, rather than to confess our sin and how great and glorious He is.

~Max Lucado

Have you given any thought as to why you are more grateful today than ever before. Have you noticed how ungrateful children can be and even young people seem to have very little gratitude. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that gratitude has increased as we have grown older. The result being: we are more thankful now than twenty years ago or even one year ago. The very first book of Max Lucado’s, that I read, was IN THE GRIP OF GRACE. In that book, Max helped me understand something that I had never really thought about–there is a correlation between GRACE and THANKSGIVING. People who understand grace are thankful; those on the point system or not. Those on the point system think justice while those living in GRACE think MERCY. Folks, I am thankful to be alive. I am thankful for the rain we got last night. I am thankful for my wife and children and grand children. I am thankful for DBC and Grace Point. I am thankful for my friends and on and on I can go. I have never been more thankful.

I had an encounter a few weeks back with a very unhappy woman. She expressed her unhappiness in no uncertain terms and reminded me that it was partially my fault. I was kind to the woman but I am not responsible for her unhappiness. I have prayed for her more than once since our discussion but I can’t make her or anyone else happy. She feels that life has treated her unjustly. She feels victimized by men mostly. She had a bad experience growing up and she refuses to let go of the hurt and trauma associated with the event. Folks, sin happens and people get hurt. Everyone in my reading audience has been hurt by sin and injustice. You cannot live in a broken sin-cursed world without being hurt–it is impossible. Even Jesus felt the pain of sin. What this frustrated and unhappy lady does not understand is that she is a part of the problem. She is not a perfect person living in a flawed world; she is a sinner living in a flawed world. She seems to understand that others deserve hell but she sees herself as an exception. She does not understand GRACE; therefore she is not thankful. She is living in misery and it is all so unnecessary.

The point is this: as we grow in grace, we grow in gratitude. Each day we experience more and more grace and we become more and more thankful. If you are more thankful today than ever–it is God’s grace at work in you. If you are bitter and unhappy–it is because you have not been honest about your sin and you are not living in grace. Graceland is a happy place where we count our blessing. It is not a place where we make a list of those who have transgressed against us. Sin may have caused you pain but compared to Jesus, you have nothing to complain about. He suffered more from sin than all of us combined.

  • I want to share I song I heard the other day on a YouTube mix…I had never heard it before but I like it….MERCY ME…Flawless…If you’ve been born again, you’ll like it. {JK}

  • CAUTION: do not think like the world. Remember the world is not a friend of God nor His Son. If you are in agreement with the world on any subject–abortion, drugs, etc., you are not in agreement with God. Make all the fun of me you want about not watching TV or the news but if you aren’t careful, the world will press you into its mold. It has a seductive power, so beware.
  • Speaking of influence and correction: Bentley, age 3, ate dinner with us yesterday. He was giving his foster parents a hard time so I attempted to correct him [I should have known better]. He pointed his little finger at me and said, “I don’t like you.” Holly chimed in immediately, “Honey, he doesn’t care whether you like him or not.” She made me sound cold. I looked at him and said, “You must be a democrat.” He said, “I’m not a devil-crat.” The little fellow hit the nail on the head didn’t he! If you think I made that up, ask Holly, Jeremy or Big Mama.
  • You may find this hard to believe. One of my scripture reading yesterday morning was 2 Corinthians 4. Then I wrote the above Blog [Grace and Gratitude]. Later in the day as I was packing old books to get rid of, I came across this prayer that I wrote back in the 1990’s: note the theme of the prayer...this has to be a God thing.

Father, in light of the mercy you have shown me and in view the fact that I would have no life at all, spiritual or physical, if it were not for Your infinite grace, I present myself to You as a living sacrifice. This is for me and act of worship and my reasonable service. I am confident that You, who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day that Christ returns; for I am convinced that it is YOU Father who is at work in me both to will and to work for Your good pleasure. I believe that You are able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I have asked or even imagined and You are doing it according to the power of grace that is at work in me. With gratitude, I acknowledge that Jesus is LORD; that He and He alone is the ‘glorious light’ of the gospel and it is He who shines through our hearts into a world of darkness. I am amazed that You place such a wonderful treasure in a clay jar like me but I know it is so You will get the glory from the light that You have placed in me. Although I have been afflicted–because of Your grace, I have never been crushed. I have gotten discourage more times than I can count but by Your grace I have never given up. I have been confused, bewildered and have felt alone but I realize that I have never been forsaken. I have been knocked down more than once but Praise Jesus and His amazing grace, I have never been knocked out. You have constantly delivered me over to situations that called for the death of my old sinful nature so that Christ might be manifested in this mortal body. You are making me a mirror that reflects Jesus. I can see and even feel the transformation and it is all about grace. Therefore, my only response can be gratitude and praise. {remember, every prayer counts, keep praying}

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