Posts from the ‘Salvation’ Category

Experience The Powers In God’s Amazing Grace (Part 3 Of 3)

WHERE WOULD WE BE TODAY WITHOUT GOD’S AMAZING GRACE?

EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF GOD'S AMAZING GRACE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF GOD’S AMAZING GRACE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

This lesson today will conclude our three part series on “GOD’S AMAZING GRACE!” So let us begin by listening to one of the greatest gospel singers of all times, “Mahalia Jackson,” and we will continue our discussion on the other side.

 

 

I know deep in my soul that this song has had an impact on your thought process.  It has made you pause and think for a moment just why God has allowed you to be where you are in your life today.  When we understand and can comprend in our thought process the deep meaning of these words, we know in our hearts that it was only by His grace, we were spared, the wrath we deserve.  Instead, we receive the favor we do not deserve. Why is this true? The answer is found in the two words: through Christ. It is because of Christ’s death in our place that we do not experience the wrath of God, which we so richly deserve. Jesus satisfied God’s justice and turned away God’s wrath from us by bearing it Himself on our behalf. Now God can extend mercy to us without subverting His justice. Mercy and justice meet together at the cross.

Jesus did more, however, than satisfy God’s justice and turn aside His wrath. By His perfect obedience, He earned for us all of God’s favor, all of His blessings. To use my kid’s illustration, they would say, Dad, “He mowed the grass, trimmed the hedges, washed the windows and painted the porch. He did it all. He perfectly obeyed all the law of God, and He did it in our place.”  Just as He died in our place, so He also obeyed in our place. That is why those two words “through Christ” are so critical to the definition of grace. Without Christ’s work for us, there could be no grace.

Therefore, when we speak of God’s grace, we mean all the good gifts we enjoy freely in this life, and there are so many. We could spend a lifetime celebrating them, and there is no need to attempt to list them here.  Your own life is a mirror of them all. A summary approach is to affirm that life itself is the fundamental gift, with all its delights. For us, the gift of life includes the wondrous gift of being human, finding ourselves plopped down in the midst of the larger gift of creation. That is the bedrock of gracecreation, life, and human being. As humans, we are given a unique place in the created order.

Now please allow me to conclude with this thought, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.  Do you believe it was grace and nothing but grace that has brought you through many dangers, tolls and snares.  Do you believe that it was nothing but grace that has brought you safe thus far, and it will be nothing but grace that will lead you home?  Grace, God’s Amazing grace; how sweet the sound that saved a wretch, the likes of me! WHERE WOULD WE BE TODAY WITHOUT GOD’S AMAZING GRACE?  

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Experience The Powers In God’s Amazing Grace (Part 2 of 3)

WHERE WOULD WE BE TODAY WITHOUT GOD’S AMAZING GRACE?

EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF GOD'S AMAZING GRACE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF GOD’S AMAZING GRACE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Today My Brothers and Sisters we continue with part 2 of our lesson title: Experience the powers of God’s Amazing Grace.  We encourage you to go back and read part 1 again that it may expand your thinking as you begin to read and study part 2 on this most beautiful day

Now, when I look back over my life, I know that it was nothing but God’s amazing grace that brought me through my trials and tribulations, and I am certain you will say the same.  This amazing grace comes only from the Lord and is simply the God-given desire and the power to do God’s will.

In order to help us truly appreciate and understand the value that this one song has done to help transform our lives and the lives of people all over the world, let me share with you the history of this great song.  Now please take note of this next video because it does provide us with a deep understanding of the History of this song Amazing Grace as this part of the lesson is taught by Dr. Wintley Phipps.  We will join you in words once again when Dr. Phipps has concluded.

Amazing Grace” is a Christian hymn written by English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), published in 1779. With a message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.

Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed into the Royal Navy and became a sailor, eventually participating in the slave trade. One night a terrible storm battered his vessel so severely that he became frightened enough to call out to God for mercy, a moment that marked the beginning of his spiritual conversion. His career in slave trading lasted a few years more until he quit going to sea altogether and began studying theology.

Ordained in the Church of England in 1764, Newton became curate of Olney, Buckinghamshire, where he began to write hymns with poet William Cowper. “Amazing Grace” was written to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773. It is unknown if there was any music accompanying the verses, and it may have been chanted by the congregation without music. It debuted in print in 1779 in Newton and Cowper’s Olney Hymns, but settled into relative obscurity in England. In the United States however, “Amazing Grace” was used extensively during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century. It has been associated with more than 20 melodies, but in 1835 it was joined to a tune named “New Britain” to which it is most frequently sung today.

