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Tag Archive | "grace"

THE GREATNESS OF GRACE


Pilgrim-BibleRev. Michael Shiery

Pilgrim Bible Church

West Pine Street • Cedar Springs

 

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21)(NKJV)

Of all the words contained in the dictionary, perhaps non is so beautiful as “grace.” Although it can heave several meanings, in a spiritual context it simply means “the free and unmerited favor of God.”

Grace is gift that Christians are privileged to enjoy and that is freely offered to everyone from the hand of a loving God. There is not a single individual who deserves this grace and yet there has not been nor will there ever be a single person to whom this grace is not offered.

You see, we are all born with a corrupt nature that naturally leads us to the paths of sin. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NKJV). Sin has tragic consequences. It causes hurt and pain for those who have been sinned against, and it has fateful and fatal spiritual results of the one who has committed the sin.

James 1:15 tells us “…Sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (NJKV). If we refuse to repent of our sin and continue to follow the path of wickedness, we will find at the end of life’s road memories of regret and eternity in Hell separated from Christ. This is what we had to look forward to, a lifetime of rebellion followed be an eternity of ruin.

Enter grace. Perhaps the Apostle Paul summed it up best when he wrote in Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NJKV).

Please understand that sin conquered the human race, but because of Christ’s selfless sacrifice on the Cross the dynamics of the situation are forever changed. The chains of sin have been broken by the power of grace, and you do not have to live a life of shame and regrets. Jesus died on the Cross and then rose from the dead to give us not just life, but abundant life, and all who desire a stainless conscience, a pure heart, and a clean slate can obtain them through His matchless and gracious gift!

Regardless of where you have been or what you have done, regardless of foolish choices and marred memories of regret, life can be different from this point onward, if you will simply accept the gift of God’s grace, repent of your sins, and ask Christ to forgive you. That’s what the good news of the Gospel is all about.

As one songwriter put it:

Grace will always be greater than sin,

Calvary’s proven it time and again.

Whatever you’ve done, wherever you’ve been,

God’s grace will always be greater than sin.

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Catch of the Week


Caleb Kwiatkowski showing off his bluegill.

Caleb Kwiatkowski showing off his bluegill.

Grace Kwiatkowski with her rock bass.

Grace Kwiatkowski with her rock bass.

These are two happy fishermen from the Kwiatkowski family, of Howard City. The kids did some fishing at their great-grandparents’ house on Little Whitefish Lake, in Pierson, last month, and came away winners. Grace Kwiatkowski, 6, was so happy to catch this rock bass, and Caleb, 3, got a thrill out of catching this bluegill! Congratulations, Grace and Caleb, you made the Post Catch of the Week!

 

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The good, the bad, and the grace


Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC

65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC

 13600 Cypress, Ensley Township

 

 

It was a dark and stormy night. Really! We were in one of our most beloved places in creation, our family church camp on Lake Michigan. Usually it is the most relaxing and joyful place. Except this night. I had recently undergone surgery to reattach my bicep and my arm was infected. And so, we found ourselves in the emergency room in Grand Rapids. I was miserable and I’m sure I was lousy company. As we sat in the waiting room, my wife suddenly said that the police were bringing in a man that she recognized. She went to see what was up and was told that he had attempted suicide. When I was settled, she went to talk to the man. She found out that he felt hopeless and wanted to end it. She began to minister to him and before I left the ER, she had convinced him to seek counseling and had helped him to arrange it.

So what does this have to do with you? Good question!

I didn’t want to be where I was. I was miserable and would have rather been just about anywhere other than a hospital. But even there God made himself real. In Romans 8:28 we read: “28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (NKJV). It sounds good, but what does it mean to me? God used a bad situation and made it good. That night, a man’s life was saved! He made himself real to me, my wife, and the man who was struggling so.

The infection was a real thing, and God did not cause it. Could he have stopped it? Yes. So why didn’t he? Because God sees things that we cannot. Had he stopped it, I, and my wife, would not have been there when this man was looking for help. Could God have intervened without us? Absolutely, but he allowed us to be his hands, feet and voice to this man. In Acts 8:26-40, Phillip is told to go into the desert and to run after a man in a chariot. And after his encounter with the man, he is swept away to preach somewhere else. God knows when and where we are needed. And it’s not always where we want to be. Although I am the preacher in the family, it was my wife who provided the needed ministry there. God calls everyone to be ministers, not just people with titles. That seems scary to a lot of people, but God is in control and as long as you let him guide you, you’ll do just fine! Don’t worry about what to say, God will provide the words, and besides, silent presence can be just as important.

The third person in this little story was the man. In his way, he was calling out for help. And faithful to his word, God heard him and answered him. What an awesome God! He hears us wherever we are and whatever we have gotten ourselves into. And he answers!

Unfortunately, we don’t always get to see the good that may come from every situation we find ourselves in. But even if we don’t see these results, that’s a part of faith, knowing that God is there and in control, even when we may not notice Him.

So next time you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be, keep your eye peeled for God in action, you may be surprised at what you discover!

 

 

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