More Grace


But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

~James 4:6, NIV


Let us remember daily that at best we are miserable sinners.

John Charles Ryle

My good friend Kevin gave me a book by John Charles Ryle (10 May 1816 – 10 June 1900) who was an English evangelical Anglican bishop. He was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. I read a portion daily as a part of my devotions and some days I wonder where he is headed and then there are days when I want to shout “Hallelujah” and yesterday was one of those days. Ryle quotes 2 Peter 3:18, But grow in grace and knowledge of our LORD Jesus Christ. Dr. Taylor translates the last line like this, become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Are you getting to know Jesus better? If you are growing in grace, you are in fact getting to know Jesus in a more intimate way. The thing about grace is that we can never get too much. Some people live on old grace, they talk about what God did fifty years ago, but we can’t grow on old grace. We need new and fresh grace daily. Let us resolve to follow Christ and get to know Him better.

I did the COLS for an old friend last Saturday. He had a severe stroke some years ago and his wife has taken care of him in their home. I have never heard her complain one time. God just keeps giving her more grace. I still marvel with I think of my former land lord Ray Edwards. Ray was stricken with a severe stroke that left him paralyzed on one side of his body but Ray never complained. I talked with him many times and I never heard one word of bitterness. Wow, God was giving him more grace. It is one thing to quote James 1:2, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. It is another to rejoice when those trials come to you personally. I had a day last week when it looked like the wheels were coming off. I kept getting bad news {which I hate} one bit at a time. The the LORD sent a very sore throat. It became hard to swallow and impossible to talk. I had a COLS and two speaking engagements coming up. I prayed James 1:2 and ask the LORD to help me rejoice. I had no more than finished than he sent someone to encourage me. She doesn’t even know what she said that made the difference but while she in my office, I heard the LORD speak: “OK jack, what will it be, will you live by fear or trust in me?” I said, “Lord, I do not want fear controlling me. I will trust in you.” I got up, went to med-surge, waiting an hour and a half to see a doctor and never complained or got cross with the nurses. Folks that is more grace. June usually goes with me to fill out the needless paper work to to keep me from leaving when they make me wait.

Ryle says, “All God’s saint suffer, every single one was a man of sorrow acquainted with grief. God perfects and refines us through trials, difficulties and suffering.” He also says that, “Sickness, loses, crosses, anxieties, and disappointments are absolutely necessary in teaching us humility.” No chastening in the present seems to be joyous said the writer of Hebrews {12:11}. There is no way I am praying for a soar throat or for my friends to get cancer or ALS, not that a soar throat is comparable. I do know this: the universe is growing older and so are we. Physical death is just around the corner and then comes judgment. The Indians kept track of time by moons and winters. I don’t have many winters left and I can’t waste any more time being stubborn or rebellion. His kingdom come and His will be done.


God is good and His grace is sufficient. For the second week in a row I told the LORD I was running on empty. I drove to DBC last night not knowing if I would be able to encourage anyone but I do believe the real preacher showed up. His presence encouraged me and I needed it.

I am beginning the week with a burden that I am going to share because I want you to prayer for me. Prayer that I will get to see Courtney this week. It will be hard to get in HH in my condition so pray that my condition improve or Courtney get to come home. I do rejoice that Lincoln is home. My throat hurt more last night than since this thing began but it feels better this a.m.

OCTOBER is Pastor Appreciation month and Holly and Joe David came up with a brilliant idea last year. Since most churches ignore pastor appreciation, we do it through the MBA Pastor’s Conference. Today we eat at Keith and Judy’s. Next week at the POINT and then it is a different church each week. I love and look forward to it.

We need a rain folks. My spirit needs a rain. June and I were in Meek yesterday and it is dryer there than here. LORD please send up a beautiful rain.

Have a great week.


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