Tomorrow I have jury duty ~ so I might need your grace in this 31 days project. I am hoping to do what is needed within a short time, mostly because I don’t have anyone to sub for me on Fridays when I teach at our fine arts co-op. I am not as worried about the kids, they won’t miss any school days because I have two fantastic parents who will keep them busy!
I’ll update when I know more ~ blessings to you all!
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When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world. ~ CS Lewis
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Okay ~ so I’m going to look at the Luther quote in sections, please feel free to jump in with your thoughts!
“If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world.”
“If you are a preacher of grace…..”I am going to assume that he is not only speaking of men of the cloth. Aren’t we all to be preachers of grace?
a person whose occupation or function it is to preach
While it isn’t my occupation I do believe the Lord intends it to be my function to preach/share/teach the gospel. Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. “
Luther says to preach a true and not fictitious grace. Fictitious being not real, imaginary or fabricated. There are plenty of those “kinds of graces” taught in society, right? Good works will get you into heaven, prayers for those who have already passed away will get them into heaven, being a suicide bomber will give you great rewards… all fictitious graces. True grace? That Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and only because of that can we have hope of eternal life. That is true grace.
Next Luther says, that if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. Now this is a bit trickier. IF we used one of the graces above (good works etc..) then how would our sins be fictitious? Could this be something like beating yourself up for actions or circumstances out of your control? Luther had experience with that. He literally beat himself for his daily sins…..”He practiced self-denial by frequent fasting and sleeping outdoors in the winter without a blanket. He prayed constantly and beat himself with a whip to show God how sincere he was in his desire for holiness and salvation. Luther went to confession as all good monks did, but his confessions were far from ordinary. While the average monk would go over a few basic sins and get it over with, Luther would dredge up everything he could think of from the years past to the present day. He would repeat confessions of sins he had already confessed, thinking perhaps he hadn’t been sincere enough in the previous confession. Sometimes confessing four times a day, his confessions lasted for hours, until his confessors dreaded the approach of their guilt-ridden brother.” ( spirit of grace ministries
IF our grace is true ~ if we are sharing the gospel and how we are utterly incapable of saving ourselves, when others see us fall on our face, will they understand His Grace even more? I can only hope that is the case. That the Holy Spirit uses my foibles to His advantage in the hearts of others. I have said things I wish I could grasp out of the air and shove back into my mouth, I have done things that made me wish I had a time turner like Hermione Granger , that I might replay that time and not take those actions… we all do, right?
As someone believes without a doubt in Jesus Christ, and one who shares that belief with others then we can, ” Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world.” REJOICE in Christ even more boldly! Stop apologizing for everything and be Christ to others ~ stop explaining away our sins and our religion and just profess His redeeming love and salvation. NO Apologizing, just be His ~ just live in His Grace each day!
Whew ~ what freedom!!
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Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
grace for today
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Today a quote, one I plan to tackle as best I can in the next few days.
Luther & his infamous “Sin Boldly” —
The Letter to Melanchthon ends with the famous “sin boldly” statement:
“If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly—you too are a mighty sinner.”
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Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.
It’s a Tuesday, I get up with the alarm at 6 & think about coffee but decide I’ll be too jittery so I head to the shower.
Next I wake my 12 year old, she’s tall and lanky and cute but doesn’t move very fast. Seriously.
Within the next 10 I’m dressed, have woken the other children and started the get-ready-to-go chant. Every Tuesday & Thursday the kids take an early swimming class at the Y. In the pool by 7:30 am.
Often my mood turns sour by 6:45. I’m not a morning person per se, but not a night owl either. I like to have easy mornings with coffee and books… yep, vacation mornings are my choice.
At any rate, we usually leave the house hurried and rather grouchy with each other.
The thing is, if I take a few moments, reflect on the grace that God has shown me and just ask for Him to change my attitude ~ I can generally dump the grouch and just be mom. I might not be super nurturing but I can talk without a bite in my voice or an eye roll toward the skies.
Sometimes it might require more than a few minutes, and that’s okay too. It is worth those few extra minutes to be a kind momma to my kiddos. Maybe I need to wash my face, go ahead and make the coffee, or read another verse or two…
•Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving as God in Christ forgave you.
•Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
The Bible is God’s living Word & each of us can be transformed in these minutes by it!
Begin at the beginning…. who is He? God our Heavenly Father, the King of Kings, and Lord of all. He is mighty and loving and super creative. He offers a gift of grace to all who believe in His holy name. The grace he extends covers many areas but today I want to share with you His ultimate saving grace. Grace is described by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod as:
Good will and favor shown to one who can plead no merit, particularly, the love of God in relation to the sinner as such. There may be love, but not grace, between equals or between a judge and an innocent person. Grace implies mercy or compassion for one who has by every right forfeited his claim on love.
I began to have a small understanding of grace when I was in an organization called Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ. We traveled to different Lutheran churches over weekends and held gatherings, worship and would canvass the neighborhoods. We would literally go door to door and ask whomever answered this question, “If you were to die tonight, do you believe you would go to heaven?”. I remember a few specific incidents from those times. (Which is amazing because I have a horrid memory) One woman answered the door and listened to our question and then she shared how she did believe she would go to heaven because she was a good person, did the right things when in a difficult situation, and was kind….but she didn’t mention Jesus at all. I remember witnessing to her, telling her that she could be confident in her salvation because of Jesus Christ, not because of anything she did. We shared scripture verses with her and even prayed with her. I believe that is when the truth of God’s grace began to seep into my understanding. Isn’t it amazing that I was learning about grace while He was using me to share it with others? I believe that is how God works… He equips us right where we are to do the job He needs done in that moment and all the while He is giving us understanding and knowledge new and fresh to us.
Ephesians 2:8 & 9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. ” Assurance of eternal life in heaven can only come through Jesus Christ. We are sinners from the beginning and no matter how hard we try to change, how much effort we put into clean living, we will fail and make poor choices ,and do the very things we wish we hadn’t. But because Jesus Christ came down from heaven, walked this earth and was crucified on the cross we can believe 100% in eternal life and heaven. That is grace! We can’t change ~ so He changed for us, we couldn’t have stood the suffering, so He suffered for us, we couldn’t save ourselves from our sins and damnation, so He saved us. That Is Grace ~ and it’s a grace I walk in each day.
want to know more? ~ WHO IS JESUS
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