Tag Archives: blessings

GOD’S GRACE FOR DESPERATE TIMES


THE SUFFICIENCY OF GOD’S GRACE

Lesson 1. God’s Grace for Desperate Times

Lesson 2. Grace Brought God’s Blessings

Lesson 3 Questioning God’s Grace

Lesson 4. God’s Grace Affirmed

Lesson 5. Testifying of God’s Grace

Lesson 6. Salvation is by God’s Grace

Lesson 7. Calling of God is by Grace

Lesson 8. Empowered by God’s Grace

Lesson 9. God’s Grace upon His Churches

Lesson 10. Grace For Speaking

Lesson 11. Grace for Singing

Lesson 12. God’s Throne of Grace

Lesson 13. Growth in Grace

GOD’S GRACE FOR DESPERATE TIMES

Application: To show that regardless of the circumstances, God’s grace is sufficient.

Scriptures to Read:

Text: Genesis 6:1-8

Related Scripture: Genesis 19:19-22; Exodus 33:12-17; Psalms 37:21-26; 84:11; 119:21; Proverbs 3:34; Jeremiah 1:5; Amos 5:15; Luke 1:30; Acts 2:41-47; 4:33; 14:26; Romans 5:15-20; 6:14; Galatians 1:15,16.

Devotional Readings: Paul Found God’s Grace To Be Sufficient, II Corinthians 1:5-11

Introduction:

God’s grace. What is this theme that will be the focus of these lessons? One definition of grace is God’s favor bestowed on those who are undeserving. The Old Testament word comes from a root that means to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior. Since the subject is God’s grace, the idea presented is of the infinitely superior God stooping down to offer His favor to those who are undeserving. The New Testament word implies being happy and well-off. Here, the picture if of one who had cone nothing to deserve the favor of another; yet, the one who is greater grants kindness to the lesser. God certainly was not required to offer grace to a created race of beings, but He is so loving and kind that He willingly offered to humanity something it could never deserve. This is His grace being bestowed on those who are less than He.

Often, grace is only applied to teaching on salvation. While God’s grace definitely has its part in salvation, it does not stop there. His grace is necessary for every aspect of life. An example of this came in the life of Paul. He had been called by God to be a missionary, but Paul had a physical ailment. He called it “a thorn in the flesh” (II Corinthians 12:7). This thorn was so difficult that he compared it to “the messenger of Satan to buffet me” (verse 7). Paul prayed to God for the removal of his problem, but God answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (verse 9). God would not remove the difficulty but would help Paul succeed in his work in spite of the problem. God’s grace would direct the glory to Him, not Paul.

People often do not recognize the hand of God in their lives when life is smooth and without care. God’s grace is needful in the good times and the bad times. It is during the bad times when people recognize their need and cry out to God for help. God’s grace is available during these desperate situations. God’s people should never fail to approach Him for help. He has promised, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

