Grow In Grace

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Grow In Grace

Luke 11:38 “And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.”

A sure sign of the error of legalism is misplaced priorities, as we see here with these Pharisees. It is not recorded in Scripture that the Pharisees marveled at the wonderful works of Jesus. They were too busy looking for something to criticize, Mark 3:2. But they marveled at Jesus not washing His hands. This is a classic example of straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel, Matthew 23:24.

Those who seek to earn righteousness through keeping the Law are consumed with “doing,” while those who receive righteousness by faith are simply confessing what has already been done. This is a simple and yet profound difference. If we are still “doing” acts of holiness to get God to move in our lives, then we are still operating under a “Law” mentality that is not faith, Galatians 3:12. When we simply believe and confess what has already been provided through Christ, that’s grace.

A person who is living under the Law and a person who lives under grace should have very similar actions of holiness, but their motivations are completely opposite. The legalist has their attention on what they must do, while the person living by faith has his attention on what Christ has already done for him. For instance, the Scriptures teach us to confess with our mouths and believe with our hearts, and we will receive from God. The legalist thinks, That means I can get God to heal me by confessing, ‘By his stripes I am healed.’ However, the person who understands God’s grace will not confess the Word to get healed. They will confess, “By His stripes I am healed” because they really believe it has already been done.

Analyzing our “mind set” is the simplest way of discerning whether we are operating in true Bible faith or a legalistic counterfeit. If the motive for our actions is to be accepted with God, that’s legalism. If we live wholly out of faith and gratefulness for what God has already done, that’s grace. Grow in grace!

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Be Filled

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Be Filled

Luke 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

The Holy Spirit is a gift, Acts 2:38. You cannot be good enough to earn the gift of the Holy Spirit, but you do have to ask. This is speaking of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is subsequent to the born-again experience.

The Holy Spirit resides in our spirits, and once He comes, He doesn’t leave, John 14:16. There is an initial filling when the Holy Ghost first comes. However, His control and influence over our souls and body does fluctuate proportionally to how well we have our minds renewed to His will, Romans 12:2.

In that sense, we can be more full of the Holy Ghost than at other times, although in our spirits the presence and power of the Holy Spirit does not come and go. Therefore, even after we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, there will be times when our souls and bodies stray from the leadership of the Holy Spirit and we need, once again, to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

In Ephesians 5:18 believers are commanded to “be not drunk with wine…, but be filled with the Spirit.” Being filled with the Holy Spirit is in the present tense, making it a continual command for the believer. In the book of Acts, the same people who were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost were filled again. Most people don’t get drunk on just one drink.

Likewise, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not just a one-time experience. There is an initial filling of the Holy Spirit, but many subsequent fillings. Just as drunkenness can change a person’s personality and make him or her act totally different, so being filled with the Holy Spirit can make us act just like Jesus. Be filled with the Spirit today.

Our Loving Father

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Our Loving Father

Luke 11:11 “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?”

The most loving Father in the world cannot compare to our heavenly Father and the love He has for us. And yet, many times, we find it easier to believe in the willingness of a father or mother or mate to help us than in the willingness of God to use His power on our behalf. Relatively few people really doubt God’s ability, but rather, it is our doubt of His willingness to use His ability on our behalf that causes most people to do without. Jesus is assuring us that God’s love, and His willingness to demonstrate that love, is far greater than we can ever experience in any human relationship.

The Lord didn’t just save us out of pity or a sense of obligation as our Creator. He saved us because He loved us, John 3:16. It was the “good pleasure of his will” for us to become adopted sons, Ephesians 1:5. We are wanted and accepted by our Father! What a wonderful thing this is! It would have been more than any of us deserve to be forgiven by God. Then to be given certain rights and privileges would have been more than we could have expected. But the Lord went further than that. He has actually accepted us.

The dictionary defines “accept” as “1. to receive gladly; 2. to receive into a place or a group” (New American Heritage Dictionary). The Lord does not just tolerate us; He actually loves us. He even likes us. He rejoices over us with joy, Zephaniah 3:17.

Prayer Power

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Prayer Power

Luke 11:1 “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

When you consider that Jesus was the greatest miracle worker who ever walked the earth and the greatest preacher who ever lived, it is amazing that His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. Why didn’t they ask Him to teach them how to work these miracles or how to preach and amaze the people with their doctrine?

It’s because Jesus’ prayer life was even more powerful than His miracles or His doctrine. Indeed, it was His union with the Father that gave Him His power to work miracles and His authority to speak as no man had ever spoken before. Jesus said repeatedly that it was His Father who was doing the miracles through Him and that His doctrine was not His own but the Father’s.

The same holds true today. Jesus said in John 15:5 that without Him, we can do nothing. There are many things that we should do in addition to prayer, but there is nothing that we can effectively do without prayer. Prayer is one of the main ways of abiding in Him, John 15:7. Therefore, our request should be like these disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

We should come expecting to receive answers to prayer. The Father is ready and willing to answer our prayers. Just ask and you shall receive.

Saved By Grace

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Saved By Grace

Luke 10:28-29 “And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”

Just as with this lawyer, pride causes many people to resist the truth of justification by faith in the grace of God. This lawyer loved himself and the public recognition his “holy acts” gave him. He was not willing to love God first and his fellow man ahead of himself. His was not a sincere question but rather an evasive question to shun responsibility. This man was seeking to be justified in the sight of God through his actions. He knew he had not loved everyone as he loved himself, so he is tried to interpret the scripture, Leviticus 19:18, in a way that would conform to his actions. He wanted to define “neighbor” as just his close friends whom he had treated well.

Self-justification always produces excuses, while repentance and faith toward God produces obedience.

The basis of our salvation is grace – that is, God’s undeserved, unmerited favor toward us as expressed in providing redemption through Christ Jesus.

The means of God saving us is through faith. Through faith we accept God’s free gift of salvation, which was provided by grace. So we are saved “by grace … through faith. “Notice that we are not saved by grace alone. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith grants us admission to God’s grace. Without faith, God’s grace is wasted, and without grace, faith is powerless. Faith in God’s grace has to be released to receive what God has provided through Christ.

Just as sodium and chloride are poisonous by themselves, so grace or faith used independently of each other are deadly. But when you mix sodium and chloride together in the proper way, you get salt, which you must have to live. Likewise, putting faith in what God has already provided by grace is the key to victorious Christian living.

God’s Peace

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Gods’ Peace

Luke 10:5 “And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.”

Peace is the result of casting our care upon the Lord through prayer and thanksgiving. However, many people are asking God to give them peace so that their cares will leave. It doesn’t work that way. Through faith we cast our cares on the Lord, and then God’s peace comes. Christians who are lacking God’s peace have not taken their cares to the Lord and left them there. All Christians have peace. It is a fruit of the Spirit that is always present in our born-again spirits. Cares will blind us to God’s peace. When we eliminate the cares, peace flows.

Being carnally minded doesn’t just tend toward death, it is death. Likewise, being spiritually minded doesn’t just tend toward life, it is life and peace. A person who says he or she is spiritually minded and yet is experiencing death is deceived. If we would just dominate ourselves with the spiritual truths of God’s Word, we would receive only life and peace.

True peace, which comes from God, only comes by grace through faith. No one who seeks to obtain right standing with God by his own effort will ever have God’s peace. Human peace is only experienced in the absence of problems. Those who only know human peace don’t experience it very often and to a lesser degree. But God’s peace is independent of circumstances and infinitely greater in supply than any problem we could ever have. God has given us His supernatural peace to enjoy. What a blessing!

Sharing God’s Love

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Sharing God’s Love

Luke 10:2 “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

It is commonly thought that an evangelist is someone who has a passion to lead people to the Lord. But every believer should have a passion for souls. When presenting the Gospel, we are not just presenting a theory about God but the factual account of God’s dealings with man as revealed through His Word, with the ultimate witness being the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Our personal witness of the reality of Jesus being alive in our lives brings Christ from theory to reality.

The early Christians had experienced the love of Christ in an intimate and life-transforming way. This motivated them to reach their known world with the Gospel of Christ more than any generation of Christians has done since. They didn’t have the benefits of our modern technology, but they did have the benefit of being full of the love of Christ. Experiencing the love of Christ causes us to be filled with the fullness of God, Ephesians 3:19, and makes us a witness that the world cannot resist, John 13:35.

Today, much of the emphasis of the church is placed on techniques of evangelism or spiritual warfare. We motivate people to witness through feelings of guilt or punishment if they don’t. Much of our evangelism has become as dead and non-productive as that of the cults who knock on doors and argue people into their way of thinking. The early Christians had a much greater impact on their world because they were full of, and motivated by, the love of God. The church today needs a revival of our personal relationship with the Lord. When we can say with Paul that the love of Christ constrains us, then we will impact our world for the Lord too. You can’t give away what you don’t possess. We need to personally know the love of Christ in an experiential way before we try to share it with others.

Be Filled

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Be Filled

Luke 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”


The Holy Spirit is a gift, Acts 2:38. You cannot be good enough to earn the gift of the Holy Spirit, but you do have to ask. This is speaking of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is subsequent to the born-again experience.

The Holy Spirit resides in our spirits, and once He comes, He doesn’t leave, John 14:16. There is an initial filling when the Holy Ghost first comes. However, His control and influence over our souls and body does fluctuate proportionally to how well we have our minds renewed to His will, Romans 12:2.

In that sense, we can be more full of the Holy Ghost than at other times, although in our spirits the presence and power of the Holy Spirit does not come and go. Therefore, even after we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, there will be times when our souls and bodies stray from the leadership of the Holy Spirit and we need, once again, to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

In Ephesians 5:18 believers are commanded to “be not drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.” Being filled with the Holy Spirit is in the present tense, making it a continual command for the believer. In the book of Acts, the same people who were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost were filled again. Most people don’t get drunk on just one drink.

Likewise, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not just a one-time experience. There is an initial filling of the Holy Spirit, but many subsequent fillings. Just as drunkenness can change a person’s personality and make him or her act totally different, so being filled with the Holy Spirit can make us act just like Jesus. Be filled with the Spirit today.

Our Loving Father

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Our Loving Father

Luke 11:11 “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?”


The most loving Father in the world cannot compare to our heavenly Father and the love He has for us. And yet, many times, we find it easier to believe in the willingness of a father or mother or mate to help us than in the willingness of God to use His power on our behalf. Relatively few people really doubt God’s ability, but rather, it is our doubt of His willingness to use His ability on our behalf that causes most people to do without. Jesus is assuring us that God’s love, and His willingness to demonstrate that love, is far greater than we can ever experience in any human relationship.

The Lord didn’t just save us out of pity or a sense of obligation as our Creator. He saved us because He loved us, John 3:16. It was the “good pleasure of his will” for us to become adopted sons, Ephesians 1:5. We are wanted and accepted by our Father! What a wonderful thing this is! It would have been more than any of us deserve to be forgiven by God. Then to be given certain rights and privileges would have been more than we could have expected. But the Lord went further than that. He has actually accepted us.

The dictionary defines “accept” as “1. to receive gladly; 2. to receive into a place or a group” (New American Heritage Dictionary). The Lord does not just tolerate us; He actually loves us. He even likes us. He rejoices over us with joy, Zephaniah 3:17.