I NEED GRACEOctober 11, 2020 / John 1:14-17 Luke 5:12-13; Matt. 28:20; John 6:37; Matt. 4:19; John 6:40
“THE ‘I’ SERIES.”
God is intently interested in the needs of our lives.
God has said: “I WILL BE WITH YOU.” “I will never leave.”
“I will give you power.” “I will help you, I will uphold you by my righteous hand.”
Matt. 28:20; John 6:37; Matt. 4:19; John 6:40
?-Pastor do you have a word for me?” Everybody wants a word for what God wants to do in their lives.
“I NEED GRACE.”
TEXT: John 1:14-17(Amplified)
Often people talk to God about other people.
-God is not interested in talking to you about other people. God is interested in talking to you about you.
-John tells us about HEAPED UP blessings, and Heaped up grace.
-Heaped up favor. It doesn’t matter how weak we are, God has GRACE stacked up and available.
-We don’t serve God because of our goodness, we serve God because of His GRACE.
-We don’t serve God because of our intelligence, we serve God because “His thoughts are above our thoughts.” We don’t serve God based upon our propensity to know Him, we serve God because of His grace.
-His grace is deeper than we are able to understand. God doesn’t want to give us a trickle of wisdom or a trickle of grace or a trickle of guidance. HE WANTS TO HEAP BLESSINGS UPON YOU.
“Grace upon grace.”
-God doesn’t show you a trickle of love or a trickle of mercy; God wants to HEAP HIS GRACE UPON YOU UNTIL IT BECOMES AN ALL SUFFICIENT GRACE.
GRACE: Grace means that you can quit feeling inadequate. You’re not perfect, and you’ll never be in this life. You need God’s grace to think of your life, your circumstances, everything around you as God does. … God’s grace is sufficient for every moment of every day. HIS GRACE = FORGIVENESS.
Life has a whole lot of emotions. One of those human nature qualities that all people have is the “Quality to be respected.”
POINT: All people like to be respected. We want people to think of us as dignified, respectable and somewhat knowledgeable.
EG.: Most people try to have some level of sophistication.
We would like to think that we have a reasonable thought out process by which we approach life that other people would be better off—if they adopted OUR PROCESS.
-In life, no matter how dignified you think you are-there are moments where you lose your dignity, therefore you know what you said, or what you did or didn’t do causes you to lose your dignity. It causes you to look dumber than a ROCK.
THE INCLINATION TO LOSE YOUR MIND STARTS AT AN EARLY AGE AND PERSISTS ALL THROUGH YOUR LIFE.
I would imagine that all the dignified people in this room have had a moment in life where you tried really hard not to be seen in a bad light, but somehow your fallen sin nature took over, and you tried really hard….but you lost.
The problem is – except for the liars amongst us: “We have all done this.”
-If you live long enough, you will probably have the privilege of doing it again.
-We can all learn from our stupidity……if you let God speak to you.
ILLUS.: When I was 16. My mom and I got into an argument. I slammed my bedroom door, and when I did the lock broke and the door stuck shut. The door wouldn’t open. At that time in my life, I had a beer can collection from all over the world. (That was a thing when I was that age- When I got saved. I threw them all away)
-This collection fell all over the floor, which made me even more upset. My mom heard the crash, and she began to laugh on the other side of the door. She laughed so hard that fell on the floor laughing. I told her in my undignified way: “Please be quiet.” She went down the steps laughing…….
That was about 3:30 pm in the afternoon. There was no bathroom connected to my bedroom. My dad got off work at 8:30. When he got home he had the audaciousness to eat first, then he got a ladder and climbed through my window to come into my locked room at 9 pm.
At that time in life, I was a high-school wrestler-I thought I was big stuff. My weight class was 121 pounds. Dad weighed 250 and had arms like my leg. He could easily and regularly tear a Cincinnati phone book in half. (In fact, he did so many times at community events.) That hulk of a man had climbed up the ladder at 9 pm at night after my mom told him an undignified story about me. We were alone in that room.
He asked me what funeral home I wanted to use. I played dumb. Dumb is good when you are undignified. He sat me down and taught me a lesson that I never forgot. HE SHOWED ME GRACE, MERCY, AND HE DESCRIBED WHAT HE WOULD DO TO ME IF I EVER LOST MY COOL WITH MY MOM AGAIN. He then asked me if I had a question:
I said, “It’s been 6 hours, can I use the bathroom.”
I have never forgotten that moment. It wasn’t too many more weeks after that experience, that I found Jesus!
Once in a while, I think I have outgrown these emotions, but every so often it becomes readily apparent that this body of flesh battles any sense of DIGNITY.
-Each one of us will need some grace at some point in our lives. Recognizing that we need MERCY AND GRACE REMEMBER THAT GOD WANTS TO HEAP HIS GRACE ON US!
-There is none of us that smart, that knowledgeable, that dignified.
-We need grace. We may be anointed, but we need GRACE. We may be called, but I need grace.
THE ASSIGNMENT OF GOD ON YOUR LIFE DOES NOT REDUCE THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR GOD’S GRACE.
-It is easy to confuse “busyness for God” as “Grace.” Not true.
-This is one of the reasons people get burned out in ministry.
They confuse doing things for God synonymously with being in God’s presence. The two are not mutually inclusive.
-One is predicated on the other.
TALENT AND GIFTING IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR CONTINUED GRACE, MERCY AND FORGIVENESS.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A LACK OF GRACE.
- PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THEMSELVES.
This is the story of Peter over-selling his character.
Peter says – Even if everyone falls away, I will be the one who does not fall away. I will be the one who stands.
-Peter confesses his dignity, and everyone else agrees with him. Jesus however is not persuaded.
-Later that night, Peter hears the rooster crow. Peter turns and sees the master beaten to shreds, and realizes that the last thing he did was let the Savior down.
PETER DID NOT KNOW HIMSELF. Galatians 2:11-12
-Peter embarrassed himself because he feared the circumcision.
God has given the Holy Spirit to us to show us who we are.:
If we refuse to listen, and we refuse to grow. There’s a problem.
POINT: This is called the sin of shallowness. “Lack of depth of character, insight, or serious thought.”
Shallowness is not easily dealt with.
The refusal to grow creates a conundrum of consequences. You can walk with Jesus, and hand around worship and still ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit.
-The devil entered Judas when Judas was with Jesus.
-Judas did not have the areas of his life heaped up with trust in God.
-Judas was always analyzing what Jesus did. A lot of people say: “I need to understand before I follow.
-No….no….you follow Jesus first then you can understand later.
Until you follow Jesus, you will never understand Jesus.
When your dignity causes you to critique God and remove your need for sound judgment, then you will not have the presence of God, you will only have a form of God or a religion of God.
When you are shallow – you are in a position to lose with the devil.
The opposite of Spiritual Perseverance is Shallowness.
If God said it… that is the end of the story.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A LACK OF GRACE.
- PEOPLE WHO PUT MORE FAITH IN THEIR ABILITY THAN THEY DO IN GOD.
- People put confidence in their ability. “I am able.”
No, you are not. You are not able to do anything unless God gives you the ability.
ILLUS.: Cartoon Strip: Lil’ kid, water, flower, “I’m the keeper of the water, so you want some water do you? It is up to me to decide if you live or die!….. The next frame…it starts to rain. Nothing is truly in your hands.
You and I are not in control of anything. “I’ve been working to keep my weight off. I’ve been working out. Checking my BP, cholesterol, Lipitor. You can love Jesus, try real hard to live right, do right, and have an accident out of the middle of nowhere. It will take you right to heaven.
