Posts Tagged ‘Grace’


I Peter 5

Posted by: admin    in I Peter

My servant Peter declares that he has written this letter to exhort and testify to the true grace of God and to encourage the believers to stand firm in it.  I want you to see from his words how that everyone in the body whether he is an elder or overseer, or younger person, whether he has the role of authority, or whether that person has no special label, that everyone, every single member is called to stand firm in My grace. That in doing so each is called to recognize the degree to which he is to depend upon and be responsible to fellow believers in the body.  In this way the elders who are the leaders are called to serve the members of the body like a shepherd that is called to care for the sheep.  And as such they are warned not to serve for personal gain and not to lord it over those to whom they are called to shepherd, but rather to set an example that they may follow.  You can recognize from what you have experienced and what you are now experiencing how very important it is for leaders to have the right motive of heart in their serving.  For if there is greed, selfish ambition, and imposition of the will of the leaders upon those whom they have been called to care for, then there will be no true shepherding, no genuine care of My flock.  And the orientation of the leader will actually be towards himself, towards what he can gain, towards the concern for self advancement rather than towards the genuine care from the heart for those whom I have called him to shepherd.  But you see that also the others who are to be cared for are called to have a submissive attitude towards those who have been called to lead them.  Not only are they called to be properly related to leaders, but to one another.  And in this respect they are not to strive, but to humble themselves under My mighty hand so that I might exalt them, instead of their trying to exalt themselves.  And you see that My servant writes that exaltation comes not only when the person humbles himself, but also when he trusts My timing for him to be lifted up.  As this is practically worked out there are two very important steps that need to be taken.  The first is that all care, all anxiety, all that comes to distress the soul must be cast upon Me.  One cannot truly walk in humility if he depends upon the arm of flesh, whether his own or that of someone else, to work out his cares and difficulties.  And secondly that he must be aware of the intentions of the devil and of his efforts to devour.  But with that awareness, he is also to recognize the authority given to him through faith to resist the evil one and to know that in whatever suffering he may experience in such a conflict I have given the sure promise that in the midst of it I will impart to those who truly look to Me sufficient grace to perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish the one who trusts in Me.  Now can you not see how inter-dependent I intend My people to be upon one another?  And if indeed each bears in his heart the proper attitude towards Me and towards one another, then each shall indeed bless those who are his fellow members in the body.  And by standing firm in My true grace, you will also manifest My love towards one another and possess My peace no matter what may be the circumstances.  I know that this is not something worked out without struggle, for here is mentioned the possibilities of pride, self interest, abuse of authority, unsubmissiveness, and with it all the efforts of the enemy to overcome the believers.  But for those who truly choose to stand firm in My grace there is given, not only the desire to overcome all of these possible obstacles, but there is also given the joy of fulfilling that which My grace enables you to do.  Will you in your hearts prize what My grace alone can bring about?  If so, then more and more you will know the joy of seeing it fulfilled in your life.  

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Bible Devotions From I Timothy 1:12-17

Posted by: admin    in I Timothy

Consider how My servant Paul walked through the years of his life with such a deep and constant awareness of the mercy that I had shown to him. As he declares here, my grace was poured out abundantly upon him along with the faith and love that are in My Son. He recognized that he who regarded himself as the worst of sinners, had received mercy, so that there might be displayed in him an example of My unlimited patience. Even though he was given to proclaim great mysteries, the deepest secrets of My truth with great power, and even though he was enabled to perform great wonders in My name, none of these ever caused him to glory in his own accomplishments.

