Thoughts On Galatians 1:3-5

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Check out Galatians 1:3-5

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.
All glory to God forever and ever! Amen. (NLT)

Often, when I think about salvation, I think in terms of “sin and forgiveness”.  I can understand, in a legal sense, the “transaction” of the cross – the righteous for the unrighteous.

Paul, here, is pointing out something else (something bigger?).

Jesus was on a rescue mission.

His purpose was the rescue of my soul, my life, my future – of me.  And you.

Jesus and my sin met, on a cross, two thousand years ago.  With unflinching determination and fixed purpose, in those three dark hours and during those three dark days, He dealt with my sin, in its totality.

He finished the work of redemption. Period.  Then He arose.

Jesus is interested – in me.  So He did the thing that I could not do – and by His own sacrifice – by His own power – and because of His great love – He rescued me.

This was the Father’s will – my rescue and His Son’s glory – forever.

Amen.

Thoughts on Colossians 2:9-10

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You have to love the KJV wording of these two awesome verses.  Check it -

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power

I’m no Bible-translator, nor do I play one on the internet – but I do love to think about awesome truths when I see them.

Jesus Christ is fully-God.  All that God is, Jesus is.  He is THE revelation of God, about God, to us – in a body.  The character, nature, heart, purpose, mind, and glory of God – the “whole fulness of deity” – lives in Jesus.

Wow.

Now, check this next part.  We are “complete” in Him.  We “have been filled” in Him.  This Jesus, who is above all other powers and more perfect than any other authority – He has declared us, caused us to be, and made us by His death-conquering love, “complete”.  He has released us from our sin, saved us from our death, and blessed us with His life.  He is ours.  We are His.

At a minimum, this verse is stating that we are, at present, in this moment, at this time, right now – complete in Jesus.  There is nothing wanting, lacking, or missing.

That’s grace upon grace.

We can now stop searching for acceptance, based on our own performance, and simply live out of the acceptance, in Christ, that we already have.  Jesus isn’t worried that He might, someday, become “less” like God – and we shouldn’t worry that we might, someday, become “less” accepted by God.

We should trust God, take Him at His word, and live out of the grace-life He has given us.

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Be blessed.

Thoughts On Ephesians 3:8

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I have always been fascinated with Ephesians 3:8

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (KJV)

Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. (NLT)
Here’s Paul – PAUL – and He uses the phrase “less than the least of all saints” to describe… himself!
Let that sink in.
Paul wrote half of the New Testament.  Paul carried the message of Jesus throughout the Roman empire.  Paul was beaten, stoned, and left for dead.  Paul went to prison.  Paul was THE man.
Yet, Paul maintained a spirit of real humility.
How is this possible?  When comparing himself to others, no doubt, Paul could have pulled the “do you know who I am?” card.
Instead, he imitated Christ, becoming of “no reputation” and chose to serve, rather than to be served.
Paul’s motivation – I think it was his sole (soul?) motivation?
It was grace.
He spent his life – preaching it, living it, giving it, sharing it – because He had received it!
No matter the situation, or the time in his life, or the reason for any particular letter, Paul always focused on the grace of God.
Sure, he had to write about other topics, settle a few disputes, correct a few errors – but he always circled around to the “main thing” – grace.
I love this verse.  It’s so cool.
Paul, once a Pharisee, enamored with the law, steeped in tradition, and filled with hate – is saved by grace.  Then God allows Paul the great privilege – to share that same grace – with the world!
Wow!
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
If you enjoyed this post, please use the social media buttons below to share with your friends and followers.  Also, if you shop at Amazon, please do so through the The Grace Station Amazon Page. When you do so, Amazon kicks a small amount my way (without charging you anything extra) and that helps me keep The Grace Station up and running.  Thanks so much!  Be blessed.

Thoughts On 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

I love this passage of scripture.  Check it out.  First in the KJV and then in the NLT.

15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

16. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

17. Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

15. With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

16. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope,

17. comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

First, Paul reminds them to focus on the teaching that they had received, both in person and in writing, from him.  It is extremely for the believer that we take the time to receive sound teaching – and that we retain what we have been taught.  This takes discipline and practice, but the rewards are manifold!  The word “traditions” in verse 15 has the idea of “that which we gave to you, with purpose, through our teaching, because it mattered”.  Awesome stuff.

