Monday Morning Musings ...
Yesterday was a very good day. Weather was bright and sunny but we still had winter temperatures, I declared yesterday to be the last Sunday we have to wear winter coats. Hey, somebody had to do it. We had to do a fair amount of scrambling early to fill in for people who couldn't be there, or some areas where no one knew who was supposed to do something and several people stepped up to fill in. We had reasonable attendance and had a lot of teens in worship which really encouraged me. Our small group last night was really good, even though we were missing some people. The sharing and fellowship that is taking place is tremendous.
The message yesterday was "Grace or Goodness?" from Ephesians 2:1-10. I had a tough week last week. I was hurting, I realized that I really had some brokenness and some nasty junk in my life that shouldn't be there. Finally the pain was enough that I surrendered and went to the dentist. Turns out I had a broken and abscessed tooth. What did you think I was talking about? Actually my tooth gave a pretty good picture of grace. You see the abscess and pain was my own fault. When I went to the dentist he didn't give me what I deserved, instead he removed the problem. In a way he showed me grace, albeit it came with a bill which is where the illustration breaks down, but you get the picture. (BTW, abscessed teeth and subsequent removals, I am not a fan of them.) God doesn't treat us as we deserve he exercises grace with us.
The message could be stated in 11 letters, 3 spaces and 4 words "It is by grace". Since I am a pastor I used a lot more letters, spaces and words to deliver the message. However, the message really is summed up with "It is by grace". That is a pretty motto to live by. It is by grace that you are saved. Not by anything else! Not by anything else!! Not by anything else!!! You can't earn it and you aren't good enough for it. It is by grace that you are to live. Showing grace to others and realizing that we are here by grace. This realization produces true thankfulness. We are to be alive in this grace, not just existing but alive. We are to be alive as Christ is alive. The life of a follower of Christ is to be an exciting experience. The last thing we should be is boring. Is Christ boring? Was Jesus boring when he walked this earth? It is by grace that we are to serve. We were created and designed to serve others. it is literally contrary to God's design for us not to be serving others.
11 letters, 3 spaces, 4 words ... It is by grace.
Is grace obvious in your life? Are you alive and serving in this grace?
11 letters, 3 spaces, 4 words to live by ... It is by grace.