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God’s Grace: Sanctifying Grace, part 5
Listen, God is committed to use, by His Grace, every experience in our lives - whether good or bad - to make us more like Christ. If we are committed to a growing, loving, relationship with God and seeing His purpose for our lives fulfilled, He will use every experience -catch that, EVERY experience: the good, the bad and the ugly, and everything in between - to make us more like Jesus.
Rick Warren said it this way, “God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ.” Why is this? Why is God more concerned with our character than our comfort? Because our salvation isn’t about God taking us to be in heaven one day; it is about God bringing heaven to us on earth today.
So, what is it that will make heaven, heaven? Well, we will be with Jesus and we will be like Jesus! Therefore, the degree to which you and I can become more like Jesus today, will determine the degree to which we will experience the blessings of heaven today. And while we are not in the Lord’s presence, in heaven, right now, the Lord is present on earth with us, in you and me.
As we grow in our relationship with Him, He can ultimately use us for His purpose. He can, and will, use everything in your life or mine (as I have already said, the good, bad and the ugly). However, we must choose to set Him free to use all those things in our lives to bring this blessing about.
In his book, “Habits of Grace,” David Mathis makes the point that God has provided three resources to help us along our journey toward Christ–likeness in this life. (Each of us should write these down and remind ourselves of them every day)
Mathis says, “As we participate in these grace provisions for our growth, we place ourselves on the path of grace.” It is just like Zacchaeus, who chose to put himself along the path where grace was coming (Luke 19:1-10); and blind Bartimaeus (Luke 18:35-43) stationed himself along the route of grace, where he might encounter Jesus as He passed by. Listen friends, when we choose to avail ourselves of God’s Grace, provisions for our growth, we will begin to grow in our relationship with God and, we’ll be used for His purpose as He uses every circumstance of our life to bring about His greatest good for our life.
One last Scripture passage as we close this week’s study. In Philippians 3:12-14 the Apostle Paul says, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” NIV. Are you taking hold of that for which Christ took hold of you? END
Medication: A Merry Heart
A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, “Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.”
“Yes,” the class said.
“Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?”
A little fellow piped up, “Cause your feet ain’t empty.”
God Bless, Have a Great Weekend!
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
Verse of the Week: Deuteronomy 31:6
Today’s readings: 2 Kings 14 & 2 Chronicles 25
Sunday: 2 Kings 15 & 2 Chronicles 26