Second, Paul, as he always seems to do, reminds them of the eternal goodness of God’s grace – and the hope that all believers have.  He knew that his readers would face days, weeks, months, even years – waiting upon God, learning of him, and dealing with life’s realities and struggles.  He reminds them – God is with you.  He loves you.  He has grace for you.  He is your Father.  Jesus is your Lord.  You possess comfort and hope because of His authority and His grace.

Finally, Paul teaches that God will comfort (come along with us) – and empower us for every good thing we are to say or do.  Notice the progression, in verse 17.  First, these good things are in our hearts, and then in our words, and then in our works.  We must believe and trust Him – and then go about speaking and doing the things that are beneficial (intrinsically so) for our families, friends, and others.

Focusing on sound teaching (doctrine) will lead us to be stable – and will promote good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.  We are His workmanship, created for such!

Thoughts On Mark 1:40-42

A few thoughts on Mark 1:40-42

40. A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.

41. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”

42. Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.

This event occurs rather early in Jesus’ ministry. Leprosy is a painful and debilitating disease. Those with it were isolated and “unclean”. Apparently, this man had heard of Jesus – and decided to take a chance, cross the street – and ask (beg) Jesus to heal him.

Verse 41 states that Jesus was – moved with compassion. And then Jesus does something: He reaches out and touches the man. Rather than turn away from the one who was unclean, Jesus, filled with mercy and love, cares for him.

The same is true, now, for those who come to Jesus. By his grace – his unfailing love – Jesus forgives all who come to Him in faith. Beyond mere physical healing, Jesus heals us spiritually, replacing our broken and lifeless spirit with His glorious and eternal Life. He unites Himself with us – never to leave, never to forsake.

If we ever doubt his compassion – remember those hands – reaching out to touch the man condemned by leprosy – and then see those same hands, stretched out on a cross – reaching out to touch a world condemned by sin.

Side note – This was our family Bible study tonight. When I asked my son, what does “compassion” mean, he thought for a moment and answered, “a love that’s never failing”. I asked where he learned that definition – and he said that he learned it from one of the songs we sing in church – Mighty To Save:

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that’s never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

-Jason

Free Children’s Church Lesson For Christmas

The following can be used for Children’s Church / Small Group / Sunday School

Let’s talk a little bit about Jesus.

Jesus has always existed – there’s a word for this – Jesus is ETERNAL.

However, to show us how much he loves us, and so that we could better understand Him, Jesus became a man – and was born – just like each of you.

This is what we celebrate at Christmas – the birth of Jesus.

Jesus was not born in a hospital like you were, he was born in a manger.

A manger is a small cave or barn, where animals (sheep, goats, donkeys) lived.

His parents were Mary and Joseph – but you may have already known that.  What you may not have known is that Jesus was born – to save the world!

God loves people – He loves you, your parents, your friends, your classmates, even people that you don’t know!  He loves them all. So, He sent Jesus – His one and only Son – to show people just how much He loves them.

As He grew up, Jesus read the scriptures (what we now call the Bible) – and He was even able to teach grown ups a thing-or-two about what the scriptures really meant.  He helped people, healed people, cared for people, listened to people, encouraged people, and taught people.  Jesus was – and is – awesome!

Jesus lived a perfect life – and He demonstrated God’s perfect love for us.  You can trust Jesus – to be your friend, your teacher, your helper, and your Lord.  (Lord is an awesome word – it means “one who directs and instructs”.)

When Jesus was born, God sent angels (special messengers) to spread the “good news”.  The angels went to shepherds, who were taking caring of sheep, and the angels told the shepherds that “Jesus had been born”.  The shepherds were so excited – they left their sheep – and found Jesus and his family.  Then, after spending time with Him, they went to all of their friends, telling them about Jesus.

Once we hear about Jesus – and spend some time getting to know Him and about Him – we can then share what we know with our friends.  Knowing Jesus is awesome – and so is telling others about Him!

Feel free to print this article and use it as a guide for teaching others about grace.

