7 I now serve the good news because God gave me his grace. His power is at work in me. Ephesians 3:7 NIRVGrace empowers us to live a most fulfilling and productive life. Anyone who uses grace to justify their lack of involvement or lack of spiritual growth is actually twisting the truth and does not have a right idea of grace.
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— Ephesians 3:1If you can't believe that God is involved in your circumstances, you will react instead of responding to what God is doing in you and through you.
8 Stephen, who was a man full of grace and supernatural power, performed many astonishing signs and wonders and mighty miracles among the people. Acts 6:8, The Passion TranslationThere are three kinds of people when it comes to the gospel of grace: the grace-ignorant, the grace-migrants and the grace-natives.
32...be kind to one another... Ephesians 4:32We only remember two types of people in life: those who were kind and generous to us, and those who were unkind and thoughtless towards us. Whether or not we were treated rightly, God is our source of kindness and love, and we, who have known and experienced both, can share and spread His love through kindness.
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8, New International VersionLoving someone is not about being blind to their flaws. Love is the ability to look beyond their flaws by focusing on the intrinsic worth God gave them through Christ. This attitude gives us the grace to be accepting without being judgemental, to be truthful without being hurtful, and to be caring without being imposing. The Apostle Peter tells us we are to echo God's love in our relationships with one another. He quoted from Proverbs 10:2: "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins." The Hebrew word for "cover" is kacah which means "concealing". In the context of this verse, concealing is not used in a bad way, as if there is an evil intention to hide something, but in the positive sense of forgiving and forgetting. Jesus is our best example of a love that covers a multitude of sins. He modelled for us how we should relate with people around us. He didn't treat others as they deserved to be treated. Instead, He readily offered His life up for them even though they were most undeserving. When Jesus was dying on the cross for our sins, He prayed, "Father, forgive them". Being the perfect sacrifice, Jesus did not just cover our sins, but He completely took away the sin of the whole world. In doing so, our Lord revealed the nature of our Father's perfect love towards us. We can reflect this same love by receiving God's grace to forgive and release the hurt people have caused us. Sometimes it is not easy to forgive, especially when you feel an injustice was done to you, or when you were being singled out unfairly. Instead of trying to forgive and forget in your own power, just confess you desperately need God's healing grace to help you to make the necessary changes in your attitude so as to manifest them in your actions. As children of God, let's imitate our Father in the way we forgive and forget, overlooking offenses and not keeping any record of wrongs, hoping others will do the same for us. We are to love each other deeply and speak with grace and kindness when someone's sin is hurting them, hurting other, or hurting us.
6 Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. 7 And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. Philippians 4:6-7, Easy to Read VersionDo you see your life as a series of problems or a series of problem-solving experiences? Jesus tells us we will face problems and hard times, but He also tells us to have faith in Him. The Apostle Paul encourages us to ask God for what we need and, most importantly, to believe God's peace within us will guard our thoughts and emotions so that we experience freedom and true breakthroughs.
8 I will make a new covenant...10 I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Hebrews 8:8,10There are believers who think that God just wants us to behave morally and responsibly. This is, however, only a part of the truth concerning the gospel. The greater truth is that we are saved by grace through faith, and not by our behaviour or deeds.
16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound —think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath? Luke 13:16You may look, feel or seem insignificant to most people, but God knows your worth and when you realise it, you will never feel worthless or alone again.
The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12-13When we blame someone for our actions, it is as good as admitting that we are not in control of our words, thoughts and feelings. We will lose objectivity and our ability to look at the real issues affecting our relationship. This was what Adam did, he blamed Eve and blamed God for giving him Eve in the first place. Eve, in turn, blamed the serpent.