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Grace:Bringing Life to your Family

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on June 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

 Christian_Light

 

 

(Philippians 4:5-8 HCSB)  Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things.

 Bringing the impact of grace to those we love the most is probably the most difficult gift we can provide to our family because of our daily interaction and familiarity. We tend to get into routines and the pressure of everyday living seems to consume us. I know in my own life I have to remind myself to put aside the other issues and focus on the person in front of me. The verse from Philippians is direct and straightforward:

 Let your graciousness be known to _______________.

 Don’t worry about ___________________________________

but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

“Grace is an underserved gift!” (Richard Blackaby) It lifts the soul, gives life, builds up, it is the fertile ground of peace. Ideally the words home and grace should go together like blooms and flowers. Unfortunately for many the most painful and tragic memories occurred at home. Families attack and wound each other because they don’t understand grace much less how to apply it.

Maybe this is the time for a prayer of understanding and transformation during the rest of this study.

                         Home = Grace                                  Home≠ Grace

How would you describe your home or the one you’re planning on?

Giving grace to Parents, or other family:

(Exodus 20:12 HCSB)  Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

 (Ephesians 6:1-3 HCSB)  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right.  Honor your father and mother–which is the first commandment with a promise–that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land.

 According to Exodus what is the clear command?

 According to Ephesians what is unique about this command?

 The first resistance to this is always the extreme “What if my parents aren’t honorable?” What if they hurt or betray me? The hard answer is the Bible wasn’t specific on what kind of parents deserve honor it just states we are to honor. I would caution not to confuse empathy with sympathy or guilt with obligation. I was blessed with parents that were easy to honor and a loving caring household. Not all grew up with that advantage and if the divorce rates keep spiraling out of control not many will have that opportunity in the future. I am not attempting to minimize the pain and suffering people have endured at the hands of dysfunctional parents. I also know that to truly be a grace giver we can’t pick and choose who we give it too. As I understand who we are in Christ and see me as God see’s me through Jesus I realize the enormousness and magnitude of God’s grace towards me. Maybe I can see those who hurt me through the eyes of grace and forgiveness. For those who have suffered the extreme of abuse and pain God has a plan for forgiveness and he will reveal how we express His grace through his Holy Spirit.

 (Colossians 3:12-13 HCSB)  Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive.

 How has God forgiven us?

 How are we to forgive others regardless of what they have said or done?

 Forgiveness is not dependant on the offender but on the offended and our willingness to let God’s grace transform us. Showing grace doesn’t mean we’re blind to another’s shortcomings. Some parents have committed horrendous sins against their children, and grace doesn’t condone or minimize the resulting pain. But grace searches out those things that are good, those things that bring hope. A family that lives by grace can be a powerful tool in the hands of God. Keep in mind that grace isn’t grace if it is deserved

 (Ephesians 2:7 HCSB)  so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

 (Romans 12:3 HCSB)  For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.

 (2 Corinthians 1:12 HCSB)  For our boast is this: the testimony of our conscience that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly wisdom but by God’s grace.

 (2 Thessalonians 2:16 HCSB)  May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace,

 The following statements correspond with the scriptures listed above, match them up.

 Grace doesn’t act as the world things is wise, but holy and sincerely.  

 Grace gives encouragement and hope.

 Grace has a sensible, sober attitude about self.

 Grace is expressed through kindness.

 Marriage/Relational Grace

 Why is the divorce rate among Christian couples comparable to that of nonbelievers?

 I think it’s because we can’t admit we really don’t understand grace in a practical daily application to those we are closet too. We are often to ready to use exceptions and extraneous circumstances too justify our own self fulfillment instead of self denial. We have churches filled with graceless relationships using words of death and harboring Unforgiveness.

Grace doesn’t insist on being right = it seeks to make things right.

Grace doesn’t demand to be heard = it seeks to listen and understand.

Grace doesn’t claim its rights=it voluntarily lays them aside.

Grace doesn’t look for wrongs= it seeks out what is right.

Grace builds up your spouse, strengthens your marriage, and helps you both to become more Christ like. A home cannot be filled with grace and void of joy: that’s impossible!

 (Philippians 2:3-4 HCSB)  Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

 Focus on your words life giving or death words?

Where is your focus positive and what could be or negative and what is?

Have regularly demonstrated grace through forgiveness?

 God intends and requires our homes to be a refuge and storehouse for grace. The unconditional love and acceptance taught in the Bible should be a regular experience in our families. Anger never produces grace; love always does. Selfishness and good relationships don’t mix especially in parents towards children. At time we have let our self-centeredness overcome our better training and judgment and we really blow it! I know I have and that requires a willingness to apologize. Then commit to prayer the behavior that caused the pain for God to change me more into his image.

 God as our example of grace can be seen when he took the initiative to communicate with us his willingness to forgive us the rebellion of our sin through the death of His son Jesus. If we were left to own devices we would be forever aliened from Him. He saw our weaker condition and in His grace He met us at our level to demonstrate his love for us. Grace doesn’t selfishly pursue only our interests or likes. Grace looks for what is really important; a meaningful relationship with parents, spouse, children and those who God has put in our lives and entrusted to our care.

 (Colossians 1:19-22 HCSB)  For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross–whether things on earth or things in heaven. And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him—

 While we were alienated and hostile in mind he was reconciling us: that is grace expressed for all eternity. Our role in this is to accept and let Him be Lord of all if not then He is not Lord at all!

 “What I believe in my heart must make sense in my mind!” Ravi Zacharius

 “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” (Autobiography. Collected Works Vol. 16, p. 212)

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