I Will Rescue You For My Sake

Isaiah 48:11 is an incredible verse -

I will rescue you for my sake—

yes, for my own sake!

I will not let my reputation be tarnished,

and I will not share my glory with idols!

This comes after a section where God tells Israel that He has chosen them, even though they are “stubborn” and “obstinate”, with “necks as unbending as iron” and “heads as hard as bronze”.

He did not save them because they were obedient. Indeed, he saved them, knowing full well that they wouldn’t be obedient. Why? He’s a God of grace. And He declares – “I will rescue for my sake – yes, for my own sake!” Salvation, by definition, is for those who need “saving”.

Like many, the people of Israel had begun to trust in “things” – idols, money, their heritage, their religious-sounding prayers, etc. God steps in, and makes things very clear. They will not be saved, nor were they saved, because of their “things”. They will be saved, by Him – and for His own glory.

Understanding Grace

I can remember, quite distinctly, the first time someone defined the word grace for me.  I was helping to paint one of the classrooms in the back of our old church – a light gray, if memory serves.  I was twelve years old.

My Sunday School teacher, who was leading the painting efforts, described grace as God’s unmerited favor.

I was a pretty bright kid, so I understood what the words unmerited and favor meant – kinda.  I stashed the definition away, ready for the next discussion at youth group or Sunday School.

As with many spiritual things, knowing a definition and understanding a truth are two, entirely different matters.

The definition was important.  The understanding was life-changing.

God loves you.

At it’s core, that’s what grace is – the love of God.  It’s a spectacular kind of love.  Demonstrated on the cross and revealed through the Gospel, grace is a radical truth flowing from the heart of a radical God.

The reality is, our God is a God of relationships – real relationships, with real people.  Religion, despite some good intentions, usually erects more barriers to relationship than it builds bridges.  God is not interested in formulaic prayers, ritualized worship, or choreographed services.  God is interested in people – individual people.  People like you.  People like me.

Once the light goes on – it stays on.

Once you encounter and understand real grace – the unchanging, eternal, forgiving, merciful, beautiful, challenging, grace of God – you are never the same.

The Grace Station exists to encourage you to learn more about God’s grace.

And the Word (Jesus) became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

Grace and Peace – Paul’s Introductions To His Letters

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The apostle Paul authored a good portion of the New Testament.  He had an awesome way of greeting his readers.

Check these verses out -

…to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Romans 1:7

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – 1 Corinthians 1:3

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – 2 Corinthians 1:2

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Galatians 1:3

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Ephesians 1:2

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Philippians 1:2

…To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father… – Colossians 1:2

…Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace… 1 Thessalonians 1:1

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… 2 Thessalonians 1:2

…To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord… – 1 Timothy 1:2

…To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord… 2 Timothy 1:2

…To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior… – Titus 1:4

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… – Philemon 1:3

Regardless of original audience – an individual believer or a group of believers – Paul begins each letter with a salutation of grace!

Paul goes beyond the standard greeting of the day, combines like-terms from two predominate cultures, and brings forth eternal truth.  God, in Christ, has presented to us his grace – his unending, unmerited, undeserved, remarkable, reconciling, redeeming – grace – and anyone who accepts Christ and His grace – will have true peace.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Photo attribution: Ryk Neethling

The Grace Station Launch

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My name is Jason and I want to welcome you to the launch of a brand new site – The Grace Station.  I hope that you will be both encouraged and blessed by what your find here.

Grace is my favorite topic.  My favorite books are about grace.  My favorite songs are about grace.  My favorite poems are about grace.  My favorite sermons are about grace.  My favorite thoughts are about grace.  I believe that a proper understanding of God’s grace can radically impact that life of any person.  Grace is, truly, that amazing.

In an effort to connect others to the very best in grace-related information, I have created The Grace Station.

Here, you will be able to find original content, produced by our staff of writers, and links to some of our favorite grace-related sites.

The Grace Station exists to encourage you to learn more about God’s grace.

Please plan to visit the site regularly, as new content will be added on a daily basis.

Tomorrow, I plan to outline my basic views on grace.  I hope you will come back, read, and comment.  Until then, be blessed.

Photo attribution: sarowen

-Jason

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