September 13 2022
Today, Tuesday September 13
“The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ”
"He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Yesterday a friend sent me a text message reminding me that my last chat in Revelation was a milestone in my ministry. In January 2015, I started preaching and teaching through the entire Bible from the pulpit at Rainbow Forest Baptist Church where I was the Senior Pastor. For five years and nine months we have gone through the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter. And in some of them (like Revelation), verse by verse. It has been a wonderful experience for me and I love the Bible and believe every word in it is needed in my life and yours.
Jesus said, quoting from the Old Testament, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). For those who have gone on this journey with me through the entire Bible, I trust that you have experienced 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as much as I have. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” We have learned, we have been reproved and corrected, and we have been instructed in the right kind of living!
Yesterday, I also begin to think I should have talked about the last verse in the Bible just a little bit more. So today will be the milestone day and our last day in Revelation! In this verse we are reminded of God’s grace and given the blessing of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! God’s wonderful, marvelous grace is crucial to every aspect of our lives. We could never be saved without it and the truth is that we cannot live the Christian life without it!
First, what does grace mean? Many have defined it as “God’s unmerited favor.” Meaning that God has mercy on us when we don’t deserve it. We actually deserve God’s wrath and eternal punishment for our sin! For sure this one aspect of His grace but in the scripture, I find that grace is also, “God giving me the wisdom, strength and ability to be all that I should be here on earth for His glory”. In other words, I can’t read my Bible and pray unless He gives me grace. I can’t resist temptation without His grace (James 4:6-8). The Apostle Paul proclaimed, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
What is interesting is that Paul begins and ends almost every epistle he wrote, with these words in some form, “Grace and peace be with you from our Lord Jesus Christ”. He knew we need God’s grace to live for Jesus every day. John wrote in John 1:17, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Grace comes from and through Jesus Christ alone!
Now the big question! How do we experience God’s grace? According to James 4:6-10, there is only one thing that keeps us from getting God’s grace and that is our pride. And the only way to receive God’s grace is to humble ourselves before Him. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Our pride is the root cause of all our sins. It makes us think we can save ourselves or that we don’t even need to be saved. It always seeks to cause us to want to be our own god. It is the worship of self! “I’m in charge of my life and I can do whatever I want to do!” That’s our pride that keeps us from God! But humility is just the opposite!
To be humble means to acknowledge your sinfulness, your weakness, your inability to save yourself or do anything to please and glorify the Lord in your own power or flesh! Read the verses in James 4 carefully, and daily humble yourself before God, and for sure He will give you the grace you need in every area of your life! He will give you grace to face any challenge, tragedy, pain, suffering, rejection, abuse, anything you encounter in life!
What a great last word in the Bible! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”