Tuesday, April 7, 2015

grace through Easter

Acts 1:3  NLT
During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

This past weekend we celebrated the events of Easter week.  That included the last supper, the death of Jesus on the cross, His burial and resurrection Sunday.  That is the most incredible story through the pages of Scripture as well as through the stories of history itself.

Some have called the story of salvation, Jesus and even Christianity a story of fiction, but the story of Jesus is packed full of facts that have stood through time.  Each fact seals for the followers of Jesus that God chose to lavish His grace on us.

On Sunday I shared with our church family how God’s grace can been seen through the many scenes of the Easter week happenings.  I am still overcome by the pieces of this story.  The verse I began with this today is the capstone, the biggest star of them all.  That verse is the postscript to Jesus proving that He is with us always.  He was alive then.  He is alive now.  That is how we live abundant life continually!

John 10:10  NASB
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Because of what Jesus did for us that first Easter we can have abundant life. It was in God’s heart and plan to give us life, salvation and His love.  He pursues us with His love.

Because Jesus lives we can live.  Are you with me?  He died so we can live, have forgiveness of sin and God’s love.  He lives so we can live, that is to live eternally.

Grace depicts for us the pursuit God has always been on to redeem and to love His people.  He wants to love us.

At the last supper God’s grace was evident in the way that Jesus announced that He would be rejected and even betrayed by one closest to Him.  That was God’s plan for the end of His earthly or human life which led to the understanding of the elements of the last supper.  The bread symbolized the broken body of Jesus, and the wine symbolized the blood of Jesus poured out for us.  That was also the place were Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and reminded them to serve others with all that was in them!

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

Grace serves others and serving opens the door for people to come to know God.  Take this a step further and see how Jesus reacted to those who accused Him.  Because Jesus understood the reason for His death, and that made the outcome worth the pain.  He portrayed grace, the deep and unchanging grace of God, to all He came in contact with.

Hebrews 4:16  NASB
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The story of Jesus’ life shared in Philippians 2 might tell this best for us.  Jesus gave up everything so we can have life.  That is the gift of God.  His humility teaches us so much about God’s grace.

James 4:6  NASB
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Grace is the fact that we can be forgiven.  We are forgiven and must forgive others.  Often we find the hardest person to forgive is us or maybe those closest to us.  Practicing forgiveness makes us much like Jesus was on the way to the cross and on the cross.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Yet the resurrection is the culmination of the grace of God that is on going today.  We can experience God, but we can also lead others to experience the freedom that resurrection brings.  Our lives and our testimonies speak to the facts of the week we know as easter.

Acts 4:33  NASB
And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

My prayer is that we will experience God’s grace in huge portions.  Thank God for His unending grace!

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happy birthday, Julie

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