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    A Thought for the WeekóGrace and Truth

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth
    came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17 NKJ)

We live in a time of great deception; people are not sure what is true. Many have lost their sense of foundational truths, as basic foundational truths or standards have been removed in much of society. Many would say there are no absolute truthsóthat everything is relative and evolving.

However, there is a source and a standard of truthóGod Himself. When God created man He placed him in a garden and gave him the command to keep it, to tend it, to enjoy it and to live in it. He gave man access to all that was in the garden, and said he could eat of all the fruit except for that on one tree--the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told man not to eat of this tree, and said that if he ate of it, man would die. Thus God gave man the ability to choose. He could choose to live by faith and revelation from God, letting God guide him and direct his life, or else he could live apart from the Spirit of God, determining by himself what was best for him. The latter choice would destine him to live eternally separated from God in death.

Satan came by, through entering a serpent, and lied to Eve. He told her that she would not surely die if she ate of the forbidden fruit, but rather that she would have increased knowledge by determining for herself what is best for her. Satan lied to Eve and deceived her into thinking that it would be a good thing to live outside Godís will as he did--in rebellion against Godís plan and purposes. Satan lied about Godís truthfulness, telling her that God would not really let her die, and be eternally separated from Himself. Satan knew he was under Godís judgment, subject to eternal separation from God. He also thought that if he could convince Adam and Eve and their offspring that God would not really subject people to His righteous judgment of eternal separation from Himself, he could escape Godís judgment of him and continually rule in a sin-filled world.

God and His Word are true. He is a God who surrounds Himself with mercy. He knew Adam and Eve would fall, and He knew what Satan would do--but He had a plan, conceived before the foundations of the earth were formed. He had a plan to put manís sin on His Son, Who would take that sin into the place of eternal separation called hell. He offered Adam and Eve a way out of the hopeless and sin-filled environment they had put themselves in through their sin. He also would remain true to His word and have Satan and his followers live in hell, eternally separated from Himself, while giving a way out for those who receive His grace in Christ.

Jesus is The Way for Godís eternal plan to come forth. Jesus is The Way for people to come out of Satanís destiny, which is for himself and those like him to spend eternity in hell, separated from God. Jesus came to bring the truth of Godís hatred of evil, and His eternal judgments against it, into the world. He also came to bring the grace of God into the world so that we could be free of these judgments and be filled with the life of God so that we could serve and live for God forever, beginning in this life. He came to give us grace and truth.

Father, we rejoice that Your Word is truth and that You give us grace to live for You and to escape the eternal judgments against sin through Jesus Christ. Amen.

    A Thought for the WeekóGrace and Truth

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth
came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17 NKJ)

God's grace has been defined as Godís unmerited favor extended to us through Jesus Christ. God's grace is also His acting on our behalf, doing what we needed to do and should have done, and enabling us to do what we now can do through Him. God has already acted for us by grace, He is acting for us and in us and through us today through His grace, and He will continue to extend and increase His grace to us in the future.

God is showing the world its need of His grace. Our worldís moral values are rapidly degenerating. In many communities the divorce rate is greater than the rate of marriages staying together. Sexual perversions and their associated diseases and identity problems continue to increase. Depression and drug addiction continue to devastate our society. Our western culture continues to disdain Godís presence, choosing to reap the consequences of our pride and arrogance rather than to admit our need of Godís grace.

Without Godís grace, man is eternally prone to running from God, trying to change Godís laws to make his sinful ways seem "OK," hiding his sin, excusing himself, blaming others for his sinful actions, and trying endlessly through his own efforts to make up for his sins. God continues to pursue men, convict them of their sinfulness, and extend His hand of grace to them, enabling them to be forgiven, cleansed, and changed so that they respect, receive, and love the ways of our Holy God.

We desperately need Godís grace. However, as important as grace is, we also need Godís truth. Without the revelation of truth, grace is often not received. Without knowing the truth of God--who He is, His plan for us, His hatred of evil, His love of righteousness, His pending removal of evil from the world, His righteous judgments of all evil, His desire to fill the heavens with spiritual beings who love Him and will rule with and for Him according to His righteous standards, His way of allowing evil people to turn against all that is good, so that they see the atrocity and deceptiveness of evil and want to come out of its dominionówe often fail to recognize our need of receiving Godís grace. IN SHORT, WE NEED TO KNOW OUR NEED TO RECEIVE THE GRACE GOD HAS PROVIDED AND MAKES AVAILABLE TO US. WE NEED GRACE AND TRUTH.

God has provided both for us in Christ. The Spirit of God, through Christ, will convince us of our sin, of our need for grace, and of the coming righteous judgments of God (John 16:8).

Father, we rejoice in all You provide to us through Jesus. Help us to receive a love of the truth through Him, so we learn to know and receive all the grace You have for us. Amen.

    A Thought for the WeekóGrace and Truth

    Wednesday December 20, 2006

"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth
came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17 NKJ)

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, to those who believe in His name:" (John 1:12 NKJ)

We have been sharing on the provision God has made for us through Christ to know our need for Godís grace for us. We have cited the Word John wrote, saying that grace and truth came into the world through Jesus Christ. We need Godís grace; we need to have the fullness of grace working in us. Godís grace is His empowerment working in us so that we are able to want to serve Him and live for Him, and to do so. God empowered Jesus so that He was able to suffer and die for us. The Bible says that the grace of God was upon Jesus (Luke 2:40), and that He was filled with grace and truth (John 1:14).

We, like Jesus, need to have Godís grace upon us and in us. We, like Jesus, need to be filled with grace and truth. OUR GOD KNOWS THIS AND PROVIDES IT THROUGH JESUS. The Bible says that if we ask for these things, God will give them to us (John 14:13). James 4:3 says that we have not because we ask not. Mark 11:24 tells us that we must ask in faith, which God will also provide.

God wants to impart His life into us; that is His gift of grace to us. God gives us His life so that we can want to be free from sin and our old ways. Jesus wants our sin on Himself. He went to the cross to take our sin upon Himself and to suffer and die for us. We now can receive His life into us.

Jesus came to bring truth to us. He came to show us our need of His life. He came to speak the Words of His Father to us. The Words that God speaks are truth and they are life. Jesus knew Godís plan to make us holy by His Words. Jesus lived by hearing and declaring the Words of His Father while on earth, and now He continues to hear and speak the Words of His Father to us. We must take time to meditate on Him and on His Words. The Spirit of God will reveal the Words that Christ is speaking to us. Jesus promised this. Let us receive Him and let His Word bring truth to us. Let us see Him in glory, ministering His life into us as we meditate on Him. Let us "Behold the Lamb." Let us see Him in glory (Hebrews 2:9).

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your plan to bring Your life into us through Your Word and through the life of Your Son living in us. Help us to receive all He is for us. Amen.

    A Thought for the WeekóGrace and Truth

    Thursday, December 21, 2006

"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth
came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17 NKJ

"He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love."

As we celebrate the birth of Christ in this Christmas Season, we are reminded of the words of this Christmas hymn. This is the last verse of the carol, "Joy to the World." Truly we can have joy in this season because Jesus has come. He has come to die for our sins, taking them upon Himself and bringing them into hell for us. He came to die for us so that He could bring His life into us, so that we could be free from sin to live for Him. The Bible says, "He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again." (2 Corinthians 5:15 NKJ)

Jesus came from heaven to earth. He made the ways and desires of the kingdom of heaven known on the earth through His life here among us. He took our sins upon Himself so that we no longer have to suffer for them or fear the wrath of God due us because of them. He was raised from the dead so that now He can give us His Spirit and bring His life into us as the Mediator of the New Covenant. Under the New Covenant, God has promised, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:27 NKJ). Under the New Covenant, God gives us grace to walk in His ways and to know and do all that He has for us to do. He shows us His ways. He reveals His truth to us. He reveals His desires and plans and purposes for us. And then He gives us the grace to walk in His ways. This is the blessing of "Grace and Truth."

BUT THERE IS MORE. The Child of Bethlehem is now the King of kings and Lord of Lords. All things have been and are being put under His feet by God. He rules the world. Truth and grace are coming from His throne to all who will receive Him and all He has to offer them. Truly there is JOY TO THE WORLD!

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your plan to bring all things under Christ. Help us to receive Him into every part of our heart and life so we can know that He rules with Truth and Grace. Amen.

    A Thought for the WeekóGrace and Truth

    Friday, December 22, 2006

"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth
came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17 NKJ)

"How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift was given. Still God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven."

In this Christmas Season, as we remember and celebrate the birth of Christ, the words of the Christmas carol, "O little Town of Bethlehem" seem appropriate for our theme of "Grace and Truth in Christ." God has given us a wondrous gift. This gift is from heaven, and it brings the blessings and ways of heaven into our heart. Through this gift the heavens and the earth can be united in spirit and truth. Through this gift the ways of heaven can enter our heart, and we can worship God through songs of "Holy, Holy, Holy," as the angels in heaven are doing. Through this gift we can serve God, have victory over all our enemies, and live before God in holiness and righteousness. This is the blessing God promised Abraham through the Seed who was to come (Luke 1:74, 75).

The Bible says, "Öthe gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23.NKJ). Godís gift to us is ETERNAL LIFE. God has an eternal plan for all of His creation. He has said that the earth shall be filled with His glory (Numbers 14:21). He has said that every knee will bow before the exalted Lamb of God. He has a plan to bring about the reign of Christ into all of our being so that we love God with all of our spirit, soul and body (1Thessalonians 5:23, 24). He has a plan to train and equip us to reign with Christ during the millennial kingdom (Matthew 19:28). He has a plan to remove all evil from the heavens and the earth after the millennial kingdom. He has a plan to unite heaven and earth with the light of His presence and glory (Revelation 20:7-11). GOD HAS AN ETERNAL PLAN. He knows the end of all things and is bringing everything into Christ. His plan to bring all things into Christ, and to have us live before Him in holiness and love through Christ, was conceived before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 10).

The life of God has been made known in His Son. The plan of God is being revealed in greater measure and understanding day by day, season by season, through His Spirit (John 18:13-15). Godís gift to us is to bring His life, His eternal plan, into us through His Son and to remove from us all that is in opposition to His plan and His purposes. He is merciful, not wanting any to perish, but knowing that some will continually reject Him and His ways. He will use us in the coming days to show His love, mercy, and power to a lost and ever-darkening world. Let us thank Him and share with others this wondrous gift of Eternal Life in Christ.

Father, we rejoice in You and we thank You for the wondrous gift of Eternal life You have given to us in Your Beloved Son. Amen.

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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