Grace Works

Even people who know better do it.

They quote Ephesians 2.8,9 often; but rarely…if ever…go on to the tenth verse.

Why?

They are scared of a five-letter word:

w o r k s

They are all about God’s part; and to some extent I get that.

But His part leads to our part…and it not a singular “our,” because it is God who works in us both to desire to do and to do His good pleasure. (see Phil 2.13)

And Ephesians 2.10 reminds us, instructs us, commands us: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” (bold added)

Thank God that salvation is a gift…but it is a gift loaded with the Spirit of God, who equips us with the desire to do and the power to do His good pleasure.

I’m reading a great book by Mark Batterson (Play the Man).

These words sparked this post:

“Phillippians 2.12 provides a good guideline for this:

work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

The irony of this statement is that salvation cannot be earned by good works;

it can only be received as a free gift.

But once you receive the gift of salvation,

you have to take it to the gym and work it out.”

Grace works. Not as “well” as we’d like it, not as quickly as we’d like it, certainly not as “easy” as we’d like it.

But…

Grace works.

 

>Grace is a Strong Bridge

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“Ah! the bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1848710119&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrbridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. I can hear their trampings now as they traverse the great arches of the bridge of salvation. They come by their thousands, by their myriads; e’er since the day when Christ first entered into His glory, they come, and yet never a stone has sprung in that mighty bridge. Some have been the chief of sinners, and some have come at the very last of their days, but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support; it will bear me over as it has borne them.” Charles Spurgeon

>Grace Indicators

>Regular readers know I absolutely love the writings, challenges, and encouragements of Scotty Smith. Here are some succinct, powerful “tweets” he wrote over a period of time regarding grace…don’t rush through them:

A sign you’re growing in grace is less bombast about not being a legalist & more humility because you “get” the gospel.

A sign you’re growing in grace is less theological arrogance & greater appreciation for diversity in the Body of Christ.

A sign you’re growing in grace is you work much harder at remembering names and forgetting slights.

A sign you’re growing in grace is that everybody notices it but you.

A sign you’re growing in grace is movement from destructive cynicism towards redemptive engagement. Anybody can spew.

A sign you’re growing in grace is that you’re less like a drive-by-shooting with criticisms & more of a healing presence.

A sign you’re growing in grace is evident when you receive feedback non-defensively and give it clearly & lovingly.

A sign you’re growing in grace is evident when people don’t feel like they have to walk on egg shells around you as much.

A sign you’re growing in grace is when you say, “I’ll be prayin’ for ya”, and you follow through on at least 50%.

A sign you’re growing in grace is committing fewer homicides in your heart of slow drivers.

A sign you’re growing in grace is praying for our government rather than simply being cynical about our government.

A sign you are growing in grace is that you are more disgusted with your critical spirit than offended by others’ sins.

>The Gorgeousness of Grace

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Jerry Bridges with a vitally important reminder:

My observation of Christendom is that most of us tend to base our relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace.  If we’ve performed well—whatever ‘well’ is in our opinion—then we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations are reduced accordingly.  In this sense, we live by works, rather than by grace.  We are saved by grace, but we are living by the ‘sweat’ of our own performance.  Moreover, we are always challenging ourselves and one another to ‘try harder’.  We seem to believe success in the Christian life is basically up to us; our commitment, our discipline, and our zeal, with some help from God along the way. The realization that my daily relationship with God is based on the infinite merit of Christ instead of on my own performance is very freeing and joyous experience.  But it is not meant to be a one-time experience; the truth needs to be reaffirmed daily.

>The Amazingest Amazing Grace I’ve EVER Heard!

>It’s the “dash” between Good Friday and Easter/Resurrection Day. I urge you to carve out a few minutes, get the family together, and enjoy, and be blessed by…and remind yourself never to get “used to” Amazing Grace:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1581348487&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr