Grace is defined as "unmerited favor" or "an undeserved gift". By it's very definition, grace is something that you can't earn and you don't deserve! Everything we get from God is by His grace. We haven't earned His blessings and we certainly don't deserve the wonderful things He does for us! The Bible teaches us that we all have sinned and fallen short of perfection (which is what the law required) and because of our sin, we deserve eternal damnation! The Bible says that we are saved by grace, through faith and that even our faith to be saved is His grace! We don't stop to think just how wonderful God's grace really is. It is mind-boggling! We deserve Hell, but we get Heaven! We sinned horribly, but those sins were washed away, forgiven and forgotten! We separated ourselves from God by our disobedience, but God restored us and brought us back to Himself and even adopted us into His own family!
Phillip Yancy wrote a book entitled "What's So Amazing About Grace?" and after reading it, I began to see that everything about grace is amazing! The fact that God even exhibits grace is amazing! Just think; God is all-powerful and all-knowing. He can't be defeated and He can't be outsmarted. He created everything that exists, and therefore, everything belongs to Him. He doesn't owe anybody anything and doesn't need anything from anyone. Who would ever expect an entity such as He to show grace?! He can do anything He likes. He could make us do anything He wanted us to do. Why show us grace?!
The answer, of course, is that He loves us. Why He loves us is another question altogether! God chose to create us. He chose to save us and to redeem us. He chose to adopt us and call us His family. He chose to cover us with His grace and protect, bless and provide for us. He chose us! We must never lose the awe of how wonderful and glorious God's grace toward us is. We must never allow ourselves to start thinking He owes us His grace. We must never take grace for granted. Without His grace, we would be helpless and hopeless, alone and without purpose, headed for eternal destruction.


The Blame Game

Just because we don't take responsibility, doesn't mean we're not responsible! We blame guns for killing people; we blame food for making people fat; we blame alcohol for drunk driving. The fact is that people kill people with guns. People get fat because people eat too much food. People are killed by drunk drivers because people drink alcohol and drive. Things are just things; they aren't good or evil, they're just inanimate objects! People have free wills. People make decisions. People disobey the laws. People are responsible for their behavior!
Not every human fault is a matter of genetics and not every bad behavior is because of a disease! It's not our mother's fault or our father's fault. We are responsible for what we decide to do with our lives! I know that bad things happen to us in childhood and I know that the way our parents raised us (or failed to raise us) can be a setback in our development. But overcoming those things is our responsibility! Not everyone raised by an abusive parent abuses their own children! Not every child of an alcoholic parent becomes an alcoholic! Not every child raised on welfare becomes a life-long welfare recipient! Not every child of an obese parent becomes obese! If just one breaks the cycle, then we can all break the cycle! It's up to us!
This blame game that has become so prevalent is killing us! It is taking the fight out of us. It teaches us that we are helpless victims of something we have no control over. It teaches lack of personal responsibility and utter doom! Why make an effort to be better than we are if we are at the mercy of our genes or our past or our circumstances?! It is totally unamerican and foreign to the way this country began and became the greatest country in the world!
There was a time in this country when, if you were told you couldn't do something, it only served to make you more determined to do it! Now, when we're told by the "experts" that we can't overcome our past, or our genes, or whatever, we believe them and quit trying. "Give up" is not what this country is about! "Never give up" is!
We need to take responsibility for our lives and stop letting the "experts" deter us! We need to stop looking for someone else to blame and just do what needs to be done, even if it's the toughest thing we've ever had to do! Don't make excuses and don't accept any. God created human beings in His image and we are capable of overcoming any obstacle in our way!



I accepted Jesus as my savior, now what?
That is a legitimate question that too often doesn't get answered. In the mad rush to get people saved, we forget that we're supposed to be making disciples, not converts! Jesus said we should go make disciples of all nations. Disciple means "one who learns" or "student". Leading someone to Jesus is only the beginning! There is teaching, mentoring and encouraging to be done!
The Bible speaks about new Christians as being spiritual babies. What good mother or father would birth a baby and leave them alone to figure out how to live? What parent would dare say,
"OK kid, I did the hard part getting you here. Now your on your own. I believe you can do it!"?
I don't know but that we are not responsible somewhat for the people we lead to Jesus, at least until they know enough to function on their own. New Christians are extremely vulnerable to the devils attacks. He always tries to convince them that they're not really saved. The only way to battle the devil is with the word of God and most new Christians don't know much scripture to fight with!
If you have lead someone to the Lord, hang around! Be a friend and an encouragement. Answer any question you can and if you don't know the answer, search the scriptures together (prayerfully) until you find it!