  1. THE SINFULNESS OF HUMANITY – Genesis 6:1-5
    1. Adam created in innocence.
      1. Adam had the capacity to make the decision to sin or not sin.
      2. This does not mean that God created a sinful person.
      3. God gave man the ability to choose.
    2. The time for choosing came.
      1. Adam could have chosen not to partake of the forbidden fruit.
      2. Adam rebelled against the commandment of God.
      3. Adams act of rebellion cast all of his descendants into a state of sin.
      4. Rebellion has been initiated into the spiritual DNA of everyone born.
    3. As time went by the population of the earth increased.
      1. Some of Adam’s descendants had chosen to follow the path God had selected for them.
      2. The offspring of Seth chose to “call upon the name of the Lord” according to (Genesis 4:26).
    4. This has the ability to have two meanings.
      1. One meaning could be – they began to call themselves by God’s name much like people today call themselves Christians.
      2. Here is what a true saved person does – They began to call out to God in prayer and worship.
      3. Seth’s descendants endeavored to worship God and serve Him properly.
      4. This was not true of all the people.
      5. The descendants of Cain did not have the spiritual outlook they needed.
    5. Therefore, the people of earth were divided into two groups.
      1. Here is where we stray. The attraction of the world.
      2. We find that those whose minds were focused on God began to notice the physical attractiveness of those who pursued worldly things.
      3. The sons of God became so distracted that many began acting and living like the daughters of men.
      4. We find that eventually God was left out of the equation of living.
    6. Worldly activities have taken the place become so attractive that many focus on those activities.
      1. Therefore going to church falls behind the attractions of the world.
      2. Children sacrificed to entertainment rather than the service of God.
      3. The reaction of God during Noah’s day lets us know how God feels about this.
  1. THE JUDGMENT OF GOD – Genesis 6:3, 6, 7
    1. Even when facing a time of judgment, humanity still has the offer of God’s grace.
      1. The lord looked down from heaven and saw their rebellious lives.
      2. His Spirit shall not always strive with man.
        1. This is not a physical struggle.
        2. This indicates that the spirit does strive or convict man of his wickedness and need for a Savior.
        3. Also demonstrates that men can resist the Spirit.
        4. This also reveals that there is a point of no return. A point where the Spirit will no longer convict or try to persuade a person to repent and turn to the Savior.
      3. 120 years later the flood came on the earth.
        1. A witness to the rebellion of man is Noah, a righteous man.
        2. The building of the Ark was the witness of the calamity to come.
    2. As God continued to watch His creation, He “saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (verse 5).
      1. People turned their backs upon the Lord and did not care for his ways.
      2. Only evil continually shows their focus.
      3. Therefore God stood ready to judge.
      4. God’s mercy and grace was sufficient to continue convicting and drawing people to Him.
      5. God does not want any to continue in rebellion against Him.
      6. If they do not respond then judgment comes.
    3. The warning issued by the Lord:
      1. God gives warnings – “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; foe it repenteth me that I have made them.
      2. God’s mercy has a limit.
      3. When people continually refuse His offer of grace, the time will come when they will no longer have the opportunity to be saved.
      4. This is a warning for people to stop trying the patience of the Lord.
      5. They need to come to Him now.
  1. THE MAN OF GOD – Genesis 6:8
    1. God Found a man.
      1. God approved of the life and habits of this man.
      2. Noah found grace in the eyes of God
        1. Gen. 5:29 – And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.
        2. This a prophecy
        3. His Father Lamech prophesied this character of Noah
      3. In the very next verse we fine three descriptions of Noah.
        1. Just man.
          1. Lawful, – God’s law
          2. righteous, – Looking to the righteousness of the coming Saviour.
          3. Faithful – “The Just shall live by faith” – Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38
        2. Perfect in his generations.
          1. Morally
            1. Principles of right and wrong
            2. Conforming of standards of behavior.
          2. Integrity – a completeness of standards established.
          3. Truth – a quality of speaking correct things. Not lying. Accuracy in speaking.
          4. Sincere – solemnly earnest in all good things.
          5. Upright – good and just.
          6. Complete – Highly skilled – having all necessary qualities
        3. Walked with God
          1. According to God’s will.
          2. Walked in truth
          3. Walked in Righteousness
          4. Walked in a manner that was pleasing to God.
          5. Walked in communion with God.
    2. Often people consider Biblical characters as spiritual giants.
      1. Noah was a just man that was committed to God.
      2. We can be just and committed to God.
      3. Noah wanted his life to be pleasing to God.
      4. We should desire that our life is pleasing to God.
      5. The problem for many is that they choose the way of the world over God.
      6. Because of this their lives do not please God.
      7. For some that is why their lives are falling apart.
      8. Galatians 6:7 says “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”
      9. This is not a mere possibility, this is a certainty.

CONCLUSION:

  • Noah faced difficult, even desperate days.
  • He had a special work to do.
  • He would be ridiculed and mocked.
  • He was preparing for judgment that was coming.
  • He was the man that God wanted for the job.
  • He was faithful and true.
  • We need this kind of man, this kind of woman that will prepare for the judgment of God.

