“When you go through struggles, you need someone to come alongside of you and remind you that there is hope ahead. You need to hear a Word to point your thoughts in the direction of God and His goodness again. So do I. And so do we all. That is why we should always be mindful of this great gift to one another as we have been called to encourage one another when they need it the most.” Tony Evans …so Thankful for the Family of God.
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 1:14
Many confuse biblical love with grace. They are not synonyms. Let’s define grace as commitment without reciprocity, unconditional acceptance based on the performance of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Grace and election are the head and tail of the same coin, as Paul says, “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”98 The grace of God toward the elect is possible because, although you can disappoint God, you can never surprise Him. His commitment is based on perfect knowledge.
Faith is commitment before knowing. God does not walk by faith, for “He knows the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”99 God requires people to walk by faith to teach dependence upon Him. Our love for one another requires faith, for we commit ourselves without knowing the consequence. You can love someone, find that they surprise you by unrepentant sin, and be forced to sever the relationship, simply because you do love them.
You emulate God in His love, but not in His grace. You walk by faith and He manifests grace. The two are mutually exclusive. Thus John declares, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”100 God did not manifest grace toward the whole world. We know that God loves the unsaved, for He commands us to love them. But this is different from His showering His grace upon them.
You must keep clear in your head the differences between these words else you will become confused when there is occasion for Christian discipline. The one you excommunicate may be the object of God’s grace, but you walk by faith and judge him on the basis of his works, precisely because you love him as God loves him.
98 Romans 11:5
Numbers 20-22 Mark 7:1-13 (New King James Version)
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Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
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