Valid Grace for an Invalid Race

(Repost from 2011)

Two months ago I called my nephew for an update on my brother who was in ICU, following an emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder.  After a second surgery to stop his hemorrhaging, the surgeon told my nephew, “One of his systems is shutting down (they did not know which one, and could not go back in for a third surgery because of the risk with his heart); we will do all we can to make him comfortable.”

Jerry and I drove down that afternoon prepared for the worst. The second week of his stay at Upson Medical we went, again prepared for a funeral. My brother stayed in ICU for three weeks, during which time his kidneys and liver failed, blood circulation was cut off from his legs and feet, he suffered a mild heart attack, was given a form of morphine for pain, and antibiotics for infection. After being moved from ICU to a private room for a few days, he was moved to Roosevelt Rehabilitation Center in Warm Springs.

My nephew had told me about my brother’s toes turning black—gangrene was the result of a lack of circulation.  Their family doctor told us that it was possible that with dry gangrene my brother’s toes would simply dry up and fall off.  My nephew and I both thought that this was “ridiculous.”  We had never heard of such a thing. And I never wanted to see those toes—I had seen enough skin tissue turn black before Jerry had his leg amputated five years ago.

We visited my brother the day after he was moved to Warm Springs.  He was slumped in a wheelchair — the first time I had seen him out of bed. His feet were bandaged, but his black toes were exposed. Though I was standing in front of him and he was looking straight at me he still did not see me.  The shot the nurse had just given him for pain was so that they could get him back to bed and give him a bath, and since he still could not get in and out of bed on his own, he had to be moved with a lift.

I stayed for a while, but the nurse’s guess that he would be awake after his bath was wrong.  He was “out of it” and even though they only gave him a weaker pain reliever the next day, he still did not know that I was there.

Days later, my nephew related to me that he had watched the nurses turn his dad in the bed.  It was easy to hear the sadness in his voice when he said, “Aunt Fran, he’s an invalid.”  We have both come to realize that invalids can still live a productive life with the help of those who are stronger than they are.

We have very distinctly seen our prayers answered.  We did not pray for him to live except according to God’s will.  He would have been merciful to take him to Himself because of his former health problems.

My brother was moved to Providence Nursing Home in Thomaston on his 80th birthday, August 8, where he is still dependent on the nurses and a lift; but he is talking, feeding himself, going through rehab, and watching his toes gradually shrinking.

Thursday when I visited him, I thought again that I could avoid them; but no, I had to adjust his boots for him.  The nurses there have never seen such a “ridiculous” thing.

This thing of which many people have never heard has turned into a work of God’s grace for many to see.  When I visited him this week my brother related to me that “the Lord has kept me here; He must have something else for me to do.”The Fall
From the time of Adam’s disobedience, God’s records show the whole human race as “INVALID.”   We all were destined to be invalids after the Fall.  We are of no use to ourselves or anyone else; least of all to God.  We can’t even turn ourselves. “Dead in trespasses and sin” we are unable to even see, think, or speak anything that makes sense.

If my brother could “will” it, he would be on his feet, walking.  His toes are already in the grave.  But for the mercy and grace of God, his whole life would have been snuffed out.  We have enough evidence—according to the records—that he was at the point of death more than once.

All this has reminded me several times of the sufficient grace  — the powerful grace  — of our Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit to do the impossible, the thing we cannot do.  We cannot save ourselves.  We cannot give ourselves “Life.”

We cannot even think of what that means, except by the working of His grace to effectually reveal our invalid condition, regenerate a new heart within us for a valid faith and repentance—by His own goodness turning us to Himself through the authority of His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit.

Our family would not choose to go through these episodes again.  I recall saying to my nephew when my brother got through the first week, “God has something to teach us here.”  My brother is not out of the woods yet, but the Lord has given us much of his valid grace to go on for a long time, and a greater desire to experience this grace for the rest of our lives—for His glory and our joy.

(The above article was posted ten years ago. My brother lived for five months after his gallbladder surgery, transported from rehab to a nursing home and from there back to the hospital where he died. His heart could not endure the necessary amputation of his toes.

We all learned much of God’s grace during those months. He led us by His grace to encourage my brother through his pain and tribulation. Losing my father with cancer, my mother with Alzheimer’s Disease, and enduring the years after Jerry’s amputation has given me the experience of the Lord’s valid grace. I have learned, especially in the last eight months, how very helpless we are.