There's a lot of people working for God, but not all of them are letting God work through them. Sounds like a condradictory statement, doesn't it? But actually it's not; working for God and God working through you can be two completely different things!
Wanting to work for God is a good thing. The Bible says that faith without works is dead, being alone. The Bible also says that we were saved to do good works and loving God makes you want to be about his business. But we can't forget that we are tools. God works through us just like we work through our tools. We wouldn't expect a hammer to start driving a nail all by itself! We use the tool to do the work we want done. The tool avails itself to us to be used and we decide what job to do and when and where to do it! Yes, the tool is working, in the sense that work is being done and the tool is invovled. But the actual power to get the work done and the knowledge about how to do the work is being supplied by us, not the tool! We are God's tools!
Many times, albeit with good intentions, we abandon our role as tools and decide to work for God on our own. We decide that a particular thing needs to be done, we decide it needs to be done now, we decide it needs to be done this way and then we set about doing it. When things don't work out like we expected, we wonder why God didn't make it work out, since we were doing it all for him in the first place! God backs his own plans, not ours! When he tells us to do something, he always provides the power and ability to do it. But he is not obligated to help us do what we want to do.
We need to make sure that what we are working at is something that God has told us (either in prayer or in his word) that he wants us to do. That way, we can be sure to have his help in getting it done and what we do will always be effective.


Faith Eyes

When we look at an object, we don't really see that object. What we actually see is light waves bouncing off that object. Our brains analyze the light that our eyes gather and we see the object. Without the light bouncing off the object, we can't see the object! In a totally dark room devoid of any light whatsoever, we can't see anything, although the room may be full of things. Have you ever walked through your bedroom late at night, maybe to answer the phone, and stump your toe on a table leg? Why did that happen? It happened because you couldn't see the table in the dark. The table was just as much there as it was in the daylight, but in the dark, with no light to bounce off it into your eyes, it was invisible!
The Bible tells us that faith "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". Faith gives substance to things we can't see. Faith allows us to see what we have hoped for! Faith is to spiritual eyes what light is to physical eyes! Without faith, we can't see the "spiritual blessings in heavenly places" that God has given to us. But, just like the table leg in the dark, just because we can't see them doesn't mean that they're not there! Faith gives us the ability to see spiritual things.
Now, someone might say that the Bible is talking about spiritual blessings, not physical blessings. Well, God is a spiritual being. He gives spiritual blessings. But we must remember that since God created everything out of nothing, everything was at one time spiritual! God spoke the trees into being, they were not made of anything that existed before, they were created out of spirit! Since everything was created out of spiritual material, everything was at the beginning, a spiritual blessing!
The only way to make a "spiritual blessing in heavenly places" a material blessing here on Earth, is to acquire it by faith! Faith gives substance to the things we hope for, the things God gives us "according to His riches in Heaven, in Christ Jesus"! God is a spirit and Heaven is a spiritual place and everything there is spiritual. And so we can be sure that God's "riches in Heaven" are spiritual as well. But, when a spiritual blessing gains substance, it is no longer spiritual, but material! Just like the light allows us to see material things, faith allows us to see spiritual things!