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THANKFULNESS: INTROSPECTION’S PERSONAL STORY


William Andrew Dillard

Americans who claim to be Christians have a fairly strong conviction that they are indeed a thankful people. Perhaps that perception arises out of experiences of the past century. It was only one hundred years ago that the world was relieved by the ending of World War I, the war said to be the bloodiest of all wars. With that war ending, the nation entered an era of unparalleled prosperity in the roaring twenties. But so, soon was the rug yanked out from under the nation with the financial collapse of 1929, followed by a decade-long, Great Depression. Next, came World War II, then the Korean conflict, and Vietnam. Through these monumental events also came industrial, educational, and technological break-through in rapid advancement. The inflationary measures that now loom as a doomsday pitfall, was viewed as a blessing a half century ago, When, at last, people had some money. Production of material things flooded the markets for people to buy. There came new cars, new houses, new clothes, and a million other things. People were happy. People were thankful. Really?
Some pundit said that “America is the only country on earth where people will trample you to get to annual sales items on the day after they proclaimed they were truly thankful for what they have.” Somehow, that paints a mental picture that is oxymoronic, and far from the humble, grateful spirit – the attitude of gratitude – so prominent among the early pilgrims. They knew it was only by the grace of God that they survived the harsh obstacles of life in an undeveloped land.
But thankfulness is not an attitude franchised by the poor, deprived, and/or oppressed upon their achieving better circumstances. It is rather a vastly important plank in the platform of wisdom to those who seize and employ its model. Whether poor or wealthy, ignorant or educated, ill or healthy, the blessings of the Almighty are superabundant to those who look for them. And, the look need not be far. A peek deep down inside at a view restricted to the individual and God tells it all, and it does not lie. What is the scene? Is it spoiled, selfish longing for some self-exalting acquisition of popularity, power, or material thing that will ultimately contribute to ruin? Is it gratefulness to God for life itself? Is it the mountainous blessings afforded God’s children, and a heart of thankful realization upon confronting or hearing of so many unfortunate cases which evoke a soft, sincere, whisper: “There, but by the grace of God go I.” Truly, those who know Jesus the Christ on a personal basis should be the most thankful people on the planet. Introspection! How does it tell your story?

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THE SUPREME CHARACTERISTIC


 

Author: William Andrew Dillard

 

Parson to Person

In the comics, Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck’s uncle, was extremely wealthy. He had a swimming pool filled with money into which he would gleefully dive and throw bills and coins into the air. Certainly, this is the antithesis of the spiritual world, but there is a comparison. Think with me about it.

From the essential, initial acquisition of the new birth, there flows a virtually endless bounty of spiritual blessings and acquisitions for the child of God. The Bible is simply chocked full of them, and they are all so good. They are good because they come from the Father of lights with whom there is no shadow of turning, and Who is the giver of every perfect gift. James 1:17

Identifying and amplifying on a list of these many things would take books of articles longer than this one. Yet, of all the things God has for His people to enjoy, the greatest is love. Love is extoled above charismatic gifts in the great love chapter of the Bible, I Corinthians 13.

Love is the core of Christianity: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Thus, love is the foundational platform of the very possibility of our existence. But there is more!

When compared to other, great abiding characteristics, it is learned that faith is destined to end. It will give way to sight. Moreover, hope is also destined for extinction. It will give way to reality. But love is destined to never end. Why? Because, God is love! I John 4:8 Therefore, to love with a high and holy love as only God’s people among men can do, is to know and to share the very characteristic of God Himself. That love is life at its best, the evidence of God living and working in and through us.

Uncle Scrooge can have his pool of money. It is a fleeting, perishing part of a sinful world, but he who has true love enjoys a bit of heaven on earth, and is destined to know it in its fullest, uninterrupted form in eternity. I am ecstatic about being a Bible-believing Christian, enjoying the supreme characteristic!

