“We began our Christian life by depending not upon our own doing but upon what he had done. Until a man does this he is no Christian; for to say: “I can do nothing to save myself; but by his grace God has done everything for me in Christ,” is to take the first step in the life of faith. The Christian life from start to finish is based upon this principle of utter dependence upon the Lord Jesus. There is no limit to the grace God is willing to bestow upon us. He will give us everything, but we can receive none of it except as we rest in him. “Sitting” is an attitude of rest. Something has been finished, work stops, and we sit. It is paradoxical, but true, that we only advance in the Christian life as we learn first of all to sit down.”
Grace is not a thing; Grace is not a concept; Grace is not a doctrine. Grace is a person and His name is Jesus Christ.
Grace is who He is and what He is. Grace is love, perfect love. You can’t buy Him, you can’t earn Him, you can’t deserve Him or what He did for you. Grace is Jesus.
He gives Himself freely, and you can’t pay Him back. You can’t make Him love you more, and He cannot love you any less. Grace is Jesus.
Jesus bought you at the Cross, and you received “every blessing given by the Holy Spirit” along with complete forgiveness. Jesus suffered and died an extreme death. He did it to reconcile you to a Father who loves you with an everlasting love, the width, length, depth and height of which surpasses knowledge!
Jesus did not BUY you grace; He did not buy you a “ticket to paradise” at the Cross. He gave HIMSELF to you – FOREVER. His eternal life is already in you. You are His beloved, and He is yours. Heaven in you has started on the earth, and it will continue into eternity.
Here is the Heaven already in you, eager to fill you and flow out:
• Life, sonship, righteousness, holiness, truth, glory, wisdom; understanding; counsel; power; comfort; knowledge – the characteristics of the Holy Spirit who indwells you.
• Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control – the fruit of the Holy Spirit who indwells you.
Grace is a Person, and He’s calling your name to come and receive what He’s given freely!
“Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Jesus is talking to His disciples right before He would usher in the new covenant. He was speaking to His chosen ones who would soon be living life without His physical presence….who would soon be carrying His message of redemption, love and grace to all the Earth. He was preparing them for the work of the Kingdom that was about to be pushed to a new level. Jesus’s “How-To Manual” began like this:
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” John 15:5 (MSG)
Jesus gave His disciples their plan for living life and marching orders for service by announcing to them their utter helplessness apart from Him. He didn’t start with a pep rally, explaining how hard they would have to work, but that it would all be worth it in the end. He didn’t try to motivate them by saying “I know you can do this, persevere!” He didn’t tell them all the things they would have to give up as His followers. He didn’t teach them the different ways to share the gospel, how to heal the sick, how to cast out demons. He taught no methods, no rules, no 10 steps, no strategies for getting people saved or doing the work of the Kingdom. He said in effect “don’t try to live this life without staying deeply connected to Me, or the fruit of your labors will be meaningless.”
He was saying, to paraphrase, “I love you with an everlasting love, now live in that love, stay joined with Me, stay joined to My love…. know Me, and you will have success.”
Surely Jesus wasn’t saying we couldn’t walk, talk, or work apart from Him. Most of the world is able to do these things without giving Him a second thought, including atheists. They are producing something, aren’t they? Jesus was saying that nothing of any eternal value would be produced through self-effort.
Yet the Church is filled with believers operating in their own strength, working for an approval from God which they already possess in Christ; striving for an approval from man, which they don’t need.
Lord, show us our deep need for You and Your love in every area of life. Reveal to us that we are already approved by You because of what Jesus already did. Show us our inability, that we may rest in You and receive Your ability. Demonstrate to us and through us the abundant life that comes from knowing You as Everything.
You are Mine, do you know that, really know it?
I chose you, chose you before the foundation of the world, chose you to be my purchased possession.
Do you see how much I wanted you? I want you to know how much I wanted you.
Let it sink in.
I searched for you. I searched and then drew you, with great care, with great pains….and I experienced great JOY when I found you.
I bought you, paid for you, paid for you with my Life. YOU are the pearl of great price!
I own you, you are Mine. I had to own you, I wasn’t satisfied until I could call you Mine.
I want to give you so much, so much more than you could ever imagine or think to ask me for.
I love you, do you see it yet? I’m waiting for you to see it. It’s so important that you see it — the width and length and depth and height of the love I have for you. It is everything to Me, it is who I am. You are everything to Me.
Come unto Me and receive My love. Draw near and receive what’s already yours, yes already yours, because you belong to Me.
Ephesians 1:4; Luke 15:4; Luke 15:8; Matt 13:44-45; Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 3:17-19; Matt 9:36; 1 John 4:16; 1 John 4:9-10; James 4:8; 1 John 4:18
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My ways are not like man’s, not like yours. They are higher, deeper, broader — they are of a different realm – the realm of My Glory. Open your heart, expand your spirit to My ways. Don’t cling to man’s ways, they will always fall short of My Glory. They will always disappoint, they will never satisfy.
I have made you to know and experience My ways. No eye has seen, nor ear heard, what I have prepared for those who love Me. I made you to experience My Glory. That’s why I came, now come and receive it, come and receive Me, and experience My Glory, in you, around you and through you.
You are new in Me. Not just a little new, you are completely new persons in Me. When you put your faith in Me, I transformed you in an instant. You became light, as I am Light. You are walking in the Light, as I am Light. You are living in the Light, 24/7. When you are asleep, you are all lit up. If you could only see yourselves, my children, points of light, my Light, walking around in a world of darkness. Your light is touching others without your even knowing it. When I said “you are the light of the world,” I meant it. The more you see it, the more others will and be transformed by beholding Me through you. That is My grand plan. Come and receive it.
Relax, you are already reconciled to God.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:19
The Good News:
- God is not judging you. You were already judged, the verdict was guilty, and you were sentenced to die. Jesus Christ took the punishment, so you could be set free into eternal life now, and be with Him forever.
- God is not mad at you. Jesus took the anger that was intended for you.
- God is not surprised when you fail. He knew you couldn’t live up to the 10 commandments, so He decided to step into your place as your Savior, and do it for you. (What kind of incomprehensible love is this?)
- God is not waiting for you to become righteous. When you receive Christ, you become “the righteousness of God.”
(2 Cor 5:21)
- God is not the one who is continually reminding you of your sins; in fact, He is trying to continually remind you that He no longer remembers your sins, because of what Jesus did. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless acts I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12
God is waiting for you to see that you cannot depend on yourself for anything —- not for salvation, not to be “good” enough, not to earn acceptance from God, not to obey the 10 commandments, not to become righteous, not even to love Him more. I have discovered this is a painful process, what about you?
Paul opens up the book of Ephesians with the statement that “God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” He spends the first three chapters on this. Paul, who wrote over half of the New Testament, spends most of his time explaining to the early Church who they were in Christ and what they had in Him.
The Christian life starts by receiving Jesus, then resting —yes, resting — in what the Father has done for you, through His precious Son, out of His unfailing love for you.
The life of the Christian begins with the discovery of what God has provided in Christ, who now lives inside of you if you have believed and received Him. Our walk, our conduct, our behavior is meant to flow out from Him…..effortlessly. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10.
God wants us to depend on Him for everything. That was the plan — believe, receive and rest ….then, and only then, can we walk.
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