Faithlife Sermons

Understanding Grace 4

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Grace doesn't give us a freedom to do what we want. Grace gives us a freedom that enables us to walk in His word.
We have been set free from old testament law keeping. In the old testament we ceremonial, civil, and moral law. They were all based on the Love of God. We are free from from having to honor:
certain days
and feast,
rules about diet.
material you can and can’t wear
However we do not have a freedom to violate the moral law of love but a freedom and power not from ourselves to walk in it. We have grace.
Grace doesn't give us a excuse not to have a high moral standard. Grace actually requires more than what the law asked for.
Don’t commit adultery but jesus said if you look at a woman with lust.
The law says and eye for and eye but Jesus said love and bless your enemies.
A lot of people believe that Tithing is under the law. However I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to because the promises to a Tither are still in effect.
I don’t believe that we are cursed if we do not tithe as it says in Malachi because Jesus took the curse.
And in the New Testament it doesn’t mention it much but uses the word generosity. I believe its something that we should do but I don’t believe if we do not that we will be cursed, forfeit our salvation or all the blessings.
However I do believe we reap what we sow.
the new testament uses the Word generous which means to go above and beyond what is required. The requirement of the Old Testament was 10 percent nut now Paul says be generous and give beyond what your able. He was speaking to gentiles there because they didn’t know the word Tithe.
Sounds to me everything had to be available to God. Those in the book of acts sold their properties and they brought it at the apostles feet.
So if we want to keep our money we’d be better off to live under the law of tithe.
Freedom from worry and excessive reasoning.
John 14:27 ESV
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Based on this scripture we can see that God doesn't want us to live in worry and excessive reasoning that leads to unrest.
Excessive Reasoning = the point of endless revolving of one’s mind around and around a situation, searching for knowledge and understanding.
I know I’m tempted as a problem solver facing a problem to turn it over and over in my thoughts, endlessly looking for some kind of answer or solution to it.
It can sneak in there in a subtle way because we all see worry as negative.
However excessive reasoning can seem positive and productive. It gives us a false sense of peace when because we think that we have worked it out in our mind and we are good now.
Proverbs 3:5–7 ESV
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
Proverbs 3:7 wise in our own eyes = means that we are not to think that we have the capacity to figure out everything that is going on in our life.
We can’t think up all the answers we need to live a victorious life. A attempt to is a work of the flesh.
We can’t figure out and control every situation to bring us up on top. We can spend far to much time and energy on such things that it wears us out. We know thats its a waste of time.
We think we have everything figured out and learn down the road it isn’t what we thought it to be.
Proverbs 16:9 ESV
9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
It is wisdom to plan our work but knowing that it is God not our planning that brings success. So where is the balance?
We know that we must have a plan.
Ephesians 5:17 AMP
17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
Without a plan, we would never
finish school,
find a job,
get married,
have children,
save money,
buy a car,
build a house,
take a vacation or do any of the things we do in life.
Without a plan we would never:
study God’s word,
pray,
go to church,
or do anything to grow in our relationship with God.
Excessive reasoning and planning. How do I know when I’ve done to much? When we begin to rely on it more than God and it causes peace and joy to leave our life.
Colossians 3:15 AMP
15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].
What peace that we don’t have to have it all figured out.
PART 2
We all have problems and mountains big and small.
In the book of Ezra and Zechariah - Isreal had major issues when they were released from captivity to go back to their home land to rebuild the temple by Cyrus king of Persia.
The Samaritans did everything in their power to stop and harass Zerubbabel (Governor) Zechariah (prophet) and the Israelites from building the wall.
What do we do when your in the will of God and you face problems and mountains. How do we move those mountains that are in our way?
Human effort and struggle?
By anger and frustration?
By faith alone?
By a good confession?
By hours of prayer and Bible study?
We can find the answer in:
Zechariah 4:1–3 NIV
1 Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. 2 He asked me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. 3 Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”
Zechariah 4:4–6 NIV
4 I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” 5 He answered, “Do you not know what these are?” “No, my lord,” I replied. 6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
He was giving a prophet word to Zerubbabel on how to react the mountains that they were facing. That they should trust in the limitless power of the Holy Spirit to meet the issues and resolve the crises they face.
Zechariah 4:7 ESV
7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”
If God told you to do something, it is certainly His will not only that you begin it, but also that you finish it. But you will never complete your God-given task if you don’t understand grace - the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lets not just have mountain moving faith but mountain moving Grace.
The lampstand was the channel in this vision but the source was the oil. Many times we end up with a lot of principles, methods and formulas, but no real power.
Its because all those principles, methods and formulas - like faith - are mere channels through which we receive from God. They are all good, and we need to know about them, but alone they cannot solve our issues.
Poem:
I want you to face the mountain, so that you can see,
When the mountain is out of the way all there is left is Me.
Only I can move the mountain, only I can push it away,
Only I can conquer the problems, that you face today.
Your only job is to believe, to listen to My voice,
and when you hear what I command, obedience is your choice.
But I will not make it to difficult, for the victory is already Mine,
and I will fill you with My Spirit and through you My Grace will shine.
Not when you are perfect, like you think you need to be,
But when your heart is willing, to become more and more like Me.
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