Obeying the Law

Why do so many Christians think that its' alright to break the law? I'm not talking about the Ten Commandments, but the rules and regulations of our country, state, city and community. Apparently, they think that as long as they are obeying God's laws, they don't have to worry about breaking the "laws of the world". Maybe they should think again! When the laws of the land don't contradict the law of God, breaking the laws of the land is breaking the law of God!
The Bible tells us to obey the laws of the land so that we may live in peace and prosper. That doesn't mean we should obey the "big" laws and not the "little" laws either! When we drive in excess of the posted speed limit, we're breaking God's law because God told us to obey the law of the land. When we litter or park in front of a fire hydrant or do anything else in defiance of known, posted law, we are actually defying God!
It may not seem like such a bid deal right now and there are those who will read this post and say that I'm nit-picking. But, when we stand before our Lord and Savior in Heaven, what will we say when He asks us about these incidents? What will be our excuse for disobeying Him by not keeping the law of the land? I'm sure He will take it very seriously!
Christians will be held to the highest possible standard. We are His and we are filled with His Holy Spirit. We have no legitimate excuse for not obeying His every command. The next time you are tempted to do something illegal (no matter how trivial), remember, no one else may be watching, but God is watching. The police officer is not the one you need to be most worried about!


He Works in Us

Some Christians have the mistaken idea that God saved us and then gave us this impossible model of a life we should live and then left us all alone to try and live it. Apparently, they think God is sitting in Heaven twiddling His thumbs while we muddle through down here the best way we can! These are the same people who are always making it hard on themselves thinking that by suffering through life everyday they will please God. That's not what God meant when He said to "deny yourself"!
The Bible says that "He who has begun a good work in you" will finish it. God has begun a good work in us and He will finish it! The Bible also says that it is God who gives us the ability to "will and to do". God isn't only working in us to give us the ability to do what He says, but it is He who gives us the very "want to" to obey Him! God isn't sitting by in Heaven while we mutter through. He is personally and constantly working in us and through us by the Holy Spirt! We are not alone! God didn't ask us to fly and then deny us wings! We must have faith in God. We must believe that He is able to make of us whatever He wants us to be!
I'm not saying that we can live any old way we want to and God will be pleased with us. Neither am I saying that we don't have to say no to evil desires and yes to the Holy Spirit's promptings. But beating ourselves up and making ourselves miserable all the time are just works of the flesh; they are religious ideas trying to impress God with our self-inflicted sufferings. The Bible says that the flesh has works but the spirit has fruit! The flesh works hard to get anything done, but have you ever seen an apple tree straining to put forth apples? No!
God won't leave us the way He found us. He will always move us toward perfection. All we have to do is trust and believe and stay out of His way.


Christ the Healer

When I read the Bible, there's no way for me to come to any other conclusion but that God wants His people to be healthy. Time after time He reminds us that He is our healer. Jesus went about "doing good aand healing all who were opressed of the devil". Everywhere Jesus went He healed all their sick (except where the people didn't believe). The gospels plainly state that Jesus Himself bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases. God wants us to be healthy!
I know that there are those who say that God brings sickness upon people to teach them something or to correct them. That is a ploy of the devil, not God! The devil is the one who decieves, pressures and bullies people. God doesn't use those tactics! God draws us by His love. God convinces us that we need Him and waits for us to choose Him of our own free will. The devil will control us any way He can, but God wants us to want Him!
If God causes people physical pain to teach them or correct them for their own good, then why not just make us all sick with some painful, horrible disease and tell us that it will go away when we come to our senses and serve Him?! Wouldn't the end result be worth the painful means?! God does not do things that way! He gave us free will and He will not force us to do anything against our free will!
I understand that when sickness comes, God uses it to teach us. God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him! But the sickness doesn't come from Him! Sometimes it's sin in our lives, sometimes it's unforgiveness we harbour, sometimes it's a lack of faith that God wants us to heal us, sometimes it's caused by someone else's sinful actions or maybe it's a genetic thing passed down from family members, but God is not the author of sickness and disease!
There are those who will read this post and say "Well, what about so-and-so? She's a good Christian who believes in healing, but she's still sick." I don't have all the answers. The direct cause of sickness is not always obvious. And I don't believe in accusing people of being sinners or of lacking faith because they are sick! But I guarantee you that it is not God's will for people to suffer! He's not that kind of Father! He doesn't resort to those tactics!
We all have to work out our own salvation. I'm not judgeing you for what you believe or don't believe and I don't want you to judge me. We are all God's servants and He will judge His servants for Himself! But it bothers me to no end to know that people would believe that God, the perfect Father (who said He would not withhold from us any good thing) would resort to torture to make us mind Him, even if it was for our own good!