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"Trophies of Grace"

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Ephesians 2:4-10

No one can say he or she deserves heaven, as each of us is a trophy of God's grace. Your life and mine are the trophies of God on display for all the world so that they can see the different victories that our lives represent. Not our performance mind you, but God's in Christ. Your life and mine are testimonies of the goodness of God in sending His Son to die upon the Cross because we all know (at least I do), if I got what I deserved from God it would be far from heaven, it would be pure hell. Each of our lives tell a unique story about the height and width and depth of God's love in Christ, and to what extreme He went too to rescue us. Best of all, our God story reveals that God's love is relentless in that He didn't quit pursuing us and that He never gives up on us even after He found us.

These last couple of weeks since starting a new series in the book of Galatians, I have had conversations with numerous people who expressed feeling inadequate to share Jesus with others because of our own sin and failure (since coming to Christ and not just before we met Christ). The devil is really good at making us feel we are disqualified from sharing our God story with others when our lives are anything less than perfect.

Our testifying of the Lord's goodness is not diminished in any way because we confess our sins and failure to the world. In all actuality it is only heightened because it clearly sends the message to those that would be critical of our lives or of God that we don't deserve heaven is that the only possible reason then for our salvation has to be the grace of God apart from anything we have ever done good or bad. Yes, loved one, salvation is and always has been by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!

Its what the apostle Paul was speaking about in the book of Romans when he wrote, "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Did you catch that, loved one, where sin abounded grace did all the more. There is only one sin you and I can commit that God's grace cannot forgive. The only way to be beyond the grace and forgiveness of God is to reject the only means of salvation God has offered the world, and that is to die without ever receiving God's grace in the first place, by refusing so great a salvation made possible by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. What I hope you understand today, friend, is that God is better at saving than we are at sinning, and that Jesus is a greater Savior than we are sinners!

Don't let your fickleness, nor your fears or even your failures prevent you from exalting the Lord. Remember, "where sin abounds grace does all the more." Proclaim His goodness every chance you get no matter what or how you feel about you in the moment, because in reality it's not about me or you, its about Jesus. We will never be worthy of heaven apart from Jesus, never. It really is Jesus + nothing = salvation.

"Trophies of Grace" is what we are but using athletics as an example, a trophy of God's grace is more than being "inspirational". Think of being a trophy of God's grace like being the "Comeback Player Of The Year" which is an award given out in sports usually to a player who was injured or suffered some terrible setback in their athletic career that lead pretty much everyone into thinking that they would never be able to play again, let alone at the level they once had enjoyed. Never underestimate the restoration power of God who has the ability to heal and make all things new, or as the word "restore" means in the Greek language, "to be better than new!" Talk about God's grace being amazing!

Experiencing Christ's mercy and grace, His resurrection power in our lives is not only what saved us to begin with, its what keeps us even now and is also what draws us back to Him when we fail miserably. God's amazing grace is what makes us trophies of God's grace and what makes it possible to receive as it were the "Comeback Player of The Year" honors. Never forget, loved one, Jesus is in the business of restoring broken lives, He came to set the captives free. God is good at rescuing, if you need to be saved just cry out to Him!

Remember this today, it's not how hard you fall in life that matters most but how high you bounce back that counts. Proverbs 24:16 says it best, "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity." Keep getting up! It's not trying harder it's trusting more that matters! Don't quit, don't give in to the lies of the devil, there is victory ahead if you keep your eyes on Jesus and keep trusting in and relying upon Him.

You can win again, loved one, you can experience the fullness of life that is in Christ because it's not based upon what you do or don't do. Its based on what Christ has already accomplished for you! We receive our victory when we receive Christ because it was from Calvary's Cross Jesus cried out, "It is finished." No one can add too or take away from what Jesus did for us! The victory is ours in Jesus today! 

Let your life stand as a testimony of God's amazing grace, even when you fail and fall down. Get back up, and remember, you are a trophy of His grace! Share your God story and the depths to which Jesus went to find and to rescue you! You will be encouraged, others will find hope and be inspired and best of all, God gets all the glory!

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 15:57


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Monday, 10 December 2018