We cannot help ourselves, but His grace is sufficient for all our needs, beginning with grace for the great salvation that keeps us close to Him for all times and eternity.)

Gracious Father, thank you for your amazing grace through Christ that saves us, dead in our sins and trespasses, keeping and bringing us through this world of trial and temptations with the hope of eternity with you. In Jesus’ name, I praise you. Amen.
Fran

From our Pastor’s Heart

We always receive encouragement to start our week after the Lord’s Day worship. The following is the blessing of this week’s email.
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How lovely is God’s dwelling place, those upon whom he has placed his name, made his temple by sovereign, quickening grace, and beautified with salvation, his precious church! I count worshipping with you the highlight of life and pray that you were encouraged by being with the Lord and his people. Much of what we obtain from the Lord in worship is determined by what we seek in the days leading up to worship — the world or Christ? To see his beauty and splendor must be our aim. Then and only then can we be wise and courageous in fighting against the devil, suffer patiently, and have the heart to seek strength from our Savior constantly in prayer, for we have no strength or wisdom but what he gives to us. May our blessed Savior be more and more our life and joy, our peace, our wonder, and the Advocate upon whom we constantly attend in worship and fellowship, joyful service, and in the hour of need.

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Let us in His Word and prayer prepare this week for worship next Lord’s Day.
Fran

Yet I Will Rejoice

From the writings of the prophet, Habakkuk, we learn of God’s judgment upon His people.

The Lord’s words are recorded in Chapters 1 and 2. Well-known promises are interspersed between God’s judgment and Habakkuk’s response in Chapter 3.

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.
Hab. 2:4

“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.”
Hab. 2:14

“But the Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
Hab. 2:20

 “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid:
O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years,
in the midst of the years make known;
in wrath remember mercy.”

Hab. 3:1-2

And, as God’s people, in this generation, let us remember the source and the joy of our salvation. Neither are derived from good health, prosperity or anything of this world.

In times of adversity, we must consider what God is saying to each of us. We cannot point the finger at others. Let us use this opportunity to search our hearts, and in faith and repentance “humble ourselves before God and men.” (Andrew Murray, Humility)

Gracious Father, God and ruler of heaven and earth, give us wisdom and grace to turn our hearts to you. Revive your work in us and make us witnesses of your mercy ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Scripture Tunes ~ Habukkuk 3:17-18

 

GOD IS GREATER THAN

GOD IS GREATER THAN
our circumstances;

HIGHER THAN
our expectations;

BIGGER THAN
the universe;

MORE POWERFUL THAN
death:

&

NEARER THAN
our very breath.

“IN HIM WE LIVE AND BREATHE AND HAVE OUR BEING.”
Acts. 17:28

AND WE ARE IN HIM WHO IS TRUE, IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.
HE IS THE TRUE GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE.”
1 John 5:20

Dear Father, interweave between my human thoughts the truths and the authority of Your Word.  I thank you and praise you that Your Words are Spirit and Life to me.  In Jesus’ precious and powerful name Amen
Fran

Image: Google

 

Divine Power to Know, Be, and Do

“Ignorance is bliss” — perhaps this is true for children of the world, but not for the children of God. Our Heavenly Father desires children, and sires us into His kingdom by the divine power of His Spirit. By the same power, He continues to show us, teach us, and lead us in the truth of His Word and will, as He is preparing us for eternity with Him ~ by His grace, for His glory and our joy.

 According as his divine power hath given unto us
all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:3-4

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: 
for thou art the God of my salvation; 
on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:4-5

 

P. S. to Results of Word Survey

This thought came after yesterday’s post.

If we took every word that pertains to God and His kingdom, in addition to every word in any language, put them in a large bag, shook them up, turned the bag upside down, dumping all the words in a pile, JESUS would come out on top of them all.

Blessings to you as you continue to search God’s Word for the meaning of Life found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable
in holiness before God, even our Father,
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
1 Thessalonians 3:13

Fran

 

Results of Word Survey

From the survey last week, seven responses netted forty-nine words, including three of my own that were different than your lists.

I asked for words from a Christian view that are important to our relationship with God and others.

Over the weekend I wondered and prayed about the connection of these words to each other and to us.

First the tally from eight lists, including mine:

Jesus appeared on seven lists.
Forgive (forgiven) appeared on seven.
Love appeared on six.
Grace on five.
Truth and Mercy on four.
God and Salvation on three.