ILLUS.: Years ago I was driving my old Delta 88, 4 door, Rocket 350, M1 Abrams tank. I looked in front of me, and a car was coming right at me in my lane. I looked to the right, and there were no telephone poles so I jumped on the curb, and I narrowly missed a head-on collision. The guy behind me wasn’t paying attention, and he was hit head-on.
-I was minding my own business going to Bible study, and I almost met Jesus. I wasn’t doing anything except playing my worship music in my car.
You and I have no ability to control our lives. James 4:13
-No matter, how much time we spend working on this body of clay unless God adds health and strength to it…it won’t work. You can have the best genes in the world, and yet make really bad choices that will take years off your life.
- The 7 sons of Sceva in the Bible. (Acts 19:14-16)
These 7 sons were watching Paul cast out devils. They thought it was cool, and they should try it. SCEVA-Means left hand. Jesus sits on the right hand, the place of power and authority. The Left hand has no power. These lefty-handed sons found some demoniacs and said, “In the name of Jesus that Paul preaches.”
-Without a personal relationship with Jesus, you don’t get to use the weapons of spiritual warfare.
(These 7 sons went up to this demon-possessed person)
I guess they thought they were going to build a great ministry.
That one demon-possessed person jumped on those 7 sons, beat the fire out of them, and ripped all their clothes off, and chased them down the street.
The problem was these 7 sons used a formula for spirit empowered ministry and not a relationship with the son of God who sits on the right hand of God the father.
IT IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP
You sit on the chair at church, and sin, you can be carrying your Bible and sin, you can be singing gospel songs at home and sin, but you cannot be holding the hand of Jesus and sin.
HOW MUCH GRACE DO YOU NEED?
Here is a great prayer to pray:
“Oh Lord give us the grace to feel our need of grace. Give us the grace to receive grace. Oh Lord, give us the grace to ask for grace. Oh Lord give us the grace to use grace when grace is given.”
It is all about the grace of God HEAPED UP IN EVERY AREA OF OUR LIFE. Psalm 20:7; Psalm 9:10
-How do you know when you need grace? When you are trusting in your own ability, that is shallow and you need GRACE.
Trusting in Jesus, and Jesus alone allows you to get into the deep water.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A LACK OF GRACE.
- PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE JESUS AND FAIL TO FOLLOW UP WITH TRUTH.
People who experience grace and fail to follow up with truth are shallow people. GRACE CAUSES A FORWARD SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT.
Grace without truth will never allow you to experience what Grace could be. TRUTH has an edge to it. (GRACE & TRUTH GO TOGETHER)
The word of God is a double-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12-13
All grace with no truth is equal to a shallow sentimental relationship.
Grace and truth form a beautiful expression of God’s plan and vision for your life.
All truth makes you impossible to live with, and no one can live up to your expectations. (this is the law) Very punitive, and no grace.
-Judas experienced the grace of a calling without submission to the one who called. Judas never trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Judas just constantly analyzed Jesus to see what he could get away with.
JUDAS WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT Timothy spoke of:
II Timothy 3:7
INTIMATE UNDERSTANDING OF TRUTH
KNOWLEDGE= Recognition, discernment, and acknowledgment. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A LACK OF GRACE.
- PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO DEEP ROOT OF STABILITY.
How do I know that I am like that?
- Are you stable, do you have a deep root of stability?
- Are you able to plant yourself in once place and endure what it takes to build relationships?
-Even though the building of relationships means the resolution of conflict.
-Healthy relationships mean conflict/resolution. It is part of the process
-If you struggle to maintain relationships – then you need to build a deep root in yourself. Mark 4:17
-The inability to be stable, stable in worship, stable in prayer, stable in the word, stable in relationship.
TODAY IF YOU NEED GRACE, THERE IS PLENTY AVAILABLE.
-It’s not about being in church, it’s about being in church and experiencing God’s presence.
-There is no COSTLESS CHRISTIANITY………YOU SERVE GOD…AND IT COST YOU SOMETHING.