For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
“Amazing” does not occur in the KJ Bible, but “grace” occurs 170 times. Grace means: the unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor extended toward another person. That’s how we are made right with God. In order for grace to be extended toward us, God also extends to us His forgiveness.
How, then, do we obtain the unmerited favor of God? Is it simply bestowed upon everyone on earth? No, the grace of God is not bestowed upon all men. However, the grace of God is extended toward every man on earth. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Tit 2:11-13)
God gives us His saving grace without payment or works of any kind. But the grace that God gives us is a working grace that brings about a changed life. The condition to our receiving the grace and forgiveness of God for our sins, is repentance. A change of mind that results in a change of direction, a change of attitude and conduct.
When Jesus declared His upcoming crucifixion, He said: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. (Joh 12:32-33) He said He would draw all men unto himself. No need to make a hard thing out it. He will draw all men to Himself. None will be overlooked.
It is important to realize that to die a death by crucifixion, to be lifted up, was not the normal way one would be put to death in Israel. They had many stones and they used them to kill the undesirables. Crucifixion had not always been used. It was a Roman invention and was perfected to make it effective in persuading people to obey Roman law.
Psalm 22 is known as the Messianic Psalm because it is a word picture of the crucifixion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. (Psa 22:14-16)
The Bible says of Him: For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. (Joh 19:36-38) Not a bone shall be broken!
It is important that His body was removed from the cross and sealed in a tomb. The Bible prophesied: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psa 16:10) This statement simply meant that His Father would not allow his body to rot in the grave as bodies normally do.
“Jesus said that at the cross He would draw all men to Himself. He did not mean everybody will be saved for He made it clear that some will be lost (Joh_5:28-29). If the drawing by the Son is the same as that of the Father (Joh_6:44), it means He will draw indiscriminately. Those saved will include not only Jews, but also those from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Rev_5:9; cf. Joh_10:16; Joh_11:52).” (Barnes)
Jesus said: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. (Joh 6:44-45)
Helping people get saved is not a matter of “talking them into it.” It is plain that the Spirit of God must draw people to be saved. We cannot do that. Our part is to witness to people and invite them to be saved. If the Spirit of God rides upon our words, it will go to their hearts and they will be drawn to Him.
It is by the amazing grace of God that we are drawn to Him and that we are saved. Paul declared that this is the message he preached: Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (Act 20:21)
Perhaps the best invitation song is: “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me; and that thou bidst be come to Thee, O Lamb of God I come! I Come!” Ω
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
FEBRUARY 21, 2017 – TUESDAY
A.M. Numbers 5-6 P.M. Mark 4:1-20
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MEMORY VERSE THIS MONTH: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (Hos 4:6-7)
SONG FOR TODAY:
Baritone (8:35) Amazing Grace (Story & Song) (Gaither Group)
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Health Tip: Chewing. My mother made noise about chewing after reading an article in the Nashville Banner. She said “the doctor who wrote the article says we need to chew each bite of our food forty times before we swallow it.” It was about 1940 and I was learning how to count. Might as well count how many times I’m chewing my food. Whew! That’s a lot of chewing! That was 76 years ago and I haven’t forgotten it. The doctors today who know and care may tell their patients to chew their food until it’s a thin paste and easy to swallow. If you want a sip of beverage or water after you swallow, that won’t hurt anything. You may need to drink a glass of water an hour before your meal.
The bad thing is to “woof” down our food with three chomps and a guzzle of coke. That’s bad. The short lunch breaks today have created the “woofing” habit in lots and lots of people. I give my mother credit for influencing me to be a “sipper” instead of a “guzzler” at meal time. Saliva is there for more than lubricating your tongue for talking. Saliva contains amylase, a digestive enzyme that works on plant foods; grains, breads, vegetables, etc. There may be more enzymes than this. Google it.
Chewing needs to be prolonged long enough to masticate the food and mix the enzymes with it. The stomach will then add its own mixture of acid and other digestants. If you need a little sip of drink after you swallow the food, that’s a good thing. Mixing a lot of liquid with unchewed food weakens the digestion. God knows a lot about making things and that includes how He made our digestive system. I have to believe that things work better when we cooperate with the Lord and His design. Ω