Grace is one of the most misunderstood and most attacked tenants of the Christian faith.
As a Christian you know that God’s grace saved you (from sin and Hell), but afterwards it’s easy to act like works keeps you safe. The Christian life is one of outward works which are signs/evidence of an inward change, but outward works never earned God’s favor and they don’t keep God’s favor. We do good works to honor God and live like Jesus, but it is God’s grace and his Spirit that makes us new and guides us into the perfection God wants in our lives. It’s not the works you do that fix you.
We hold onto works because we don’t listen to who God says we are – a beloved child and friend of His. A person works for God’s love and his liking because they don’t fully accept that God already loves them and likes them. A life transformed by grace is a life of good, outward action and at the same time it is a life at peace, not striving to do good, but one that rests in the grace of God trusting first in the secure love of God.
Be encouraged by Casey’s message and know that you don’t have to work for God’s favor. Joy and peace in your life will come when you trust in the fact that God loved you and chose you before you did anything good.
In the Old Testament God would often identify himself as the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The story of God’s relationship with humanity spans across multiple generations. God chose Abraham out of all the people in the world and he gave him a world wide promise, but that promise wasn’t fulfilled until generations later. The plans of God crosses multiple generations.
The vision of the gospel is the vision of God. God’s vision is one which expands our own vision to see farther past ourselves. You will influence people in your immediate relationships to varying degrees no matter what you do or how hard you try. With Jesus, however, you can influence generations of people outside of your immediate relationships. Live with the vision of Jesus to build a Godly legacy for the generations to come.
Casey reminded us that our response to God is largely based on our past relationship with him. The limitations of our spiritual life is not caused by Jesus’ lack of success, the limit is caused by how much we’re not willing to give him as Lord.
In John 17, we read one of Jesus’ most detailed prayers recorded in the Four gospels. In this prayer, Jesus provides insight into who he is and his vision and expectation for Christians then and now. Reading from the Passion translation of the New Testament, Casey shared twenty-seven insights and encouragements that we can learn from John 17.
1. Glory doesn’t always look like you think it will
2. Eternal life is not in the future
3. The glory of God is revealed in obedience
4. The greatest glory is experienced through face to face encounter
5. Jesus is perfect theology
6. We are God’s gift to Jesus
7. Same words equal same authority
8. Are you convinced; do you fully believe?
9. You are deeply loved by Jesus
10. You are Jesus’ gift back to the Father
11. You are protected by God
12. Jesus wants you to experience full and overflowing joy
13. Our allegiance is to Christ
14. He wants you in the world, but he doesn’t want the world in you
15. The truth of Jesus makes us holy
16. You are commissioned to represent Jesus
17. His sacrifice enables you to be Holy and fully dedicated
18. Unity displays the Father’s heart
19. Unity must be tied to God
20. Jesus gave us the same glory
21. You have the full Jesus
22. Evangelism will work
23. We have the same love
24. Christ has given us authority
25. We will see his glory
26. Revelation in progressive
27. The purpose of revelation is love
The mission of the Church is to bring the gospel of Jesus to the world. People leave the earth every day and their destination is Hell. That should matter to you and me.
God does not save you through Jesus just to enjoy a private life. He saves us for a mission related to the gospel. Big or small, loud or quiet, each and every Christian has a unique way and a personal method to share the gospel with someone around them.
You have a mission. Have you sought the Holy Spirit in prayer and asked for understanding in what your mission is?
There is a tension in Scripture compelling us to camp out on one end of the same spectrum. When the Scriptures say, “Judge not” we apply that to the extreme and never judge anything. Others, find the Scripture that says, “the least of you will judge” and set up camp on judgement. The Scripture says in one place “turn the other cheek” and in another place “Jesus made a whip”. Our mistake is we choose one of the two places, not only to set up camp, but to build an entire city. Jesus calls us to the delicate balance of grace and truth. We cannot embrace one without the other. The balance to the spectrum is Christ in you.
As Jesus would work and perform miracles and acts of ministry, he would often give an invitation for participation. Today, he still invites his disciples to participate. He wants to take our tiny seed of faith and allow his power to flow through it.