The Good News of the Gospel is (also) Grace!

butterfly-1392695-640x480Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. ~ 2 John 3

Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve, grace is receiving good we do not deserve, and peace is ours from God through our redemption in Jesus!  Let us then walk and live in our freedom in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

The Gospel ~ the Good News of Jesus Christ ~ not only means salvation from our sins, it means freedom from them in Christ!  It means the shed blood of the Lamb cancels our sins: past, present, and future because all our sins were future sins at the cross!  This means we no longer have any bonds binding us ~ none, zippo, nada, nothing ~ period!  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
(Romans 8:1)

We are covered in, surrounded by, breathing in, and swimming in Grace!  We do not have to perform to be loved and precious to God!  We are beloved as we are! (Romans 5:8)  We are free to not serve!  Yes, I said it, in black and white, and I’m going to elaborate on that truth: even if we don’t serve, or we do serve, or we overdo serving, or if we “under-do” in service, we are still loved!  Just as we are!  We are still the pearl of great price, we are still the hidden treasure in the field, and we are still those for whom God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son! (John 3:16)  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We are ~ all at the same time ~ a work in progress and a done deal!

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10)

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. (John 6:47)

We are led by our faithful Good Shepherd (John 10:11) who has already laid down His life for His sheep ~ you and me.  He’s in charge of our progress; our sole role is to “simply” follow where He leads.  I say “simply” because in this age where self-reliance is valued most, as opposed to reliance on God, there is little that is “simple” about surrendering our days ~ and the myriad of choices in them ~ to the Lord’s leadership, despite the meaning of that title Lord.  The key to the surrender is in Galatians 2:20 ~
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

If you are oppressed, weighed down, feeling guilty for no identifiable reason ~ if you feel bound by the things of the past, the things of the present, or the things of the future (fear) ~ lift your head and look up to the Maker of heaven and earth!  Looking up helps to break the dreary hold the lies of the enemy seek to work on us.  Look within to the Holy Spirit!  Spend some time ~ even if it’s only moments scattered here and there in the day in a hectic or heavy life ~ listening for His still, small voice! (1 Kings 19:12)

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthian 4:6-11)

The Lord liveth! (Acts 1:11)  He reigns! (1 Timothy 6:15)  If we believe(John 6:47) then His Holy Spirit is with us! ( 1 Cor.1:22)  He has not ceased to be the Lord God Almighty! (Heb.13:8)  He is the very Maker of heaven and earth, and the One who quite literally holds all things together that are in existence!  He is the One Who yet so loves us that He not only gave His only begotten Son so that we might be restored ~ His only begotten then Son went through unspeakable suffering for our healing! (Is. 53)

So we do not need to be cast low in our heart because of our perceived failures in performance, or perceived lack of performance!  The enemy loves to howl in our ears and shoot us with the fiery darts and flaming arrows of accusation.  Beloved sisters (and any beloved brothers who may read this) let us snuff those things in and with the shield of faith! (Ephesians 6:16)  If you’re in such a season where holding that shield up is hard to do ~ call on the Lord to hold it up for you! (Ps. 46:1)  Call on trusted sisters (or for brothers, call on brothers) in the Lord to hold it for you! (Gal.6:2)  By the grace of God given to us so freely, in and through such Love, and at such priceless cost, let us in the name of God not yield to the binding lies and would-be ties of the enemy!  Let us follow the Word of the Lord that comes to us through the blessed writer of Hebrews:

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:2-3)

The word “fixing” implies several things ~ chief among those things is that “fixing our eyes” is a choice, and that “fixing our eyes” does involve effort.  Fixing is a verb, and that means action; fixing our eyes is not easy, but it’s also not beyond our reach either ~ by the grace of God!  We are free in Him and in and through Him we can do all things!
(Phil. 4:13)

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3

God the Father is the Vine Dresser (John 15:1) who carefully and tenderly cultivates us ~ the dearly beloved branches of the Vine, Jesus.  We are His workmanship, not our own.  Let us rejoice in the life-giving Light of this Truth!  Raise your head and praise God for all He has done for us, for you!  Praise God for His great grace by which we are both saved and set free to live in the rich abundance of His life provided for us. Abundance may not mean earthly goods, but it most surely means abundant richness of fellowship with Him in all our trials!  We are not abandoned and we are not alone!

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.

~ Numbers 6:24-26

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