 

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HELP, SIDEBOARDS NEEDED


Author – William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person
What am I ever going to do with all the blessings being heaped upon me? I live in a sinful body, under a sinful system. But the grace of the altogether lovely Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus by which I am eternally saved has also led me down the narrow road which His Word affirms to be correct. From other pathways, the moans and groans of sinners in the pain and agony of a life gone awry play loud and clear from community to global scenes. How I wish they knew Whom I know; what I know, and had the blessings I experience every day.
When one walks in the narrow path of the Lord, the blessing attendant to that life abound on every side. They become numerous, even mountainous in abundance. the Psalmist said, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation, Selah” Psalm 69:18 In the maze of normal life events, he cautioned himself and us to not get lost in temporal things saying, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2.
Most everyone has a story to tell about someone they know who has fallen in the quagmire of sin, so why would I not be next? I think of His benefits toward me. I was given godly parents; exposed to the Word early and consistently. I have a loving Savior Who died for me. I have a faithful wife and dear children and grandchildren who love me and look up to me. I have a ministry that God called me to perform faithfully. I have a loving church to preach to and who hears my weekly messages. I live in a country where I am still free to worship God as the Bible teaches me I should. I have the blessed privilege of investing time, money, and life into His service, and He tells me that investment will net one hundredfold. The reality of my life is: Help! I need sideboards to contain the abundance of blessings that just keep on coming.
It is little wonder then that Jesus said, “ Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38. How true it is! I am a very blessed man!
My prayer for you is that you will be blessed more than I am. If you think you are not so blessed, please stop now and meditate on Psalm One. It will put you on the pathway of life that requires sideboards. Even then, your containment capacity will not be sufficient.

Sideboards for Seniors

Sideboards for Seniors

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Confident Prayer


 

1 John 5:14, 15

 

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” 1 John 5:14.

 

Some have preached that God does not want you poor; He does not want you sick. Evidently, Lazarus, the beggar, covered in sores and Paul, the sick apostle, did not hear that message. Paul surrendered to God’s will and experienced satisfaction in the face of his many trials (2 Cor. 12:10).

 

In 1 John 5:14, John explains that the confidence must rest in the source of the blessings. We have had people promise us something, and we didn’t even consider it possible that the promise was valid because we didn’t trust the integrity of the promiser. In the heat of adversity, some make promises they know they can never fulfill.

 

We cannot always heal every hurt and carry every burden. Just like with Paul, often adversity is God’s best teacher. Sometimes all we can do is pray and hold the hand of the hurting while God carries them forward. Paul’s confidence came from personal experience: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthenenth me” (Phil. 4:11-13).

 

The confidence must be in Him, not in our ability to back Him into a corner and use twisted Scriptures to force God to come through with the desires of our heart.

 

 

Just Saying

 

Confiding in the confidant increases confidence and security.

 

Robert Brock

 

 

 

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Truth About Clean and Unclean


 

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” Romans 14:17.

 

There is a certain chocolate-covered peanut candy with a hard candy shell-—that does not melt in your hands—I absolutely enjoy eating it. If there were  a small bowl of this candy in front of me, I will probably eat the entire bowl. If there were a fifty-gallon drum full of this candy in front of me, I would probably not be able to prevent myself from trying to eat it all. It is a weakness, I admit it.  Consequently, we do not keep that candy in the house consistently. I know that it is essentially harmless in small quantities. But I also know that my own natural tendency is to turn something harmless into an opportunity for uncontrolled gluttony, which would create a problem between me and my God. I must determine whether the exposure to temptation is worth the risk to sin.

 

In the text, Paul explained that he was convinced there was nothing unclean in and of itself. That is, there is no food or drink one could ingest in moderation that would affect his standing before God as His child. But in our human weakness, when it comes to food and drink, we need to understand there are at least two different kinds of people. (1) There are those who are tempted to overindulge by certain foods or drinks. (2) There are others who believe in their hearts that if they indulged in certain foods or drinks at all, they would be doing something wrong.  How do we get along and grow in the kingdom of God? We go out of our way to make sure we do not put stumbling blocks in each others’ paths and make the kingdom of God about food and drink when there are far greater blessings available—righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you deny yourself physical pleasure to enjoy

 

spiritual blessings today?

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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Rules For Happy Living


6. Pray everyday. Reserve a time in your day to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His guidance.(Luke 18:1)

7. Do at least one Good Deed each day. Plant the seed of “goodness” and it will produce after its kind. (Acts 10:38)

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