Monday, March 23, 2015

Why Do I Need Grace? - Lesson 3



Why Do I Need Grace?

A Taste of Grace, Lesson 3

Because I Fail!


Like my daughter's little dog trying to jump through the glass door,
...no matter how hard we try,

we can't make it on our own...
can't jump through all the hoops...
can't jump through the glass to the other side of victory...
just can't measure up to God's holy standards...

A Taste of Grace

 Why do I Need It?

In our last lesson we saw how the sinful woman received grace.
We looked at Peter; saw he didn't
deserve grace after denying Jesus,
.....and not just once, but THREE times!
We marveled how Jesus extended grace and reaffirmed His love to him...

Then we saw how Saul the persecutor, became Paul the preacher.
The grace of God pursued him, and his encounter with Jesus changed him…
Changed him from a religious Pharisee to a preacher of GRACE.

So, what about me? ... And...  What about you?
Maybe I’m not as bad as the sinful woman?
I’m the preacher’s kid.  Have I ever denied Jesus?
Well, maybe not with my lips, but often with my actions.
I think I was more like Paul with an outward form of religion;
often my heart did not practice the Scriptures that my mind had been filled with through out my life.

The main reason I need grace is
because I fail!
I fail to meet God’s standards.
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
Romans 3:23

Why do I need grace?
Because I am guilty!
“the entire world is guilty before God”
Romans 3:19


Why do I Need Grace?
No matter how good I try to be, I can’t be good enough!
“No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.
 The law simply shows us how sinful we are.”
Romans 3:19-20 NLT



Okay, so I when I was very young,
I knew that I couldn’t be good enough to get to heaven.
Night after night before I went to bed, I kneeled by my bedside
and I prayed again and again for God to save me.
I knew that the only way I could be “made right with Him
without keeping the requirements of the law”,
was “by placing my faith in Jesus Christ”  
Romans 3:21-22 NLT

It was not until I was 8 years old, and at a summer Bible camp
that God showed me through His word
how to have assurance of my salvation.
Although it may sound a bit awkward,
I’m sharing it from the old King James Version,
because that’s how I read it and learned it back then:
“These things I have written to you who believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
1 John 5:13 KJV

By faith I received God's grace and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.
I know I’m a Christian because I believed on the name of Jesus, the Son of God just like the Scripture verse above says.


So what does this have to do with why I need grace?


...And what does this have to do with New Year’s Resolutions?!!
(Photo from First Place for Health)

Did you do your "homework assignment" after the last lesson?
Have you been reading Romans chapters 5-8?
Somehow, I feel that I am often like Paul, the one who wrote these chapters,
and I find myself stuck in Roman7:21 NLT where Paul says,
“I have discovered this principle of life---
I inevitably do what is wrong”!
And he also says, "I want to do what is good, but I don't!"
Romans 7:19 NLT

Why do I Need Grace?

Because I struggle!

In Romans 7:24 NLT Paul says “Oh, what a miserable person I am!
Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?”

It gives me comfort to know that Paul struggled.
Does it make you feel better when you know that you’re
not the only one who is struggling with an issue?
It does me!

It also makes me feel better that Peter struggled with Paul’s teachings,
saying that they are “hard to understand”, and that we need to be careful
not to twist them to say what we want them to say,
 but to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ“!
 (2 Peter 3:14-18)

So Why do I Need Grace?
So YOU will be encouraged by the things that I struggle with!
2 Corinthians 1:4 says that God comforts us in our struggles,
so that we can extend that same grace and comfort to others.

So what have I struggled with
that might comfort and encourage you?

I need God’s grace to fill that God-shaped hole that is in me.
Too often I look for comfort in other areas rather than turning to God.
Food is one thing. That’s a big issue with me!
When I first started studying how grace triumphs over law,
I got a picture in my head...
I imagined that food rules were like the law.
Like Paul said in Romans 7:6, I felt that maybe I was released from them,
and did not have to feel bound by them in order to lose weight.

I’m still feeling my way around in this.
 I prayed and asked God to help me to “Walk in the Spirit so that I would not fulfill the lusts of the flesh”  (Galatians 5:16), and asked God to help me control my appetite,
but it seemed that the food just tasted better!
I wondered what God was trying to teach me.

One thing I’ve been learning is that the taste buds are never satisfied…
They always want more, even when the stomach is full!
I am learning that only God can truly satisfy me.
Maybe that’s why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7 that
“we have this treasure in jars of clay,
to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

Why do I Need Grace?
Because learning to walk in grace is a process!
Remember what Peter said in 2 Peter 3:18?
He closed his book saying "But grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ..."

I’m teaching something that I’m learning to apply.
Paul said, “Not that I have already attained,
or am already perfected;
but I press on,
that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12


I’m not sure what issues you struggle with,
and what areas you are trying to get victory…
maybe it’s controlling your temper,
maybe it’s learning to persevere under difficult circumstances,
maybe it’s finding time to read your Bible every day,
maybe it’s pulling yourself away from the TV or computer,
maybe it’s uncontrollable spending and shopping habits,
maybe it’s to quit smoking or drinking.
There’s hundreds of things that we need God’s grace to achieve,
and one of those for me is to exercise self-control in my eating.

I love the way it says Philippians 3:12 in The Message translation:
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made.
But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ,
who has so wondrously reached out for me.
Friends, don’t get me wrong:
By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this,
but I’ve got my eye on the goal,
where God is beckoning us onward --- to Jesus.
I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

Okay, let’s not get depressed about it!
As long as we live in this life and in this body,
we are going to have struggles!
But one day in a single victorious stroke, God will give us new bodies!
Sin, death, and GUILT will all be gone!
(1 Corinthians 15:51-57)

Until we get that new body,
Journey with me!
Let’s see if we can find our way out to grace and victory and
“Lay aside every weight,
and the sin that so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us!”
Hebrews 12:1

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If you're using this as a Bible study, below are some fill in the blanks to help group participation and stimulate the memory to recall these truths later!

Next week "What Grace is NOT!"

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"Taste of Grace - Fill in the Blanks to go with above lesson.
             Why Do I Need Grace?


The main reason I need grace is
because ____________________________________.
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
Romans 3:23


Why do I need grace?
Because _________________________
“the entire world is guilty before God”
Romans 3:19


Why do I Need Grace?
No matter how good I try to be, ___________________________________________
“No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.  The law simply shows us how sinful we are.”
Romans 3:19-20 NLT


So what does this have to do with why I need grace?
____________________________________
In Romans 7:24  Paul says “Oh, what a miserable person I am!
Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?”


So Why do I Need Grace?
So __________________________________________
by the things that I struggle with!
2 Corinthians 1:4 says that God comforts us in our struggles,
so that we can extend that same grace and comfort to others.


Why do I Need Grace?
Because _____________________________________________
Remember what Peter said,
“But grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
2 Peter 3:18


3 comments:

Jedidja said...

Biblical, great and so beautiful. Thanks!

Pamela said...

It's amazing grace and I'm so in need of it. The words of the song always remind me of Paul -- "was blind but now I see." I love how you used so much Scripture.

EG CameraGirl said...

I hope your Easter is a joyous one!!