Author Gilbert Chase writes that “Amazing Grace” is “without a doubt the most famous of all the folk hymns,” and Jonathan Aitken, a Newton biographer, estimates that it is performed about 10 million times annually.  It has had particular influence in folk music, and become an emblematic African American spiritual. Its universal message has been a significant factor in its crossover into secular music. “Amazing Grace” saw a resurgence in popularity in the U.S. during the 1960s and has been recorded thousands of times during and since the 20th century, sometimes appearing on popular music charts.

This concludes part 2 of 3, please return tomorrow for the conclusion of this great lesson.  We hope that thus far your souls have been blessed with God’s Amazing Grace as He has given it to all of us. Please use this moment and bless someone else with your blessing by sharing this lesson with them. We bless all that you have experienced here today in Jesus name, Amen!

Experience the powers in God’s Amazing Grace (Part 1 of 3)

WHERE WOULD WE BE TODAY WITHOUT GOD’S AMAZING GRACE?

EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF GOD'S AMAZING GRACE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF GOD’S AMAZING GRACE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

As we go through life day by day, trying to understand our amazing lives, our purpose for being here which includes our destination, and how we are able to travel towards that goal we have set for ourselves, although we stumble and fall, we soon discover that we all have a story to tell.

Our stories on the surface may seem to be different, but when we look deeply at where we are and how we got to where we are, the story lines begin to merge and we all begin to repeat the same line we “are saved” by “grace.”  It was nothing but God’s amazing grace that brought me through the darkness of this wilderness and into His marvelous lightGrace is God’s unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don’t deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a true spiritual gift from God. Grace is divine assistance given to us humans for our regeneration (rebirth) or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine favor.

I have come to see the doctrine of the God’s Amazing Grace  as one of the dominant themes of the Bible. In musical terms, God’s Amazing Grace is like the melody line of a beautiful song, and the greatest song of all that comes to my mind is, “Amazing Grace.”  As a rule, only one note carries the melody, and all of the other notes serve to compliment that note with a harmony. I believe that grace is the dominant note in God’s dealings with man. His justice, His holiness, His omnipotence, and His omniscience are all an integral part of the music of His character and activities, but grace stands apart and above them all.

Now pause with me for a moment and let us listen to one of my favorite songs that really tell the true story of God’s redeeming quality for all of us who have accepted Jesus, as our Lord and savior, and then we will continue this discussion on the other side of this beautiful melody.

When I look back over my life, I know that it was nothing but God’s amazing grace that brought me through my trials and tribulations, and I am certain you will say the same.  This amazing grace comes only from the Lord and is simply the God-given desire and the power to do God’s will.

Thank you for reading and studying with us this day. I pray this lesson has been a blessing to your soul. If it has please share it with your friends and followers that they too may receive and experience the Lord’s amazing grace as well.

Part two of the Lord’s Amazing Grace Story will continue on Thursday of this week and part three will follow on Friday.  Please come back everyday and study with us, we teach seven days a week.  When you bless another, the Lord will fill your life with abundance of blessings because you took the time to bless someone else.  Thank you my friends, we love you and we appreciate you…

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How you can enjoy Eternal Life

HOW YOU CAN ENJOY ETERNAL LIFE

THE HEART OF THE CROSS IS KING JESUS HE DIED UPON THE CROSS THAT WE MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

THE HEART OF THE CROSS IS KING JESUS HE DIED UPON THE CROSS THAT WE MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The word “eternal” means without beginning and without end, denoting a continual existence including past, present, and future. As applied to human existence, the Bible indicates that the spirit or soul is indestructible and eventually returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7). This thought is expressed by Paul who attests to God’s overall plan whereby God is “all in all” (I Cor. 15:24-28). Thus, one might well say that eternal life includes the present, or “Today is the first day of the rest of your eternal life.”

Just as there are rewards for followers of Christ, there are judgments of the works of both believers and nonbelievers. Jesus said that all authority to judge the living and the dead is his (John 5:22;17:2; Acts 10:42;I Peter 4:5). In a sense, failure to receive blessings because of failure to ask, asking wrongly, or continued anxiety and fear by not heeding the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount are all indicative of a present judgment.

As the proverbs say, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1) and “the way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov. 4:16). As we have seen, Jesus assured his listeners that a follower of his and a doer of his words is assured of having his or her needs met and eternal life, including the glories of the resurrection-life (Mk. 10:28-30).

The New Testament sets out a concept of a gradation of regard for believers based upon their Christian good works (Matt. 16:27), their works being tested as by fire (I Cor. 3:13-15). In this respect, the epistles frequently warn believers against backsliding and the loss of reward.  [Note the six warnings in the book of Hebrews 3:7-13;4:1-11; 5:11-14; 6:1-9; 10:26-39; 12; also II Peter 2:20-22] A righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward (Matt. 10:41), and one who shows compassion in Jesus’name will not lose his or her reward (Matt. 10:42;Mk. 9:41).

