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Initial vision of Ed Bldg, the finished steps and now what is transforming to be the final product.  What was seen when the facilities were first bought was deplorable.  Then siding was added, a new roof, and now internal cleaning out.  In the midst of demolition, what we initially thought was just updating turned into water damage, termite damage, and just plain old oldness.

In the same way, God works in our lives.  He cheers on momentary triumphs and then allows set-backs.  Why?  Because if all we faced were triumphs, we would assume it is because of something we have done, rather than God’s hand in our lives.  Let's face it; we are a prideful people, and given the chance we will accept full praise for the good we accomplish.  We will also quickly pass the blame on someone else when things go south.

(Christian theology) The free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9 8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Just as real as saving grace is the fact that we are alive and funtional.


2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

1 John 2:1 says that Jesus is our advocate with the Father.  That means he pleads my case or cause with God in real time.  We must have a humble & repentant heart.  We must live life looking to God for direction.  But when we mess up, Jesus being our advocate before God, makes his grace towards us be known.  GRACE!!!  GRACE!!!  The enemy comes in and screams, SINNER!!!  HYPOCRITE!!!  But Christ Jesus knows our heart and our spirit and screams OBJECTION ... GRACE!!!                     Use personal examples…

Romans 5:20b But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

I heard a parent at the park yelling at her child (4y/o) that her lack of enthusiasm was why they really didn’t want to come out and support her playing ball.  A four year old girl!  We must learn to speak grace.  Death and life are in our tongues (Proverbs 18:21).  Grace flows freely from God’s throne, but to receive it, we must also accept God's conditions.  It has nothing to do with our merit…

Colossians 4:6  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

I have two questions as I close this morning.  They come from scripture in the form of a statement, but my question is how do they reflect your life?

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;

That doesn’t give us liberty to do what we want on the merit that we are human or that is our nature or upbringing.  His grace makes a difference in our lives for the good!  Has he made a positive change in you?

2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

So often we seek our own.  We look to what betters us.  But it is all God’s.  Read Psalm 24.  Are you showing grace, and not just proclaiming it?

Jesus is standing there ready to offer and enforce His grace to those willing to live under it.  But Satan is there waiting for every opportunity to knock you down again.  Grace

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