I woke on Sunday morning, read the news and started to think about whether or not I would be able to make it to Church. Throughout the lockdown I had been attending the online service of a Church which was a bus ride away, and had recently attended a couple of services in person. While it was good to remain connected and worship with others throughout the lockdown, it had made me lazy. In the beginning I would get up and slink my way downstairs and switch the television on, praise and worship to my heart and spirit’s content, then settle down to listen to The Word. Eventually I snapped myself out of that, and ensured I was at least showered and dressed before I turned the television on and often rushed a bowl of cereal, so that my hands were free to write my notes. I always write notes down from any service I watch or take part in, so that I am able to capture the things that stand out to me. I know they will eventually be useful to read at some point in the future, as was the case yesterday. When I first moved to the area almost 30 years ago (wow!), it was there that I began to worship, and my daughter was also Dedicated there. I had visited a couple of times over the last few months and, after visiting yesterday, realised I need to get myself into a routine to get to a Church every single week. There’s nothing like being in The House with likeminded Brothers and Sisters, with the same beliefs and walking away with your sprit filled with Words only YHWH can give you. He knows everything about us; He knows our wants; He knows our needs; and He knows exactly what we need to hear any given time. When we go to Church we should always go with our minds, hearts and spirits open, expecting to receive.
There’s nothing like being in The House with likeminded Brothers and Sisters, with the same beliefs and walking away with your spirit filled with the words only YHWH can give you.
Anyway, stay on track, Marcia! By the time I had dressed, it wasn’t possible for me to reach my usual place of worship, but I knew that I had to be in person, rather than online. I made the decision to go to my old Church down the road. It had been a few months since my last visit there and I wasn’t disappointed! The sermon was on grace! I was blessed, so thought I would share my ruminating thoughts backtracking to what I already knew, previous notes and, obviously, The Word.
Yesterday, the Deacon said he had to put something together and, as is usually the way when men put things together (as is said by a lot of comedians!) the manual was put to one side (or thrown away) BUT his daughter told him he needed to start from the beginning and follow the instructions straight through, to ensure it was put together correctly. It’s the same with life. I usually refer to the Holy Bible as the Manual for Life. If we read through, it will show us exactly what the grace of YHWH is. Time and time again, from beginning to end, He has shown His grace and mercy to all, when they have fallen away; have doubted; have feared; have sinned; and have gone against His plan for them. He has been there for each and every woman and man that has accepted Him and the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. The Deacon said we need to open the manual, as he had to open the manual, to correctly put the item together. Additionally, I would say that we need to open it to activate each and every promise that has been made to us. We’ve received the gift but we need to know how to do things properly; to know our purpose; to know EXACTLY what the Most High God will and can do for us; to know The Most High God’s love; and to realise it’s not by our works but it is His FREE gift to us. Receive and accept it. Oftentimes we can go about our Christian walk feeling that we have to strive to do so much to keep our salvation or prove our love, but it’s nothing to do with us but all to do with Him: The Most High God. Right from the beginning we need to acknowledge that we are sinners and there is nothing we can do to make ourselves more worthy but realise that it’s all about His Holiness and His love for us. We are sinners saved by grace.
“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.John 1:1 (AMP)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)
We love because he first loved us.1 John 4:19 (NIV)
I’ve put the word Christian, above, in bold and italics because after conversation with some it is thought that the word or description is not Biblical. However, looking through scripture, that is how believers were (and still are) defined. So, going back to scripture that is what we should accept ourselves as being. Throughout time, Man has put their selves into the worshipping of God. Some faiths have statues to assist them in worshipping YHWH and others have held their disputes in the colour of the Lord Jesus Christ and think that any black person that worships Him is criticised for worshipping the white man; are being oppressed and are blinded; and the worshipping of Mary, the owner of the physical womb in which He was implanted. However, it’s all about Him! It doesn’t matter the colour of His skin because we know what He came and did for us, THAT is what and who we are worshipping; the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, the only begotten Son of God. We are also told to do this by the Holy Bible. It is because of this grace that we should be so thankful because we have so much crushing our minds about the correct way to address the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e. what language to use, or the colour of His skin, that it can push the fundamentals out of the way and cause such division.
7 But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves.
8 We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair;
9 hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed;
10 always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown in our body.
11 For we who live are constantly [experiencing the threat of] being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be evidenced in our mortal body [which is subject to death].2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (AMP)
Now, from this, you the reader may think, there isn’t anything special here; I know this already. Well, thank The Most High God that you do! This Word is not for you! There are times that I feel so empty and I forget the grace that I have been given FREELY. There are times that I feel that I need to do so much more but there’s NOTHING that I can do. It is also nothing to do with feelings. It’s not by MY deeds but it is because of the birth, life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, and my belief and acceptance of what He has done. It is because of this that I can be sure that my salvation is secure…by grace. It’s the same for you. Some may say they do not want eternal life, it’s not their bag! They want to enjoy life and then die. There is nothing after death. Well, are you ready for the alternative? After death there will be more. Films you’ve watched, stories you’ve read and you may even have read parts of the Bible with the descriptive events of the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It isn’t pretty. Every eye will behold Him, you have no choice. As time goes by we can see events from the Holy Bible unfold in front of our very eyes, which advise us that we have to ensure our lives are in order. We have purpose. We weren’t created to just exist but to spread the Good News to all our potential fellow Ambassadors, uplift and encourage whenever necessary and let them know or remind them, exactly what is on offer. A definition of grace is below.
Grace is the help given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to people – “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved” – that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.
It is an attribute of God that is most manifest in the salvation of sinners. Christian orthodoxy holds that the initiative in the relationship of grace between God and an individual is always on the side of God.Definition of Grace (from Wikipedia)
Previously I had said that we need our likeminded individuals, Brothers and Sisters in Christ. At the end of the service I was speaking to a Sister about the service and she brought to my recollection the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), read it when you have the chance, if you don’t yet know it. He went away living a life, which he thought he wanted to, with enjoyment, immoral women etc, but when famine occurred he found his way back to his father and was welcomed with open arms. It is the same with us. Now, that doesn’t give us the warrant to live as we feel because we’ll be welcomed back because what if our tomorrow never comes. Some feel we can live our lives frivolously and leave it to the last moment (our deathbeds) but we may not even reach that point. This reminder also shows the importance of having a good network of Bible believing people; we need each other to survive.
At one time I used to wonder why I was created if we were to eventually die anyway, but it’s all very clear. As an adult we procreate and produce offspring, expecting them to love us as much as we love them. The only difference is that YHWH foreknew how we would be, because He is our Father, The Almighty God. He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth and everything within it. The majority of us make the decision that we will not have children because they may not turn out very well or follow our instructions. We give our children free will. Our Heavenly Father is as our earthly father but so much more. He has the power and might and has predestinated our futures, to give us an expected end, to have our lives mapped out and, as with Jonah and so many others, the ability to use us for His glory. I will write further pieces from another Church I have attended, that fully outlines living a life of purpose, which starts right from the start and puts things into perspective.
For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.Romans 8:29 (AMP)
Thinking about the past 18 months and the fact that we are still here. I know that many have lost loved ones and it may seem so easy to say the words ‘I’m grateful’, but one day you will feel as though you can breathe again. You’ll feel as though you can see the sun through the clouds. You’ll look around and realise there are others who love and care for you. Our Most High God is here and He will NEVER leave nor forsake you. You. Are. Not. Alone.
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)
If you’ve read any of my prayers, scriptures or others things I’ve written before, you’ll realise that I often give quotes from the Amplified Bible (AMP). I love it because it expounds on the scripture and gives a fuller description, so that the reader can really grasp what is being said, as you will see from below with John 1:16
For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].John 1:16 (AMP)
And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.John 1:16 (KJV)
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.John 1:16 (NIV)
Grace IS a powerful message to share and today I’ve done my part. It’s all about the grace.
Be blessed and stay blessed.