For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8, NKJV.)
We serve such a loving, gracious and generous God. He loves you so much that there isn’t anything He wouldn’t do in order to have a relationship with you. The Bible tells us that sin separates man from God. But God doesn’t want to be separated from us. That’s why He sent His Son into the world—to pay the penalty for sin so that you and I could live in eternity with Him.
So many people today think they have to earn their way to heaven. They think they have to be “good enough” or “do the right thing” in order to be accepted by God. They want to “clean up” before they come to Him. But notice what today’s verse says—salvation is a gift from God. You can’t earn a gift. You don’t pay for it. You can only receive it by faith. If you’ve never made Jesus the Lord of your life, I encourage you to receive this free gift. Let Him fill you with His eternal peace and joy so that you can live the abundant life He has for you.
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Power of grace
By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored harder than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God which is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.
This is plain, for example, in 1 Corinthians 15:10. Paul describes grace as the enabling power of his work. It is not simply the pardon of his sins, it is the power to press on in obedience.
Therefore the effort we make to obey God is not an effort done in our own strength, but “in the strength which God supplies, that in everything God may get the glory” (1 Peter 4:11). It is the obedience of faith.
Paul confirms this in 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12 by calling our acts of goodness “works of faith” and by saying that the glory this brings to Jesus is “according to the grace of God” because it happens “by [his] power”:
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfill every good resolve and work of faith by [his] power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The obedience that gives God pleasure is produced by the power of God’s grace through faith. The same dynamic is at work at every stage of the Christian life. The power of God’s grace that saves through faith (Ephesians 2:8) is the same power of God’s grace that sanctifies through faith.
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
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Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
— John 15:13 (NIV)
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I wonder if too often I say, ‘Jesus is the light of the world,’ while forgetting that Christ also said, ‘You are the light of the world.’
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Samuel L Jackson has a clause in all his movie contracts stating that he gets 2 days off a week to play golf and the producers have to pay for it.
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In exchange for Pepsi products, Russia gave Pepsi 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer.
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