Those who reject the Father and the Son will be judged, and punishment will be meted out for the wrongs which they have committed (Col. 3:25). They are as “cast into outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13;24:51; 25:30).   Those who seek after the plaudits of men have their reward (Matt. 6:2). One should enter in by the “narrow gate” to life, for “broad is the way which leads to destruction” (Matt. 7:13-14). Therefore, one should not lay up for himself or herself material treasures on earth, but should lay up treasures in heaven, for “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

God is merciful, and Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears his voice and opens the door, he will enter and they shall dine together. But there is a reckoning, and the son of man will separate the “sheep” from the “goats. “Those who have helped the less fortunate and have done it for Jesus shall inherit the kingdom. Those who have not helped others have failed Jesus and will receive punishment (Matt. 25:31-46). The meting out of judgment is portrayed in Revelation depicting God as sitting on a great white throne judging the dead according to their works.

The books are opened including the book of life. Anyone whose name is not found in the book of life is subject to punishment. It is decreed that the enemies of God and mankind be cast into the “lake of fire.” These include Satan, the false prophet, and the beast who has opposed God, death, Hades, and “whoever was not found written in the book of life” (Rev. 20:10-15).

There is also described a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem in which there reside only those who are over comers and those who are “athirst of the fountain.” These are given the water of life freely (Rev. 21:1-27). “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:12-13).

Thank you for studying with us today and may you receive all that you desire from the Lord as you walk into your divine destiny…

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YOU ARE CALLED TO ENJOY THE REWARDS OF YOUR ETERNAL LIFE

YOU ARE CALLED TO ENJOY THE REWARDS OF YOUR ETERNAL LIFE

SATURDAY SUNDAY MORNING OF DEVOTIONAL PRAYER AND PRAISE 79

YOU ARE CALLED BY THE WORD OF GOD

YOU ARE CALLED BY THE WORD OF GOD

Good Morning My Dear Brothers and Sisters, as we all continue to enjoy the 4th of July weekend holiday, it is my hope and prayer that in all our doing that we not allow the evil one to steal our joy and the eternal life that has been planned for us.  Therefore, the Lord placed upon my heart to share with you this weekend His benefits of your Eternal Life.

The word “ETERNAL” means without beginning and without end, denoting a continual existence including past, present, and future, as it is applied to human existence, the Bible indicates that the  spirit or soul is indestructible and eventually returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7). This thought is expressed by Paul who attests to God’s overall plan whereby God is “all in all” (I Cor. 15:24-28). Thus, one might well say that eternal life includes the present, or “Today is the first day of the rest of your eternal life.”

Just as there are rewards for followers of Christ, there are judgments of the works of both believers and nonbelievers. Jesus said that all authority to judge the living and the dead is his (John 5:22;17:2; Acts 10:42;I Peter 4:5). In a sense, failure to receive blessings because of failure to ask, asking wrongly, or continued anxiety and fear by not heeding the teachings of the SERMON ON THE MOUNT are all indicative of a present judgment. As the proverbs say, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverb.28:1) and “the way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov. 4:16). As we have seen, Jesus assured his listeners that a follower of his and a doer of his words is assured of having his or her needs met and eternal life, including the glories of the resurrection-life (Mk. 10:28-30).

The New Testament sets out a concept of a gradation of reward for believers based upon their Christian good works (Matt. 16:27), their works being tested as by fire (I Cor. 3:13-15). In this respect, the epistles frequently warn believers against backsliding and the loss of reward.  [Note the six warnings in the Book of Hebrews 3:7-13;4:1-11; 5:11-14; 6:1-9; 10:26-39; 12; also 11Peter 2:20-22]

A righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward (Matt. 10:41), and one who shows compassion in Jesus’ name will not lose his or her reward (Matt. 10:42;Mk. 9:41). Those who reject the Father and the Son will be judged, and punishment will be meted out for the wrongs which they have committed (Col. 3:25).

They are as “cast into outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13;24:51; 25:30).   Those who seek after the plaudits of men have their reward (Matt. 6:2). One should enter in by the “narrow gate” to life, for “broad is the way which leads to destruction” (Matt. 7:13-14). Therefore, one should not lay up for himself or herself material treasures on earth, but should lay up treasures in heaven, for “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

God is merciful, and Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears his voice and opens the door, he will enter and they shall dine together. But there is a reckoning, and the son of man will separate the “sheep” from the “goats. “Those who have helped the less fortunate and have done it for Jesus shall inherit the kingdom. Those who have not helped others have failed Jesus and will receive punishment (Matt. 25:31-46).

The meting out of judgment is portrayed in Revelation depicting God as sitting on a great white throne judging the dead according to their works. The books are opened including the book of life. Anyone whose name is not found in the book of life is subject to punishment.

