GRACE ~ The High-Octane

In the quietness of the morning it seemed that I could hear the faint sound of a motor.  It was still dark outside, too early for the sound of lawn maintenance that we often hear early in the day.  I lay in bed wondering if this sound was outside, or in the house (running water, furnace, etc.) The only conclusion was that the sound was inside my head.  (Surely, you have heard such a sound. If not, you will when you’re old.) The sound is gone now, but it brought to mind the thought that there is a power within the world that keeps it going.  Since it encompasses, and works within the whole of the universe and creation it is beyond our comprehension, beyond our finding out.  It is revealed through various means—God’s Word, His Spirit, our circumstances, in relationships, in quietness, and in upheavals.

Without God’s mercy His wrath would have already been poured out upon the whole earth.  Since the flood He has promised this mercy until He has accomplished all His will on the earth.

Mercy, or Mercy and Grace?

 What is the difference in God’s mercy and His grace?  My understanding of the two is that mercy is “not receiving what we deserve.”  God has not destroyed the earth and all its inhabitants at one time, so that He may bring into His kingdom all those for whom Christ died—-that He may save a people for Himself; accomplishing His purpose for creation and His glory.   Mercy for some is living a good life here on earth, though they may not inherit the kingdom of God.

Grace is “receiving what we do not deserve,”CHRIST!  No one is born into this world deserving life in Christ. (Romans 8:2) It is freely given according to the counsel of God’s own will.  (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:11)

Mercy for some is to save us from our sin—not to leave us where we are, but to take us to something else.

Regular or High Octane?

As “regular” gas fills a vehicle and facilitates its movement, so, mercy may get us through this life, enjoying our own success and pleasure—our own life.

Grace, on the other hand, is the high-octane power of God within a man to move him in the life and joy of Christ here on this earth, continually filling to His praise and honor, and future glory, moving us onward and upward to the unknown heights of heaven.

Mercy is for earth or water movement only.  Grace is for God’s people, the power to raise us beyond this world to His glory.  When the apostle Paul spoke of being God’s “workmanship” he had no inkling of the extent to which a ship could rise—from this earth— and beyond to the glory of God and His presence.

Grace, which comes from Christ alone, is the only means whereby man can be lifted from this world to the next.  Grace is the means of God’s preserving this world, its turning, its beauty, its movement within, its working according to His own pleasure.

This world will turn on its axis until all God’s people are on board.

              AND THEN—THE GLORY!!!!!!

The Saints of God are Never Lucky

 The saints—children of God— are never lucky. We are blessed, whether in good times or adversity. And since we depend on God and not “luck” we are never “unlucky,” so Friday the 13th, which is supposed to be an “unlucky” day for some, has no meaning for us.

You will not find the word “luck” in the Bible; but you will find many references to “blessings” throughout God’s Word; and they always bear witness of God who promises them, and gives them.

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who, in Christ,
has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.”
Ephesians 1:3

 Superstition
We continue to hear Christians using the word “luck,” without realizing what they are saying.  It is a common expression in our culture, one that has held over through many generations of superstition.  I grew up in the 40’s & 50’s hearing the old wives’ tales, and the things that were supposed to be “bad luck”—“don’t let a black cat cross your path,” “don’t walk under a ladder,” etc.  And while they do not mean anything to us today, they were very real to people who believed in these sayings.

In the Reader’s Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary printed in 1987 we found the meaning of “luck” —“The fortuitous happening of fortunate or adverse events; fortune.  The word fortuitous means “accidental or unplanned.” The online dictionary definesluck” as “good fortune, chance, event determined by chance.”

 Those who accept life that is controlled by chance are negating the sovereignty and power of God.  According to His Word these have been, before the foundation of the world, through its creation and the maintenance thereof, its only means of survival and its completion.  What hope do we have if the only thing we can depend on is chance?  If “luck” is all we have wherein is our faith?  This is the religion of those who will not accept “the whole counsel of God”—we are but as a clock wound by the creator and left to run on its own.  What happens when the clock runs down?  What use is a clock if that is all we have?   What use is God if all He gives us is a clock?

 No!  God, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, is an “ever present help in trouble.”  He is “the strength of my life.”  (Psalm 27)  Whatever He has “predestined is according to the counsel of His will,” (Ephesians 1:11) with a definite purpose and plan in mind for each of His children—that we should be to the praise of His glory.”

 The Almighty Has Afflicted Me
Though I have not lost a husband and two sons, I relate well to Naomi, in the book of Ruth.  Was she bitter, or understanding the hand of God ruling in her life when she said, “I went out full and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?”  Ruth 1:21
And from the Psalmist we read And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.” Psalm 77:10

 There is a great purpose in the adversity we experience in this world.  Knowing this gives us hope and faith in what lies beyond this world and our circumstances.

 John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”     Count It All Joy

1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

Romans 8:28-29 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Acts 14:22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

1 Peter 3:14-15 “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Father, I thank you that you leave nothing to chance for us as your children, but that you know your plans for us, and that you will bring all things to completion for us in Christ, our Lord and Savior.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.
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