Saturday, 11 January 2014

Blessed To Bless

Proverbs 8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

      This sentence should remove all fear from our hearts. Since the Lord has blessed me, (and I am aware of it and am existing from that position), I am at peace to graciously reach out and bless you because the blessing of the Lord makes my life rich and He adds no sorrow with it. The Lord has blessed me and I understand that blessing was given to me by grace, (His unmerited favor). Therefore, I can offer the same blessing to you because it is coming from a place of grace within me.
      Better still, we can ask others without fear, how can I bless you? - because I am aware that what I will pass on as a blessing will also come from the provision and direction of the Lord. Outside of the ridiculous and sinful, there is nothing we cannot do if we know how blessed we are. We become as Francis of Assisi says, "An instrument of blessing". Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. I can become an instrument of blessing because I am blessed by grace. I am part of Christ, therefore, I can be a blessing like Christ was and is. Eph. 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

     The word says Jesus was full of grace and truth. John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. What type of grace was Jesus full of? There was nothing unmerited about Jesus or within Him, so it could not be unmerited favor. Jesus was full of God's ability within Himself. This same grace is also given to us after we receive Christ as Lord. We are called by His grace (unmerited favor) Rom. 5:8 But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 
      Pastor Mitch Horton says "A handy acronym for G.R.A.C.E. is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Nothing I personally do could ever merit God’s grace and favor." The Lord gave us His grace (unmerited favor) so that when we became born again we would then extend God's grace that Jesus had (God's ability in me) to others so that they would accept God's grace (unmerited favor) in their lives. Eph. 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 
      In another place, the word says Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Let us come boldly to the throne of unmerited favor and obtain mercy and find God's ability to help in time of need. Wow, what a blessing His grace is. John 1:16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
There was a man who was lame from birth, who begged for money daily at the gate called Beautiful. Peter and John are walking by and the lame man asked for some spare change. Peter says, "I have no cash on me but I do have something better that will bless you for the rest of your life. By grace I have Christ, the Lord, in my heart, and with His grace, He is able to heal your situation. So, in the name of Jesus get up and walk in the grace of God that is available for all mankind." Acts 3:3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
      I believe Peter and John had discovered the peace that comes from living in grace.  Ann Voskamp says, "Peace isn’t a place to work towards, but a Person to walk with." There seems to be the peace of God that grows from within our souls when we understand the grace of God at work within and over our lives. If we know that it is all grace (unmerited favor), then we can be at peace concerning the striving and performance aspects of our Christian walk that often turns sour because we are trying to earn God's love and attention. Grace is full of God's love and attention toward us. Grace supplies all that we need to live and serve our Lord.
     In 1772 John Newton wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. The words of this hymn are without controversy one of the best pronouncements of the Lord's grace that can change the hardest of characters into God's own blessed of the earth. The Lord's grace is truly 

amazing and is remarkable when we believe in its' working ability within our souls.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

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