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The Grace of God

Roof shingles make great frisbees, or so I thought as a child. While walking through our neighborhood with a friend, I saw one laying on the road, picked it up and gave it a good throw. It flew well but unfortunately wound up hitting a window, causing it to shatter. For reasons I still don’t fully know my friend took the blame and paid for the broken window. I was the recipient of unwarranted grace.

Have you ever experienced grace after doing something wrong?

grace

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A greater One

John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ ” (John 1:15)

In antiquity chronological priority meant superiority. John indicates a reversal in the case of John the Baptist and Jesus. Till Jesus came the Baptist occupied center stage. He who came later was “far greater” than the forerunner.

Before the Baptist

Though Jesus appeared on earth after John the Baptist, He actually existed before him, from eternity. Jesus was before John, even though His earthly birth was later. The preexistence of Jesus shows superiority.

Blessings in Christ

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. (John 15:16)

Christ is the source of all blessings. God’s grace is continuous and is never exhausted.

Grace has no interruptions and knows no limit.”

No one knows where grace will lead, what blessings will come, and what challenges will occur. Grace means an ever deepening experience of the presence and power of God.

The Law

For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. (John 15:17)

The first five books of the Old Testament were divinely given to Moses. The Law made a way for sin to be forgiven through sacrifice and gave instruction for living. People, however, began to think they could earn a relationship with God by doing good. Everyone falls short, no one is perfect.

Truth and Grace

The Law points to Jesus, the Messiah. “If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.” (John 5:46) Jesus came bringing God’s truth and grace to the world. Everyone falls short of fulfilling the Law yet Jesus offers grace, including forgiveness and new life. Changes begin and the Law is fulfilled by grace, showing the evidence of salvation by obedience.

On the cross

Jesus died as the Substitute for our sin. God knew the totality of our sins and placed them on Jesus. Although people deserve the holy wrath of God, Jesus paid the penalty. Jesus offers grace upon grace; an unending, loving, merciful, affection for the children of God.

Seeing God

No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 15:18)

God has never been fully seen. Moses partially viewed Him (Exodus 24:9-11) but God’s essential being could not be revealed. God is present but physical eyes do not detect him. Jesus makes God known personally. If someone wants to see God, look to Jesus. He is a clear picture of Him.

The life and words of Jesus are a revelation of God’s love and purpose for mankind.

The challenge

Receive God’s gift of grace and truth. Learn about God by looking at Jesus. He perfects faith.

In what ways has God made Himself known to you? Share your comments below.

Child of God

God took on human form. Amazing! He lived among His creation a common man, yet people would have nothing to do with him? Astounding! An opportunity to experience His divine nature is given and people decide to remain in darkness.

Are you living in the light? Are you a member of His family?

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John 1:9-14

“The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him (his name), he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”

The true light

Jesus is the true Light. Other lights may flicker with elements of truth or provide mere glimpses of reality. There is nothing unreal or shadowy about the Light that is Christ. He brings real illumination and is available to everyone. God reveals himself to all people (Rom 1:20).

Jesus & the world

Jesus is connected to the world (John 1:9,10), created the world (1:10), and has been rejected by the world (1:11). People encountered the Galilean peasant and may have thought, “Not very impressive!” The divine came in a way no one expected. The world missed the supreme opportunity!

The heart of man

Human nature defaults toward rebellion. Adam and Eve disobeying God in the garden of Eden is indicative of this truth (Gen 3). Psalm 2 reveals people’s rebellious nature, “Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one.” (Psalm 2:1,2) The book of Revelation records plagues and disasters God will use to push people into His arms of grace. How tragic people turn their back on Him. The people of this world worship the enemy of God, Satan (Rev 13:4, 8). Mankind remains rebellious until the end of time. They refuse the love of God and reject His Word.

Becoming a child of God

John reveals that although some reject Jesus, there were others who believe.

The end of the story is not the tragedy of rejection, but the grace of acceptance. God gave a gift, some received it, and became a part of God’s family. We enter this world as spiritual orphans and God has given us a way to become one of His own, adopted into His family. Those who believe become God’s children. He says,

I will take you in. I will be your Father. I will love you. You’ll be part of my family.”

Believing in a name

A name is a convenient label to distinguish one person from another. Not so in the ancient world. In some ways the name expresses the whole person. To believe “in the name,” means trusting the person. If you trust in Jesus’ name, you completely trust in who Jesus is, what He says, and what He did.

The miracle of a birth

When a person believes in Jesus, they are reborn. They move from spiritual death into spiritual life. This new birth is a miracle coming from God and changing the nature of people. A person’s thoughts, motives, actions, and desires change out of rebirth.

God in human form

The Word of God took on human form and lived among mankind. He came for a temporary visit to display God’s love and grace. He came in a humble manner discovering those who truly love Him.

The challenge

Receive God’s gift of grace and truth. Turn away from a rebellious life, run into the arms of God, and become a part of the His family.

Have you ever rebelled against God? How? Share your comments below.