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Friday, April 3, 2009

Grace, the dynamic of revival

Have you ever wanted to do the right thing, but somehow you just couldn’t seem to pull it off? You had the desire, but you just seemed to lack the power?

What do you need? You need grace!

What is grace? God's unmerited favor. It is God’s grace that gives us the ability to have faith in Him, and it is His grace that delivers us from sin and brings us into right relationship with Him. Paul said it like this:

Ephesians 2:4-9—4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Grace is the dynamic quality of revival that gives us the desire and power to obey Him.

It is grace that saves us, but it is also grace that sustains us and empowers us. If you need the DESIRE and the POWER to obey God, you need grace. So, how and why does all this work?

What is God’s PURPOSE for your life?

Paul tells us in Romans 8:29—For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

God desires to restore us to the Designer’s original specifications, to make us just like His Son, Jesus. The word “Christian” means “little Christ.”

Through the gracious work of His Word, His Spirit, and His church, He plans to rebuild us in His original image, the image of His Son, and prepare us for His new kingdom.

What keeps God’s purpose from being FULFILLED in your life?

In a word, the problem is SIN. Romans 3:23—“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Because of sin’s entrance, man has missed the mark of God’s perfection.

All through your life you are faced with responding to difficult people and circumstances. Our normal response, without God, is to respond in PRIDE, i.e., to try to handle it ourselves.

When we respond in PRIDE, we get NO GRACE (no divine desire or power to obey). Consequently, without God’s grace, we have no desire or power to obey. Every time we respond in disobedience to God, we become more and more unlike Him, more and more ungodly.

What is God’s PROCEDURE for fulfilling His purpose in your life?

The pathway to GODLINESS is OBEDIENCE. Wouldn’t you agree that if every time you were confronted with a choice you responded by listening to the Lord and obeying Him, you would become more and more like Christ? “But,” you say, “this is impossible! I’ve tried, but I just can’t seem to find the DESIRE and POWER to obey God!”

Then what is it that you need? What supplies the desire and power to obey God? You need GRACE. How do we get GRACE? God has prescribed only one primary way to receive grace.

James 4:6— 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Each time we choose to respond in HUMILTIY, we began the process of experiencing grace, obedience, and godliness.

Wow, did you grasp all this? If you embrace God’s purpose and procedure for your life, and actively cry out for His grace and divine resources—He will bring you revival.

God’s grace is abundantly available for all who will admit their need and cry out to Him. Where are the specific areas that you need grace today? Would you pause right now and humble yourself in His presence and seek His amazing grace?

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