This is the third in a series of posts filling in the blank to “Grace is ____.”
Grace is profoundly personal and intimate. Impersonal and distant grace is a contradiction in terms.
Now when I say it is personal and intimate I don’t mean in a romantic way. I mean that the costs of giving it and the effect of receiving it are strongly felt by both the giver and the recipient.
Grace is always intimate for the giver because it always costs to give. If grace is to be given in forgiveness for an offense, the hurt and pain of the offense must be absorbed by the offended person. If grace is to be shown to someone who cost you money or business, then the loss needs to be eaten.
The king in the parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18:21-26 had to be willing to accept the loss of millions of dollars to offer forgiveness to his servant.
Hosea needed to be willing not only to forgive but to pay to get his wife Gomer back who had left him and gone into prostitution and to accept the social awkwardness and questions that would raise with his family, neighbors, and co-workers (Hosea 3:1-5).
For God to forgive us He had to be willing to give His Son to pay the price for our sins (John 3:16).
Real grace is not cheap. As the saying goes, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” While there may not be any cost to the person eating the lunch, someone has to pay the cost for the lunch to be offered. In this sense, grace is never free. It always costs the giver. The greater the grace, the greater the cost. For that reason, giving grace is one of the most personal and intimate acts of love a person can give to another. It cannot be done nonchalantly or flippantly, it requires too much sacrifice.
Grace is always intimate for the recipient because it heals, restores, and sets free. Grace always hits us right where we live, right where we hurt the most. It removes guilt and cuts the roots of shame. It frees from debts, revives the soul, restores relationships, and heals the broken.
When Jesus showed grace to the paralytic in Mark 2:3-13 he was forgiven and could walk for the first time.
When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery in John 8:2-11, He not only forgave her, He saved her life.
Jesus healed the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19 they were not only physically healed but they could go home to their families and rejoin their community and work.
When grace is given, its effects are profoundly personal; and the greater the grace the more profound and intimate its effects on the receiver. You cannot be freed from debt, guilt, trouble, obligation, or disease at no cost to you without being personally and intimately effected.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (source)
He not only forgave her, He saved her life.
This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.
Rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13 GENERAL CONFESSION God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen. Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen. INITIATORY AND PSALTER O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Hymn: O Gracious Light Phos hilaron O gracious Light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of life, and to be glorified through all the worlds. Psalm 119:121-144 I have done what is just and right; * do not deliver me to my oppressors. Be surety for your servant’s good; * let not the proud oppress me. My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation * and for your righteous promise. Deal with your servant according to your loving-kindness * and teach me your statutes. I am your servant; grant me understanding, * that I may know your decrees. It is time for you to act, O LORD, * for they have broken your law. Truly, I love your commandments * more than gold and precious stones. I hold all your commandments to be right for me; * all paths of falsehood I abhor. Your decrees are wonderful; * therefore I obey them with all my heart. When your word goes forth it gives light; * it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant; * I long for your commandments. Turn to me in mercy, * as you always do to those who love your Name. Steady my footsteps in your word; * let no iniquity have dominion over me. Rescue me from those who oppress me, * and I will keep your commandments. Let your countenance shine upon your servant * and teach me your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears, * because people do not keep your law. You are righteous, O LORD, * and upright are your judgments. You have issued your decrees * with justice and in perfect faithfulness. My indignation has consumed me, * because my enemies forget your words. Your word has been tested to the uttermost, * and your servant holds it dear. I am small and of little account, * yet I do not forget your commandments. Your justice is an everlasting justice * and your law is the truth. Trouble and distress have come upon me, * yet your commandments are my delight. The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; * grant me understanding, that I may live. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: * as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. THE LESSON John 6:27-40 (NRSV) Jesus said, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” Canticle: The Song of Simeon Luke 2:29-32 Lord, you now have set your servant free * to go in peace as you have promised; For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, * whom you have prepared for all the world to see: A Light to enlighten the nations, * and the glory of your people Israel. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: * as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. THE APOSTLES’ CREED I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord. who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. THE PRAYERS Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen. That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful, We entreat you, O Lord. That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill, We entreat you, O Lord. That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses, We entreat you, O Lord. That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world, We entreat you, O Lord. That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ, We entreat you, O Lord. That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ, We entreat you, O Lord.
Collect of the Day: Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, 386 Strengthen, O Lord, the bishops of your Church in their special calling to be teachers and ministers of the Sacraments, so that they, like your servant Cyril of Jerusalem, may effectively instruct your people in Christian faith and practice; and that we, taught by them, may enter more fully into celebration of the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. Collect for Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent O Lord our God, you sustained your ancient people in the wilderness with bread from heaven: Feed now your pilgrim flock with the food that endures to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. A Collect for Protection O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
For the Beauty of the Earth We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen. A Collect for Peace Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen. Wednesday Evening Prayer List For Disaster Victims Vanuatu needs fresh water and food after Cyclone Pam Famine in South Sudan For Prisoners Prisoners of ISIS & Boko Haram Victims of human trafficking Guantanamo; political prisoners The innocent, the guilty, the victims of crime Children and families of prisoners Prison chaplains and ministries, especially Sally & Francesca John P. Craine House and other diversion and prevention programs Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers All who are condemned to die For those who suffer for the sake of Conscience O God our Father, whose Son forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our merciful and righteous Judge. Amen. Prayer for Mission O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++
The whole text was taken from, click here, photo’s from the Internet, complicated by Abeltje Quintijn
The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. (source)
Most professing Christian believers do not really know WHO Jesus Christ is and they do not KNOW HIM and that is why they are spiritually deprived, poor, naked and blind. Most believers know Jesus Christ as Savior, the Son of God who came to save the world and they believe IN Him but they don’t really know WHO He is.
He IS the KING of kings, He IS the LORD of lords, all POWER and all AUTHORITY belongs to Him, He IS the GOOD SHEPHERD, He is the ALPHA and the OMEGA, BEGINNING and the END, He holds everything together by His POWER, He IS the FINAL AUTHORITY. He IS the EVERLASTING FATHER, King of kings, Lord of lords, PRINCE OF PEACE! Most believers do not KNOW Him, they disregard Him and that is why they will perish. That is why they do not receive anything, they do not ask FROM HIM, they practice religion.
If you seek Jesus Christ you will find Him, He will reveal Himself to you and you will EXPERIENCE Him in His POWER and in His GLORY and you will live in His PRESENCE. He will share His secret thoughts with you, you will SEE His mighty POWER, you will see His hand moving, IF you KNOW Him. You will LISTEN to His VOICE,. He will speak to you. He will guide you, He will supply in all your needs, He will give you WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING because everything belongs to Him.
Do you know Jesus Christ, Almighty God? Or are you practicing RELIGION? Do you worship what you do not know? Do you truly KNOW Jesus Christ? Is He your LORD and MASTER or is He just an ideology?
Get personal with Jesus Christ. Get REAL, get SERIOUS, OBEY His words, STOP SINNING, REPENT, OBEY Him, get BAPTIZED IN WATER and SEEK Him with all your heart and He will reveal Himself to you, and you will WALK WITH THE KING.
Do you know, do you KNOW who Jesus Christ REALLY is and do you know HIM?
May Jesus bless you.
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. (source)