It is decreed that the enemies of God and mankind be cast into the “lake of fire.” These include Satan, the false prophet, and the beast who has opposed God, death, Hades, and “whoever was not found written in the book of life” (Rev. 20:10-15).

There is also described a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem in which there reside only those who are over comers and those who are “athirst of the fountain.” These are given the water of life freely (Rev. 21:1-27). “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:12-13).

My Brothers and Sisters as we close this lesson for today let me leave you with this last very important note from the Preacher.  He says,  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, withevery secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV)

LIVING FOR CHRIST TRUTH MEETS REALITY

LIVING FOR CHRIST TRUTH MEETS REALITY

WHEN TRUTH AND REALITY MEETS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

WHEN TRUTH AND REALITY MEETS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

This week we will be studying Romans 12:1-2, learning how we can live for Christ when Truth meets Reality.  The Bible tells us to know the Truth and the Truth will set us Free.  How we get to that truth will be the basics of our teaching this week.  Here is what Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  This is the reality of the truth we must come to know if we are to live for Christ.

Now let me share this truth with you as we begin this week in the newness of the Holy Spirit working through us.  There is but one religion, and that religion is the religion of Truth.  There is also but one error, and that error is of self.  Sometimes we allow self to get in the way of Truth.  Where self is, we will not find Truth, where Truth is self is not.  Therefore, let us discover Truth within ourselves about ourselves and move self out of the way and learn to live each day for Christ.  Jesus declared that if any man wishes to be His Disciple, he must deny himself daily.

Finally, let us learn that self is the denial of Truth.  Truth is the denial of self.  As you let self die, you will be reborn in Truth.  As you cling to self, truth will be hidden from you.  Now know this,  “LIVING FOR CHRIST TRUTH WILL MEET REALITY!

 

 

NICODEMUS QUESTION JESUS ON HOW A PERSON CAN BE BORN AGAIN

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645.

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NICODEMUS QUESTION JESUS ON HOW A PERSON CAN BE BORN AGAIN

Good Morning my brothers and sisters, today we continue our teaching on Nicodemus visit with Jesus in the cover of dark and as a teacher finds himself being taught by the Master Teacher. I love this story and I hope you do also.  Now listen up as the truth speaks to your soul.

Nicodemus as a teacher in his own right found himself in an odd position of being taught when he asked Jesus this question: “How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “Be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”  By his own lack of knowledge, Nicodemus was now in for a rude awaken, and Jesus was about to teach him and all of us a lesson in how to be born again that neither he nor we would ever soon forget.

Now as we have studied the scriptures and heard many sermons preached that Jesus was known for his skills as a Master Teacher, and of course Nicodemus was a respected teacher of IsraelNicodemus was part of a group whose prestige had suffered the most because of Jesus popularity.  The Pharisees were the conservatives in Israel.  They held all the Scriptures in high regard.  They believed in eternal life.  They were the ones most people thought would be able to identify the long-awaited Messiah and announce Him to the people.

Unfortunately, the Pharisees had begun to think of the coming Messiah as one who would elevate and honor them when He came.  But Jesus showed no inclination to do this.  Instead, He called all to repentance, even the Pharisees.  He made it painfully clear to the Pharisees that their devotion to Scripture was undermined by their tendency to apply it wrongly and to exalt themselves over others.  Although they had diligently studied the Scriptures, they had not learned the central truths of Scripture: Justice, mercy, and faith (Matt. 23:23).

In this lesson, we understand that Jesus and Nicodemus had a private conversation late one night.  We do not know whether Nicodemus had an appointment.  We do not know what he wanted to say.  Nicodemus came to Jesus, but Jesus guided the conversation from the start.  In effect, Nicodemus took a step in the right direction, and Jesus met him more than halfway.

Nicodemus said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”  If Nicodemus purpose was to find out for himself whether Jesus was really a teacher from God, he did not have to wait long.  Instead of defending His own credentials, Jesus offered Nicodemus an eternal lesson.

How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”

Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. “But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.”

Jesus take no prisoner’s way of teaching had to one of the toughest teachers Nicodemus had ever had to encounter. He allowed Jesus to challenge his understanding.  He did not shrink from revealing his ignorance about the second birth.  He listened.  In spite of the fact that he was a teacher, he was willing to be taught.  Jesus did not disappoint.

Now I ask of you, to join Nicodemus here this night and listen to how a Master Teacher teaches the lesson of our New Birth.  He says, “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”

Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?

“No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

When we know the truth, the truth will set us free, and here we can see clearly that Jesus provided Nicodemus with the gospel truth, and Nicodemus was able to see the light that night and experience God’s love from the Master Teacher because Nicodemus character was changed that very night.  What about you, have you seen the light and excepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

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