Be Strong

Good Afternoon Christlike Ministries NWA Family,

It’s great to be able to resume bringing the Word of God to you in a devotional message format, and what a scripture we have today to get us back into the flow of allowing God to speak to us through the Christlike Ministries NWA Devotional for Monday, April 13, 2015.  Let’s take a look at the Scripture that God is going to speak to us about today, and believe that He will give me that supernatural ability to write only by the unction and inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  Let’s also, as always, believe for ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts that will be receptive and respond to what the Lord is about to speak to us.  Amen!?!

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”   2 Timothy 2:1 (KJV)

I know that this is kind of an obvious statement to make, but how many of you know that the grace we need comes from Jesus?  Paul tells us by inspiration of the Holy Ghost to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  We all know by now that Jesus, God, and the Holy Ghost are all the same God…so when we talk about the grace that’s in Christ we are still talking about God’s grace.  Listen, God put His grace on display for all to see when He sent Jesus to the Cross.  We all know that at any moment Jesus could’ve chosen to call fire down from Heaven and smite every last one of the people who was there humiliating Him.  He was already putting His grace on display for the world to see as He said while He was on the Cross:  “Forgive them, Father for they know not what they are doing.”

With His dying breath, Jesus extends grace to the very people who are beating, scourging, nailing, and hanging Him there on that Cross.  The simple truth, however, is that long before He reached the Cross He had already laid down His life, and had already begun to put His love, His mercy, and His grace on display for the world to see.  What did Jesus say?  He said:  “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father.”.  The Bible says that Jesus is FULL of grace and truth.  So, no matter how you look at it the grace that we’re to be strong in is the Jesus Christ the Lord’s.

I have a problem with these that use what we like to call “cheap” or “sloppy” grace because in all honesty the only thing that is cheap or sloppy isn’t God’s grace, but the lives we choose to live once we become whosoever’s that have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved.  There are so many that say some form of the sinner’s prayer, and then go on living their lives unchallenged because preachers like Joel Osteen want us to live our best lives now and Victoria Osteen wants us to know that all God really wants for us is for us to be happy.  Wait…what?

Now, I know that God wants us to be blessed, but He doesn’t want us living our lives however we feel like living them because every time we have to return to the altar to confess our sins we basically shame Christ again.  Listen, I’m by no means a perfect Christian, I am by no means a perfect father, husband, or pastor, and I will always let you know that if you are looking for the perfect, spotless, sinless pastor…you won’t find one here at Christlike Ministries NWA…but what you will find is someone who takes the grace of God seriously, and that also understands that everything I am and do in my life today is by grace through faith.

Being strong in the grace of God isn’t just about knowing that if I miss God there’s grace that covers it, but it’s about understanding that God’s grace is there in every aspect of our lives.  I need God’s grace to help me be a better husband, I need God’s grace to help me be a better father, I need God’s grace to help me be a better friend, a better pastor, a better dog owner, and basically a better any and everything I want to be in life.  I understand today that when God told Paul His grace was sufficient…He meant that His grace was sufficient for every area of our lives…not just the moment we confess Christ as our Savior.

I need His grace to help me write these messages.  I’m not going to lie.  I’ve tried writing without His grace and the anointing of the Holy Ghost…and I can honestly tell you that I didn’t get very far.  Any time I try to write a message without the anointing and the grace for a message…I can’t even write.  I remember one of my former pastor’s always used to close letters with “Be Strong In The Grace That Is In Christ Jesus.”.  It was a reminder that my strength is in Christ alone, and that I can count on God’s grace for every aspect of my life…and here I am today writing this message to let you know that you can count on God’s grace for every aspect of your life too.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace.  Help us all to truly understand that it does far more than just save us, but that Your grace is sufficient for every aspect of our lives.  Thank You that Your grace is sufficient.  Increase our faith in your grace, and increase our knowledge and understanding of just how much grace there is provided for us for all things in our lives.  We love You, Lord.  We bless You, and pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

In Closing:

The Bible says that we’re to be strong in the grace of Christ…not ourselves.  Why do you think Proverbs tells us to acknowledge Him in all of our ways?  The answer is because only God’s grace is sufficient to help us do all that God has destined, planned, and desires for us to accomplish.  Every message you read comes to you by grace through faith in Christ. I can’t do this without the grace and anointing for it.  Believe me, I have tried, and you should all be thankful I’ve never posted anything I’ve tried writing without the grace and anointing to write…because those messages down right stink.

God’s grace is sufficient, and we have to get to a place where we are completely convinced of that.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Blessings & Grace;

Pastor B

PS – We’re going to be starting a brand new series this week.  It’s a 6 message series on living an others-first lifestyle.  I believe this series is going to help us all learn to be more…well…like Christ.  I hope you’ll join me for it.  I believe it’s going to really be a fantastic series.

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