Tuesday, January 22, 2013

THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!


Would you believe that you and I who have trusted in Christ’s redemption are considered to be the “praise of the glory of His grace?” So says the scripture in Ephesians 1:3-6.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love - having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved.”

There is no clearer explanation as to what God thinks about you and what He has purposed for your life than what is found in the book of Ephesians.

I found that the word “glory” appears eight times and refers to the exceeding excellence of God’s love, His wisdom, and His power. The word “praise” means “approval” or “commendation.” This “praise” is not only expressed for what God does for us, but also for who He is, which recognizes His glory.
In short, Ephesians discloses some awesome blessings of grace (“accepting us in the beloved”), and awesome dimensions of spiritual authority over evil (“according to the power that works in us.”) Ephesians 3:20

His Workmanship - Ephesians 4:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

The word for “workmanship” comes from the word “poiema” (poy-ay-mah). The word means “to make,” and also is used for “poem,” or “poetry.” Get this! It’s a word that signifies a product or design produced by an artisan. “Poiema” emphasizes God as the Master Designer, the universe as His creation (Romans 1:20), and the redeemed believer as His new creation (Ephesians 2:10). Before our conversion our lives had no rhyme or reason. But Christ brought balance, symmetry, and order in our lives. We are God’s poem. We are His work of art. “We who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory!” (Ephesians 1:12) You are not a piece of work — you are a work of art! 

- Pastor Amundson


Monday, January 14, 2013

Grace


In our relationship with God - as we walk with Him each day - we constantly meet situations that would try to overwhelm us. Our response to God is to trust His word. We express our trust through obedience. When we are obedient, it proves that we believe what God’s word says despite what the circumstances might indicate. God’s response to our faith is His grace - His enabling power, which causes us to triumph in every situation. We can always trust in God’s grace!

The Meaning of Grace: The most common understanding of the word “grace” is “God’s unmerited favor.” In other words, even though we were sinners, deserving of judgment, God looked upon us in His love and forgave us! But this is only half its meaning. Grace also means, “God’s enabling power.” Here is the blessing of His grace. “Now may the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” (2 Thess. 2:16, 17) Not only does God’s grace make us accepted into the family of God, but it also provides the power we need to live the Christian life. It is God’s grace by which we receive forgiveness and are restored in relationship with Him even though we don’t deserve it. But it is also God’s enabling power that transforms us.

This Principle of Grace continues through our walk with God. In every area of our Christian lives, it is God’s grace that causes us to grow and be strong - God’s enabling power given to us without any merit on our part. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)

The Throne of Grace: “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and find grace (divine enablement) to help us when we need it most.” (Heb. 4:16)

God is Able! “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8) There - you have all the grace available that you will need to triumph in every situation. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” Amen

- Pastor Amundson