Tag: Grace (home)

The early Christians did not say in dismay: "Look what the world has come to," but in delight, "Look what has come to the world." They saw not merely the ruin, but the Resource for the reconstruction of that ruin. They saw not merely that sin did abound, but that grace did much more abound. On that assurance the pivot of history swung from blank despair, loss of moral nerve, and fatalism, to faith and confidence that at last sin had met its match.

permalink source: E. Stanley Jones, in Abundant Living
tags: Sin, Grace

God does not much mind bad grammar, but He does not take any particular pleasure in it.

permalink source: Erasmus
tags: Grades, School, Grace

Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.

permalink source: Philips Brooks
tags: Character, Commitment, Prayer, Grace

Jesus came to raise the dead. The only qualification for the gift of the Gospel is to be dead. You don't have to be smart. You don't have to be good. You don't have to be wise. You don't have to be wonderful. You don't have to be anything...you just have to be dead. That's it.

permalink source: Robert Farrar Capon
tags: Salvation, Grace, Jesus, Gospel

This is the parable of the prodigal son: consider reading it and making them guess Feeling footloose and frisky, a feather-brained fellow Forced his fond father to fork over the farthings. And flew far to foreign fields And fabulously frittered his fortune with faithless friends. Fleeced by his fellows in folly, and facing famine, He found himself a feed-finder in a filthy farmyard. Fairly famishing, he fain would've filled his frame, With foraged food from fodder fragments. "Fooey, my father's flunkies fair far finer," The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled, frankly facing facts. Frustrated by failure, and filled with foreboding, He fled forthwith to his family. Falling at his father's feet, he forlornly fumbled, "Father, I've Flunked, and fruitlessly forfeited family fellowship favor," The farsighted father, forestalling further flinching, Frantically flagged the flunkies. "Fetch a fatling from the flock and fix a feast." The fugitive's fault-finding brother frowned On fickle forgiveness of former folderol. But the faithful father figured, "Filial fidelity is fine, but the fugitive is found! What forbids fervent festivity? Let the flags be unfurled! Let fanfares flare" Father's forgiveness formed the foundation For the former fugitive's future fortitude!

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Grace

The Grahams' Unexpected Hospitality Former televangelist Jim Bakker speaks of events that occurred immediately after his release from prison: When I was transferred to my last prison, Franklin [Graham] said he wanted to help me out when I got out-with a job, a house to live in, and a car. It was my fifth Christmas in prison. I thought it over and said, "Franklin, you can't do this. It will hurt you. The Grahams don't need my baggage." He looked at me and he said, "Jim, you were my friend in the past and you are my friend now. If anyone doesn't like it, I'm looking for a fight." So when I got out of prison the Grahams sponsored me and paid for a house for me to live in and gave me a car to drive. The first Sunday out, Ruth Graham called the halfway house I was living in at the Salvation Army and asked permission for me to go to the Montreat Presbyterian Church with her that Sunday morning. When I got there, the pastor welcomed me and sat me with the Graham family. There were like two whole rows of them-I think every Graham aunt and uncle and cousin was there. The organ began playing and the place was full except for a seat next to me. Then the doors opened and in walked Ruth Graham. She walked down that aisle and sat next to inmate 07407-058. I had only been out of prison 48 hours, but she told the world that morning that Jim Bakker was her friend. Afterwards, she had me up to their cabin for dinner. When she asked me for my addresses, I pulled this envelope out of my pocket to look for them. In prison you're not allowed to have a wallet, so you just carry an envelope. She asked, "Don't you have a wallet?" And I said, "Well, yeah, this is my wallet." After five years of brainwashing in prison you think an envelope is a wallet. She walked into the other room and came back and said, "Here's one of Billy's wallets. He doesn't need it. You can have it."

permalink source: "The Re-education of Jim Bakker," Christianity Today (12-7-98)
tags: Forgiveness, Grace, Hospitality

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

permalink source: Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471)
tags: Forgiveness, Sin, Grace

If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon makes you furious; if you like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind.

permalink source: Irving Becker
tags: Love, Grace, Patience, Anger

In the spring of 2002, I left work early so I could have some uninterrupted study time before my final exam in the Youth Ministry class at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Missouri. When I got to class, everybody was doing their last-minute studying. The teacher came in and said he would review with us before the test. Most of his review came right from the study guide, but there were some things he was reviewing that I had never heard. When questioned about it, he said they were in the book and we were responsible for everything in the book. We couldn't argue with that. Finally it was time to take the test. "Leave them face down on the desk until everyone has one, and I'll tell you to start," our professor, Dr. Tom Hufty, instructed. When we turned them over, to my astonishment every answer on the test was filled in. My name was even written on the exam in red ink. The bottom of the last page said: "This is the end of the exam. All the answers on your test are correct. You will receive an A on the final exam. The reason you passed the test is because the creator of the test took it for you. All the work you did in preparation for this test did not help you get the A. You have just experienced…grace." Dr. Hufty then went around the room and asked each student individually, "What is your grade? Do you deserve the grade you are receiving? How much did all your studying for this exam help you achieve your final grade?" Then he said, "Some things you learn from lectures, some things you learn from research, but some things you can only learn from experience. You've just experienced grace. One hundred years from now, if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, your name will be written down in a book, and you will have had nothing to do with writing it there. That will be the ultimate grace experience."

permalink source: Denise Banderman, Hannibal, Missouri (from PreachingToday.com)
tags: Salvation, Grace, Gospel

Recently I witnessed an unusual accountability partnership at my church. In an effort to break his habit of using profanity, Paul started meeting with another guy from church, and they set up an aggressive plan for holiness. Each Sunday, Paul would report to William how many times he cussed during the week, and he'd put $5 in the offering plate for each incident. The first week cost Paul $100. Although following weeks improved somewhat, he wasn't having the success he wanted and was losing a lot of hard-earned cash. After the fourth week, William told Paul he had unilaterally changed the deal for the coming week, but he wouldn't tell Paul how. Paul wanted to know, but all William would say was, "Trust me. It will cost you both less and more." The following Sunday before worship, Paul was looking a bit down, obviously having failed again. William put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Paul, this will cost you both less and more. It's called grace." At that he took out a check made out to the church, dated and signed by William. Only the amount was blank. "Your sin still costs, but for you it's free. Just fill in the numbers. And next week there will be more grace." That first week of grace cost William $55, but the second only cost him $20. There was no third week. It cost Paul too much to fill in those checks, so he quit sinning.

permalink source: Bill White, Paramount, California
tags: Grace, Repentance, Accountability, Conviction

I have a small collection of baseball cards. The card that is worth the most is called "Future Stars" and is valued at $100. There are three players on this card. The first is Jeff Schneider. Schneider played 1 year of professional baseball, pitched in 11 games, and gave up 13 earned runs in those 11 games. The second player is Bobby Bonner, who played 4 years of baseball but only appeared in 61 games, with 8 runs batted in, and 0 home runs. The third "Future Star" played 21 years for the Baltimore Orioles and appeared in 3,001 games. He came to bat 11,551 times, collected 3,184 hits and 431 home runs, and batted in 1,695 runs. His name is Cal Ripken, Jr. Now imagine if you met Bobby Bonner, and he shook your hand and boasted, "Did you know that my baseball card is worth over $100?" You would laugh because you know the worth of the card has nothing to do with him. That's how it is when we come to Christ and point to our good works, our statistics, and ask, "Is this good enough?" If you want to hold up your stats to God, you don't have a chance. But when you put your faith in Christ, his statistics become yours, and your baseball card becomes worth a lot because of someone else's stats. Bobby Bonner and Jeff Schneider's baseball card is worth $100, not because of their statistics, but because of what someone else has done. Citation:

permalink source: Shaun Brown, Newport News, Virginia
tags: Salvation, Grace, Faith

Why is forgiving a man's sins a greater miracle than healing his body? There's a lot to it, but almost everything can be seen through this lens: modern medicine can duplicate the physical miracle but not the spiritual one.

permalink source: my thoughts
tags: Forgiveness, Grace, Jesus

New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof chose two Cambodian prostitutes and attempted to buy their freedom from their brothel owners. He selected young women who were there against their will, willing to tell their story, and actually wanted to leave prostitution. The first woman, Srey Neth, was a simple transaction. For $150, Kristof left with the girl and a receipt. Srey Mom's situation proved more difficult, since the brothel owner demanded more money. Kristof writes: After some grumpy negotiation, the owner accepted $203 as the price for Srey Mom's freedom. But then Srey Mom told me that she had pawned her cellphone and needed $55 to get it back. "Forget about your cellphone," I said. "We've got to get out of here." Srey Mom started crying. I told her that she had to choose her cellphone or her freedom, and she ran back to her tiny room in the brothel and locked the door. With Srey Mom sobbing in her room and refusing to be freed without her cellphone, the other prostitutes—her closest friends—began pleading with her to be reasonable. Even the owner of the brothel begged her to "Grab this chance while you can," but Srey Mom hysterically refused to leave. Srey Mom only stopped crying when Kristov agreed to buy back the cellphone too. Then she asked for her pawned jewelry to be part of the deal. Kristof reflected upon the complex emotions making the decision to leave the brothel so difficult. I have purchased the freedom of two human beings so I can return them to their villages. But will emancipation help them? Will their families and villages accept them? Or will they, like some other girls rescued from sexual servitude, find freedom so unsettling that they slink back to slavery in the brothels? We'll see. Sometimes we may resemble this woman. Though Christ sets us free from sin and death, how often we choose to live in slavery rather than newness of life. Citation: Nicholas Kristof, "Bargaining for Freedom," NYTimes.com http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/21/opinion/21KRIS.html?th (1-21-04); submitted by John Beukema, Western Springs, Illinois

permalink source: Nicholas Kristof (got from PreachingToday.com)
tags: Sin, Grace, Freedom

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

permalink source: Thomas a Kempis
tags: Grace, Anger, Judging, Self-awareness

Right now I’m having so much trouble with D.L. Moody, that I don’t have time to criticize my friends.

permalink source: D.L. Moody
tags: Criticism, Grace

I never blame fortune -- there are too many complicated situations in life. But, I am absolutely merciless toward lack of effort.

permalink source: F. Scott Fitzgerald
tags: Grace, Laziness

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out, and your dog would go in.

permalink source: Mark Twain
tags: Heaven, Grace

In Nikos Kazantzakis's novel Christ Recrucified, there is a scene in which four village men confess their sins to one another in the presence of the Pope. One of the men, Michelis, cries out, "How can God let us live on the earth? Why doesn't he kill us to purify creation?" "Because, Michelis," the Pope answered, "God is a potter; he works in mud."

permalink source: Rick Ezell, The 7 Sins of Highly Defective People (Kregel, 2003)
tags: Forgiveness, Sin, Grace

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Mathematics, Grace, Cross

Admonished for his lack of familiarity with modern science, the Indian mystic Sundar Singh asked, “What is science?” “Natural selection, you know, and the survival of the fittest,” he was told. “Ah,” Sundar Singh replied, “but I am more interested in divine selection, and the survival of the unfit.”

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Science, Grace

Our Goodness Is Reflected

Quite often self-complacency is shattered by some terrible fall or by repeated failure until we come to see that we have no more claim to possess goodness than a room to possess light. These things are not our own, but received from Jesus and enjoyed only in proportion as we abide in Him and He in us.

permalink source: F.B. Meyer
tags: Grace

Do vs Done

Run, John, run. The law commands But gives neither feet nor hands. Better news the gospel brings; It bids us fly and gives us wings.

permalink source: John Bunyan
tags: Grace

God Uses Broken Things

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume . . . it is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.

permalink source: Vance Havner
tags: Grace