Thursday Night Bible Study | The Means of Grace
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The Means of Grace
THE MEANS OF GRACE
~2 Peter 3:18 (NKJ) “But Grow In The Grace And Knowledge Of Our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ. To Him Be The Glory Both Now And Forever. Amen.”
~Have You Ever Been Told To Do Something, But Then Felt Like You Weren’t Told How To Do It?
~Or Have You Ever Been Told To Do Something, But Then You Realized That You Did Not Have The Tools For Getting It Done? ~There Is A Big Difference Between Training And Trying.
~When You Try You Just Go Out And Put In A Lot Of Effort And Hope That’s Enough... That Usually Doesn’t Work.
~But When You Train, You Enter Into A Lifestyle That Consists Of Practices (Disciplines & Habits) That Will Enable You Eventually To Do What All The Trying In The World Will Not Help You To Do.
~Definition Of Means: Method, Way, Manner, Mode, Technique... ~That Is... How You Go About Doing Something.
~The “How To Do It” Was Handed Down In The Early Church. ~If You Attended A Christian Church Decades Ago, It Was Taught To You And Passed On To You. ~But Today That Is No Longer The Case.
~If You Are Under The Impression That Paul’s Command To Grow In The Grace And Knowledge Of Christ Means To Have A Daily Quiet Time, To Do Your Daily “Devotions,” Or Something Like That, That Is A Mistaken Impression.
~Grace Isn’t Just “Being Saved,” Or “Not Going To Hell,” ~Grace Definition: Grace Is God Working In My Life!
~When I Talk About The “Means Of Grace,” I’m Talking About Things You Can Do That Will Allow God To Work In Your Life, Or “How” God Works In Your Life. ~God Cannot Apply To Your Life What You Will Not Accept.
~If You Are Going To Learn To Experience And Reflect The Perfect Love Of God, You Must Be Practicing The Means Of Grace... ~Both Receiving It... And Giving It... ~Growing In Grace Gives You Power You Would Not Otherwise Have.
~This Power Moves Your Life Into A Different Spiritual Place. ~Grace Gives You Ways To Develop This Power.
~Development In All Of Life Is The Story Of Acquiring Powers. ~But Acquiring Power Always Takes Time And Effort.
~Loving Your Enemies Requires Power Many Of Us Don’t Have. ~If We Are Ever To Love Our Enemies, We’ll Have To Acquire Some New Powers, And It Will Be Amazing As We See Ourselves Growing Into This New Power.
~Forgiving Requires Power We Often Do Not Have. (But The Seed Of This Power Is In Us)
~Loving Those Who Have Hurt Us Requires A Kind Of Power. (But The Seed Of This Power Is In Us)
~Jesus Prayed God’s Mercy On Those Who Were Killing Him. (The Seed Of This Power Is In Us)
~As You Practice The Means Of Grace, (Spiritual Disciplines) God Will Transform You To Live With A Power That Is Not Your Own... It Is The Power Of God. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)
~There Are Two Great Problems That Plague Us In Human Life When It Comes To Knowing God.
~1. We Are Attached To Stuff That Keeps Us Away From God. Sin, Distractions, Materialism, Busyness, Need For Approval, Control, Etc. ~We Need The Disciplines Of Withdrawal That Help Us Break Our Attachment To Things That Keep Us Away From God.
~2. We Are Not Attached To Things That Would Draw Us Toward God. Communication With Him, Worship Of Him, Celebration Of His Goodness, And Other Things. We Must Cultivate Disciplines Of Engagement... Where We Intentionally Engage In Practices That Bring Us Closer To God And Help Us Know Him Better. ~These Would Include Things Like Prayer, Worship, Generosity, And Celebration. ~We Have To Move Away From Stuff That Puts Distance Between Us And God, And Move Toward Stuff That Will Help Us Reach God And Become Closer To Him.
~God’s Grace Is Not Opposed To Effort, Grace Is Opposed To Earning.
~James 1:14 (NIV) “But Each One Is Tempted When, By His Own Evil Desire, He Is Dragged Away And Enticed.
~The Means Of Grace Works At The Level Of Reshaping What We Desire... ~The Times When We Desire To Do Evil Less And Less... And Desire To Do Good More And More.
~Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG) "I Don’t Think The Way You Think. The Way You Work Isn’t The Way I Work...” 9 "For As The Sky Soars High Above Earth, So The Way I Work Surpasses The Way You Work, And The Way I Think Is Beyond The Way You Think.”
~We’re Always A Little Suspicious Of Things We Don’t Know. ~But Familiarity Brings Trust.
~The More I Trust You, The More I Am Willing To “Put Myself Out There” For You. ~That’s Human Nature.
~But It’s Not God’s Nature. ~Remember The Long List Of Terrible Sins From Romans? ~Romans 1:29-31 (NLT)
~God’s True Nature Is Shown In The Way He Loved Us Through Christ... ~It Is Amazing That Jesus Died For Us When He Knew For A Fact That We Were Untrustworthy? ~Romans 5:7-8 (NLT) “Now, Most People Would Not Be Willing To Die For An Upright Person, Though Someone Might Perhaps Be Willing To Die For A Person Who Is Especially Good. 8 But God Showed His Great Love For Us By Sending Christ To Die For Us While We Were Still Sinners.”
~Jesus Was Willing To Die – And Die Horribly - For Evil People – People Who Had Sinned, And Would Keep Sinning, Against Him. ~We Don’t Understand Grace. ~We’re A Bit Suspicious Of God Because We Don’t Trust Anyone Who Claims To Bestow Grace Without Limit On Everyone... ~Our Distrust & Suspicion Of This Whole “God’s Unlimited Grace Thing”, Springs From Our Own Inability To Live This Way. ~But Remember, God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways!
~God Lives With Totally Open Hands. ~When We Hurt Him, He Just Keeps On Loving Us.
~We Can Distance Ourselves From Him And Yet He Stays Available When We Are Ready To Return. ~Trust Him!
~God Will Meet Us Right Where We Are, As We Open Ourselves To Receive His Grace!
Pastor Gary McSpaddenPastor
Gary McSpadden has been a leader in spreading the Word of God throughout the world through teaching, singing, writing and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 50 years. He and his wife Carol founded Faith and Wisdom Church in April of 2010 with a group of 24 loving, wonderful people in Branson, MO. They continue to lead this growing and thriving group of believers today.
- Choir Rehearsal
- Feb 24 2020
- 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm