EPHESIANS 4:7 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Sep 12-19)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7).
SERIES INTRO: This is the 2st part in a new series looking at the concept of Grace. What is it? Grace in Christian theology is “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings” (Google dictionary). Grace is a hard word for us to understand. However, no word in the Bible is perhaps more important for us to understand. It is the foundation that underpins our understanding of how Salvation works and how God interacts with Believers. Let's spend some time trying to understand God's wonderful grace.
THIS WEEK: We're leaving the grace of God's salvation and looking at the second type of grace: God's support, strength, encouragement, direction, blessings, etc in the struggles, temptations, difficulties, frustrations, and traumas of the Christian life. Only Believers who are struggling and having difficulties receive this type of grace, right? On the contrary, every single Believer receives God's grace in their lives to be where they are and what they are. You have not accomplished what you have accomplished through your own abilities - it was the Grace of God that provided you with your mind, your body, and abilities in the first place. You have almost no control over your life: can you stop a plane from crashing on your house or the car next to on the freeway from veering into you? No. We like to think we have control over our circumstances and we like to think we have earned what we have through our own striving, but the reality is that everything you are and everything you have came from God. Now that isn't to say that you bear no responsibility for what happens in your life - we are to be responsible with what God makes us aware of - if you see your car needs work, take care of it, if you notice your children are going hungry, provide for them, or if you discover the food you are eating is poisoning you, change your diet! But in the big picture, our lives are entirely outside of our control. We owe our very existence to the grace of God, much less the blessings in our lives. And it is not merited! We didn't earn or deserve it! As we shall see later, it isn't because you are a "better" Christian, or more loved, that you have blessings bestowed on you, while another Believer experiences trouble or want. Also, it isn't because you are less loved or less deserving that you are going through challenges or difficulties. God's grace gives us no room for pride in our "accomplishments" or judgement in another's struggles. There is no room for us to have pride or to boast where God's grace has been administered. He does all for His purposes, according to His will, and it is all for His glory and our eternal good. Let's look this week at God's grace, given to every single Believer. Next week we will look at the question: "Is God's grace given equally to every Believer?"
May we thank God for the amazing grace He has bestowed in our lives, which enables us to be what we are! Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
“Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).
“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil” (Matthew 5:34-37).
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” (Matthew 6:26-30)
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35)
“And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children’” (Acts 17:26-28).
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’” (James 4:13-15).
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).