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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Being grace “full”

Pastor Craig Carter
North Kent Community Church
1480 Indian Lakes Rd., Sparta,
Church Phone #: 550-6398

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” John 1:14-18 (NIV).
Like you, I have met a lot of different people in my life. The people I have met along the way have been “full” of many things. In my college years, I recall meeting a lot of guys who were “full” of themselves. Others were “full” stories, some plain BS! Others were “full” of lies in order to get want they wanted in life.  On the contrary, I have met a number of great people as well; people who were “full” of kindness and caring, laughter, humor and generosity. Without a doubt, though, the ones I remember the most, were those who were just “full” of grace.  Grace is unmerited favor!  It is an ability to accept and love other for no apparent reason. They have this gift to show kindness to those who are “undeserving and less fortunate.” These Grace “full” people give when there is nothing to be personally gained by it!
Jesus Christ was this kind of person. The Gospel of John 1:14 tells us that Jesus came to earth on a mission from His father with two things. They were grace and truth. This verse tells us He came to earth “Full” of them. He needed them in “fullness” in His life because they were the two things necessary for Him to accomplish His purpose in life. So, it is with us! Have you ever stopped to think that the two things most needed in your life were grace and truth?
Here is what I find most interesting about Jesus Christ and these two essential things in life.  The first is that He lived them both. He often taught truth, but he simply lived grace. You can search the Bible and you will not find one “formal” sermon or teaching that Jesus gave on grace. Why? Because he lived it! Jesus lived a grace “filled” life. Grace became the cornerstone of his life and ministry.   Grace impacted people and changed lives, for all eternity. Grace is the means to salvation. Ephesians 2:8 reads, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (NIV). God’s grace is still the greatest gift to us all. So, here are three important things to remember in our desire to live a grace “filled” life.
The first is, spend less time talking about its importance to you and others. Like Jesus, just live it! Learn to focus on and be concerned about the needs of others, especially those who may not have the means to give anything in return.
Secondly, remember Grace is a gift! A free gift at that! One we never deserved, nor could we earn. We will never be “good enough” to earn or deserve the Grace (unmerited favor) of God. We simply must learn to receive it. Religious people are good at placing some expectation on themselves or others.  They live as if God’s grace is not really free! It must cost you something. Sadly, the message they speak to others is that such grace is “too good to be true.” True grace is always free. Grace “filled” people say, “freely I have received, so freely will I give.”
Thirdly, Grace is the key to living a victorious Christian life. We all struggle with things in our own lives. It could be a persistent sin or shortcoming in our own life. It could be the behavior or decisions of others that you feel is affecting you.  We are quick to beat ourselves up, or judge others, forgetting that God’s grace is still the answer for both.  I would like to close with this scripture found in the book of Romans. “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:15-17 – NIV).
The ability to “reign” in this life comes from receiving the grace of God found in Jesus Christ. God gives it to us in abundance. This abundant grace enables us to live a grace “filled” life. Be a person full of grace, first towards yourself and then toward others. Do yourself and others a favor—start living a grace “filled” life today!

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