Father, Kindness, Peace, Free, Life, Faith, Know (known), Sin (sinner) on two lists.

Each of the following were listed once on different lists.
Lord
Spirit
Sacrifice
Praise
Glory
Scriptures
Prayer
Encourage
Joy
Patience
Humility
Holy
Accepted
Eternity
Heaven
Hell
Family
Presence
Comfort
Sorry
Repentance
Obedience
Help
Death
Guilt
Welcome
Thank you

In a former post, we wrote of how names leave impressions and bring to mind the character of the person. This can be seen in this survey.

Let’s take the one formal name many of us listed.

Jesus is relative to God, Father, Lord, Spirit.
Forgiveness is through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love and Grace are revealed in Jesus’ Sacrifice
Mercy, Truth, and Glory came through Jesus.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Jesus means Salvation. Salvation comes only through Faith in Jesus.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

A Sinner has remission of Sin through the Sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ.
We Know God and are Known as Jesus is revealed to us and in us.
Life is given through Jesus, both physically and spiritually.
We are Free from Guilt in Jesus.
He is our Peace.
In JesusKindness, we are brought to Repentance to be Sorry for our sins and to live in Obedience.
Jesus in us, by His Spirit yields the fruit of Kindness, Joy, Patience and Humility.
We are Holy and Accepted in Jesus.
In Jesus, we have the promise of Eternity in Heaven and escape from Hell.
We experience JesusPresence through the Scriptures and Prayer.
In Jesus, we are delivered from the law of sin and Death
We say, “Thank you” and in Jesus, we live to His Praise and Glory.
We Encourage, Comfort, and Help others as we receive these in Jesus.
We are Welcome to the Family of God through Jesus

What do we learn from this survey?
In Jesus is hid all the important words we need to know. They are Words of Life. We could never list them all. He is all we need for this life and the next. The more we know Him the more we are amazed and grow in His wisdom and grace.
The words Light, Wisdom, Power came to mind while I was writing this post.

Please share scripture references to the ones that were on your list. We did not have time or room for these in this post.

Meanings of Names Who Contributed to our Survey
In case you do not know the meaning of your name, I am posting these for you who participated in our survey.

Tom, Thank you,
From the nameThomas:
Derived from the Aramaic tē’ōma (a twin). The name is borne in the Bible by an apostle who doubted the resurrection of Christ.
Tom, Praise the Lord for bringing you to faith, not by seeing but by the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. I like to think of Jesus’ image in you, making you a twin.
I pray blessings for your ministry to our Lord as you make known the name of Jesus, His work of Grace, Truth, and Love, through Scripture and Prayer, to help others to be Sorry and to know the Lord who will Forgive, and through His Kindness to you and through you, Encourage others not to doubt.

Jim, Thank you, 
Medieval diminutive of the name James meaning “supplanter”
The name has its root in ya’aquob (supplanting, seizing by the heel).
supplanter takes over or takes the place of someone else, usually on purpose.
Jim, You are living up to your name.
I pray you continue to wield the sword of truth as you address the Sinner and his Guilt, in the name of Jesus, the God of our Salvation, Grace, Faith, Mercy, and Forgiveness.

Bruce, Thank you,
The name Bruce arrived in Scotland with the Normans, from the place name Brix, Manche in Normandy, France, meaning “the willowlands”.
Robert de Bruce, a knight from Normandy, followed William the Conqueror to England.
There is no Hebrew meaning; though it’s not unlike the Hebrew name Baruch, which means “blessed.”
According to someone from Taiwan, the name Bruce is of Unknown origin and means “Happy warrior”.
Whether the meaning is the willowlandsblessed, or Happy Warrior, take heart in who you are following, how you are blessed in Jesus, and the warrior He has called you to be.
Bruce, I pray you Know the Presence of the Father; that you are Forgiven, Welcome and Holy through Jesus, His Love, Mercy, and Grace,  

Heidi, Thank you,
A pet form of Adalheid (noble one) and Hildegard (battle protector), Heidi is also bestowed as an independent given name. It became well known internationally from Johanna Spyri”s famous story “Heidi” (1880).
Heidi, your name fits you well. In Jesus, you are a noble one ~ a daughter of Zion ~ and a battle protector for His name’s sake. I pray that in Jesus. you Know you are Loved, Accepted, Forgiven and delivered from Death, Sin, and Hell, have an abundant Life in Him nd the promise of Heaven.

Amy, Thank you,
Your name was derived from the Middle English Amye, which is from the Old France Aimee (beloved), a name derived from the verb aimer (to love). It is not surprising that you included Love in your list.
Amy, I pray that knowing you are beloved in our Lord Jesus you are able to Love in Truth, Peace, Joy, Patience and Freedom. And because God is in you, you are a help and comfort to your God’s family and others.

Bonnie,Thank you,
Your name is derived from the Lowland Scotch bonnie (beautiful, good-natured and cheerful; this was derived from Middle French bon(good). Tour name fits you as one of Jesus’ followers.
Bonnie, I pray we all will remember to say, “Thank you” and continue to Praise our Lord Jesus Christ for His Glory, Love, Joy, and Peace, and show His Forgiveness and Kindness to others.

Pat, Thank you,
Patricia is derived from Latin meaning “noble”
I could not find more information on the meaning of your name but this one word is enough to describe one who is born of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pat, I pray that you continue in your ministry as a noble one ~ a daughter of Zion ~ one who knows GodJesus, and the blessings that ours through His Salvation; that you are Free to Love, and Forgive, through Faith in the Truth of His Grace and Mercy.  

Dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus, I praise you for revealing yourself to us by your Spirit. May all the glory be yours for your mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Bring forth in us the fruit of our Lord Jesus Christ~ love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, and humility. We thank you for delivering us from death and hell to the abundant Life, accepted and free by the salvation that is ours in Christ. Thank you for the gift of faith to be sorry for our sin; in repentance to live in obedience and sacrifice for your name’s sake. We praise you that one day you will welcome us to eternity in heaven as holy in Him. Keep us in Scripture, truth, and prayer that we may encourage, help and comfort our family and others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Words of Life ~ BEGOTTEN

 BEGOTTEN is not a word used every day but one that all Christians should know as it speaks of our birth into the kingdom of God.

The Old Testament has only a few references to this word concerning men who have begotten children. One reference in Psalm 2:7 and repeated in Hebrews 1 relates to God and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Old Testament H3205
Strong’s Concordance defines begotten yâlad, yaw-lad’ to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail

 “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me,
Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Psalm 2:7

New Testament G3439
monogenḗs,
 mon-og-en-ace’; from G3441 and G1096; single of its kind, only used of only sons or daughters (viewed in relation to their parents; used of Christ, denotes the only begotten son of God

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

The following references are used by Paul, Peter, and John pertaining to the new birth of all God’s children.

G1080  gennáō, ghen-nah’-o; from a variation of G1085; to procreate (properly, of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively, to regenerate:

“For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again
unto a lively hope by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

1 Peter 1:3

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” 1 John 5:1

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” 1 John 5:18

John speaks of Jesus being the first begotten of the dead—the first to be raised from the dead; the promise and the means of our salvation (see 1 Peter 1:3 above).

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
and the first begotten of the dead,
and the prince of the kings of the earth.
Unto him that loved us,
and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”
Revelation 1:5

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us,
because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through him.”
1 John 4:9

Except Jesus died and was raised from the dead, we would not have become children of God but now have hope of eternal life. Because the Father loved us, He desired us and sired us to be His own. He gave His one child ~ one of a kind ~ to birth many children into His family.

Gracious Father, how blessed we are to call you Father and Jesus our Lord and brother. Because, you draw us to Him and birth us by the power of your Holy Spirit, we desire your continual presence and power to conform us to His image. By the same Word and living hope, keep us close and growing in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Ten Most Important Words ~ A Survey

Continuing our thoughts on words, I want your input on this one, and it is not as easy as you may think.

Words form our thoughts.  Even images are described by words.  Words convey our thoughts in our speech.  Our thoughts and words initiate our actions.  The words that we live by determine our relationship with God and with others.

Concerning the fact that words are our means of communication, and in them is meaning in how we think, speak and live, what would you consider the ten most important words in the English language? The words we are looking for are those that pertain to our relationships with God and others ~ from a Christian view.

At some time in life, we may come to feel the point of the following video. What are the words we want to hear, that we need to hear and to use often?

If you can’t think of ten, share as many as you wish to ~ even five or less. If only one, we welcome your comment. Take your time ~ we are in no hurry for this.

LOVE  may very well be the most popular word and if so, it must be with a proper understanding of the source ~ GOD, Himself.

 Thank you for your response.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay