Words of Grace

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29, KJV)

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit…) (James 4:6, Amplified)

That your words may minister grace unto the hearer. The Lord asks us and anoints us to speak words of grace. Words that minister the power needed to do what God has called us to do.

God has called us to be like Him. Our words are to minister grace, because His words minister grace.

How do you access grace? By faith. It is by faith that it might be by grace (Romans 4:16)

I once asked the Lord for the grace to walk in love. His response was an instant insight into how Jesus walked as the Son of God in this earth. Here is what He showed me.

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22, KJV)

Jesus believed what God said about Him. He believed that He was God’s Son. He believed that God loved Him. He believed that God was pleased with Him. He had faith in God and in God’s Words to Him and by that faith, He accessed the grace to walk it out in this earth.

In Luke 4:18-21 we also see that He believed that the Holy Spirit was upon Him and that He was anointed and by faith He accessed the grace (the power of the Holy Spirit) to walk it out.

Now the Bible says that I am born of God’s seed and God is Love. I am born of God, I am born of Love. The Bible also states that God’s love has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit.

What happens when I believe this? I access the grace to walk it out in this earth.

This is not only true of the few scriptures I have shared in this post. It is true for all the things God has spoken to us in His Word.

Believe what He says and by faith access the grace in His Words to walk it out in this earth.

Treasure His Word

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38, KJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1, KJV)

You can’t separate God and His Word; according to John 1:1 they are one in the same. To love God with all your heart, soul and mind, you must love His Word.

God gave us a commandment to love Him and to love others as we do ourselves. I have found that as I walk in this command an amazing thing happens. When I love God His power begins to flow in my life and when I love others His power begins to flow through me to others. What happens when we love His Word?

If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend. And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you-and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. (Mark 4:23-24, Amplified)

The more attention you give to His Word, the more you will receive from His Word. In Luke 12:34 Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Is His Word a treasure to you?

Oh how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:97-103, KJV)

I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (Psalm 119:113-114, KJV)

…I love Your commandments more than [resplendent] gold, yes, more than [perfectly] refined gold. Therefore I esteem as right all, yes, all Your precepts… (Psalm 119:127-128, Amplified)

I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. (Psalm 119:162, KJV)

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalm 119:165, KJV)

Your testimonies have I kept [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]; I love them exceedingly! (Psalm 119:167, KJV)

Can I ask you a question? Did you love reading each scripture, or did you quickly skim over them, because you’ve read them before? Remember with what measure you mete it will be measured back to you. Treasure His Word and It will open It’s treasures to you.

With God

This precious Bible that I hold never ceases to amaze me. It is so intricate. Just when you think you’ve seen all there is to see in a scripture, you turn it ever so slightly, the Light hits it at a different angle and you see a whole new facet of God and His word. No single word can be taken for granted. Even a little word like the word ‘with’ tells us so much and can make a big difference in our lives.

First, lets take a look at the meaning of this little word. The American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828) in defining the word ‘with’ says, “The primary sense is to press, or to meet, to unite…”

Yesterday I visited a precious woman in the hospital. She was very discouraged and very depressed about her situation. Just that morning the doctor had told her what she was going to have to do to fully recover. It looked very much like an impossible, uphill battle. She was sure she couldn’t do it. But I knew she could. Why? Because of God. He makes all the difference in every situation.

For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37, KJV)

With God. I shared with this precious lady that as impossible as her situation appears to be, if she would ask God and trust God to take hold with her, the impossible just became possible. He never asked her to do this alone. He never wanted her to do this alone.

We see men and women doing impossible things all throughout the Bible. How did they do them? With God, united to Him.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:4-5, KJV)

Without Him we can do nothing, but with Him all things are possible.

Pursuing God

I was recently talking to a friend about our support of James Robison’s ministry, Life Outreach International. I mentioned James’ book My Father’s Face and how it so changed my life when I first read it many years ago. She asked me to explain, but I couldn’t remember what it was that so affected me, so I decided to reread the book. I’m so very glad I did.

This morning as I was reading, I came across a paragraph I wanted to share with you.

People have said to me from time to time, “James, you seem to be able to hear God’s voice in a special way. You talk about conversing with God as you would about leaning over the back fence to talk to a neighbor. I just don’t hear God speak the way you do.”

No, not everyone will. But I believe with all my heart that every believer can. In fact, God told a prophet of old that if we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him. In my life, missing my own father’s voice as I did, I so hungered for conversation with my heavenly Father that I have pursued and pursued it. And as I did, I found that He had been pursing me and calling me all along. (excerpt taken from My Father’s Face, by James Robison, Multnomah Books 1997)

I have found that to be so true in my own life and in the lives of others who have hungered after God. Finding their deepest need for fellowship unsatisfied by anything or anyone else.

Often times I have seen husbands and wives, parents with their children, and friends, sabotage their relationships, because they are trying to get from people what only God can give. Some examples are trying to get their identity, security, constant companionship and perfect, unconditional love from others.

I discovered long ago that as wonderful and satisfying the relationships in my life could be nothing compares to my relationship with Him. He is the source of my strength, my life, my joy and the overflow of that is what makes my life and my relationship with others so wonderful.

In His book James Robison mentioned a very important key to this kind of fellowship found in Romans 10:17.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV)

Hearing comes by the Word. Start there and never depart from there. Listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to you through His Word and then act on it. And you will find that more and more you will recognize His voice in the scriptures and then when He speaks to you in the car, in the grocery store, in the mall, you will recognize His voice from those times in His Word.

But you will also have the word to judge whether it’s God or not. I’ve heard Him say things that so challenged my theology that many times I’ve asked Him, “Show me that in the Word.” Then scripture after scripture would come to me confirming what He said. Or the pastor would minister on that very thing from the Word of God. Or a friend would put a book in my hand that explained that very thing on the basis of scripture.

Every time you pick up your Bible to read it, don’t just pick it up to check off your daily reading assignment. Don’t pick it up just trying to get information. But pick it up pursing God. Pursue God in the scriptures and you will soon find that through the scriptures He is pursuing you.

Hearing God

While skiing in Colorado. I noticed on the slopes some people wearing red vests. On getting closer, I was able to read the words on them: BLIND SKIER.

This both gripped and puzzled me. I had a hard enough time skiing with two good eyes – and here were people with no eyesight skiing successfully. How did they do it? I had to find out!

The answer was that each one had a guide whose instructions the skier trusted totally, a guide who gave simple, specific instructions and directions. The guide skied beside, behind, or in front of the blind person-but always in a place where they could communicate with each other. I found out that there were two basic forms of communication the guide used: the tapping together of ski poles to assure the blind person that the guide was there; and the speaking of simple instructions about what to do next. “Go right. Turn left. Stop. Slow. Skier coming up on your right.” The only responsibility of the blind skier was to exhibit complete trust and immediate obedience to instructions.

Life is much like skiing downhill blind. We cannot see even five seconds into the future. We cannot see the struggles and tears to come-or all the other “skiers” who might run into us or we into them.

But God has given us the Holy Spirit to be our Guide through life. To walk with us and talk with us. Our only responsibility is to listen and obey. Before we can obey, we must listen. To listen, we need to know the voice of God. (Excerpt from Hearing God, by Peter Lord, Baker Books 1996)

We need to know the voice of God and John 10 tells us that we can do just that.

…the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (John 10:3, KJV)

…the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10:4, KJV)

Many years ago I heard Pat Robertson explain how he knew the voice of God and I have remembered his response to this day. He said that when he picks up the phone and hears his wife’s voice on the other end, he doesn’t have to ask who it is. He knows it’s her, because he recognizes her voice. And he said he recognizes her voice because he talks with her everyday.

Over the next few days I want to talk about recognizing the voice of God. He wants to be your Guide through life. Life doesn’t have to just happen to you. You can train your ear to recognize His voice and He will lead you and guide you. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 (Amplified) what kind of life we will have if we follow His lead.

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

Are you enjoying life? Are you listening for His voice and quick to obey His instructions? He has good plans for you and He will lead you to them if you will just follow Him (see Jeremiah 29:11).

The first and foremost place you are going to hear His voice is in His scriptures, the Bible. Spend time everyday reading His word and listening for His instruction to you through those words and be quick to obey. 

The more you respond to His voice in the scriptures, the more you will train your ear to recognize His voice. He will never tell you anything different from what He has already said in His word.

My Determined Purpose

For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death… (Philippians 3:10, Amplified)

This world holds so many attractions and distractions. There are so many things to do. So much knowledge to gain. So many goals to meet, that we could very easily lose sight of what is important in this life and that is knowing God.

As I look at my Bible this morning I am amazed at not just what the Words of this Book tell us, but what It’s very existence tells us. It is wise counsel from a very present and loving God. It is instructions from Our Commander and Chief. It is as some say an owner’s manual for life. However, this morning I see something else. I see a book about God and His ways. I see that He wants to be known.

The Bible shares accounts of the lives of men who made knowing Him their goal, their determined purpose. Paul was one of them and he was chosen to share the Gospel with the Gentiles and to write much of the New Testament.

Abraham became the father of faith and of God’s chosen people. Noah built an ark and his family was saved. Moses led God’s people out of Egypt. Joshua led them into the promised land. Joseph led two nations to plenty during an extended time of famine. David slew the giant and became a mighty king.

These men knew Him in ways that were most uncommon. And they went on to do most uncommon things. And it wasn’t just about knowing that God exists. It wasn’t just about knowing what God had done for them. It was about knowing Him.

Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly]… (Exodus 33:13, Amplified)

Invitations

In my post from two days ago I shared on making time to spend with God. I do encourage people to set a time aside for God each day, a time to read His Word and pray, a time to sit on the Potter’s wheel and be changed. Especially if you find yourself doing this less and less as the responsibilities of life begin to crowd in. However, I also shared about making time for God in every moment of your day. Today I want to show you how. It’s very simple you see. All you have to do is answer God’s invitations.

God sends invitations? Oh, yes indeed.

Just as I’m waking up each morning I’ll hear a song, a scripture, a word that starts me thinking on Him. And each morning I recognize these as “invitations” to spend time with Him. I’ll get out of bed and put on that song, read that scripture or start searching the scriptures with the word He spoke in my heart that morning. I don’t have a set time anymore, but I do spend time with Him every morning. I simply respond to His invitation.

He always wakes me before anyone else in the house, well before I have to start my day. How many times have you awakened well before the alarm and thought about spending time with Him only to roll over and go back to sleep?

When I wake up at 2:00 a.m. I watch for a moment to see if He is inviting me. If I don’t hear anything or sense His tugging in my heart, I roll over and go back to sleep. But if He is wanting to spend time with me I go and meet with Him no matter what the time.

I enjoy spending time with Him in these early morning hours and then crawling back into bed thinking about Him.

His invitations don’t just come in those early morning hours. As I go about my day, I’ll hear a song, I’ll think of a scripture, I’ll hear a word in my heart and once again, I simply respond to His invitation. The songs invite me to worship Him. The scriptures invite me to spend time in His Word. And often, the songs and the scriptures lead me into prayer. Praying about needs as He leads, but more often than not, just talking to Him.

I mentioned in one post about talking to Him about the butterflies when they fly by. I see every butterfly as an invitation to talk to Him. I see every sunset and every rainbow as a launching pad for our next conversation. I talk to Him about the flowers, the birds and the trees. I talk to Him about the pretty things I see in the stores.

After each mistake I make there’s always on open invitation to receive His mercy and to crawl in His lap with 1 John 1:9 and repent and be changed.

At the end of the day I have spent much time in prayer, much time in His word, much time in worship and not because I planned it, but simply because I recognized and responded to the invitations.