He always remembered that from which he had been delivered. He always recognized that whatever he was or was enabled to do in My name was because of My mercy to him and My grace poured out abundantly upon him. And that is why, as he reflects on how My mercy had been extended to him, he closes these words with praise and honor and glory to Me. My son and My daughter, even though you may not, like Paul, have been a persecutor of the church, a blasphemer and a violent person, did you not also walk in ignorance and unbelief? Was not your pathway also covered with darkness and disobedience? And was not My mercy extended to you and My grace poured out abundantly, along with faith and love that are in My Son? And even though you would not compare yourselves in ministry, in exploits, even in character to My servant Paul, can you not also like him walk continually in the awareness of the mercy shown to you so that also, like Paul, there may be displayed in you as an example, the unlimited patience of My Son? And if indeed you will walk in this awareness, can you not also be very slow to extend anything but mercy to others? And can you not also, like Paul, give Me honor and glory for everything? For when you so experience the continual awareness of My mercy, My grace, My love to you, you will not find it difficult to allow it through you to be extended to others. And as you reflect in your hearts continually upon My mercy, My grace, My love shown in abundance to you, will it not prompt great praise, glory and honor in your hearts to Me? In this respect all that was granted to My servant Paul is granted unto you as well.

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Bible Devotions From Galatians 2:1-10

Posted by: admin    in Galatians

What do you think when you read Paul’s word that he was fearful that he was running or had run his race in vain? Does it seem to you that these words may indicate that he was doubtful about the correctness of his message and the validity of his ministry? If you think this is what these words mean, look closer at all that My servant Paul declares here. It declares that he went up to Jerusalem in response to My revelation in order to set before the leaders the message that he preached among the Gentiles. The problem that he faced was this, that there were some whom he calls false brothers who were contending that it was necessary for Gentiles who became believers to observe the regulations that had been required by the law of the Jews.

This was especially true of the right of circumcision as well as other observances. But the gospel that Paul proclaimed emphasized that the Gentiles were accepted on the basis of the free grace that I had granted to them through faith in My Son, and that the good works which were consequent to that living faith were not required fulfillment of legal regulations, but were the fruit of that new life in My Son. Paul recognized that if the contrary views of these whom he called false brethren prevailed in the church, that it would not only contradict the gospel that I had revealed to him, but it would return both Jew and Gentile to the bondage that had pertained to the legal requirements that were demanded by those who insisted upon law keeping as the way of righteousness. Therefore understand that there was no question or doubt in Paul’s mind about the correctness of his message or the validity of his ministry to the Gentiles.

And yet Paul understood that I had established authority and leadership in the church, and that those who were so chosen needed to confirm his message and ministry in the face of those who were contending that it was incorrect. You see that he declares here that he was not doing this submission to confirmation because he was impressed by the position or external appearance of these men. They were neither the source of his message, nor the final judges of its correctness. But he did understand that they were in their position of leadership by My authority and that their influence bore great weight in the church. Therefore he was willing to submit to their judgment his message and ministry to the Gentiles. As I have told you before, this is because Paul had proper respect for the order and the authority that I had established in the church. If you had been able to observe the circumstances of those days, you would be able to appreciate the validity of Paul’s concern. For he knew that great pressure was being exerted upon the leaders by those who were contending for another gospel, and Paul understood, as many did not, the great consequences and the harm that could result from a wrong judgment by the leaders. So you see that though Paul did not have ultimate fear of man nor improper regard for position, he well understood the necessity of having these leaders confirm his message and ministry. For this whole letter in which these matters are recorded is a witness as to how easily the believers were led off into the direction of keeping legal requirements as a basis of obtaining righteousness. For there was, as Paul well understood, a tendency within both Jews and Gentiles to believe that they had to obtain a proper standing with Me through some effort of their own. And so it is today, even after so long a time, that this same issue arises among those who name the name of My Son. And so it is that the battle seemingly must be fought again and again. This is not because there was a failure in the past to establish the truth clearly and to confirm the gospel of grace to all that Paul proclaimed. It is rather because there is that within the natural makeup of every man to insist that he must do something to gain a right standing with Me. But be assured, that once you have settled this issue in your own hearts that you will nevertheless have to fight the same battle. But if you will trust to stand upon the witness of the record given here and to recognize that confirmation to the message of grace has already been established, then you can trust Me to vindicate the truth of that message to those whose hearts are truly open to receive the truth.

And for those who would contend, as did the false brethren in Paul’s day, you can trust Me to bring that judgment that is necessary upon them, so that they will not prevail to the extent of hindering and stumbling those who might by faith enter fully into My grace. Believe that I who confirmed, vindicated and gave victory to My true gospel that My servant Paul proclaimed, will continue to do so in this day.

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