Is All Sin Equal in God’s Eyes? (And God’s Amazing Grace.)

is-all-sin-equal-in-gods-eyes-and-gods-amazing-grace

Wow, it’s been about a month and a half since I’ve done one of these posts. Time really does fly by. I can’t believe that it has actually been so long. Just wow.

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Taking That Step of Faith

Step of FaithEvery religion of some sort has a measure of faith involved. Some more so than others, but they all essentially do. Whether it’s believing that you reincarnate into something else after you die or believing if you do enough good works in this life you’ll earn your way to Heaven or believing that there are gods that control different element and forces of nature.

For Christians, it’s believing that there is only one God who rules over everything.

It’s believing that God created the world by just speaking it into existence.

It’s believing that the world was once perfect, but we brought sin into it.

It’s believing that God is three in one: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It’s believing that God sent his son, fully God and fully man, to earth to save us from our sin.

It’s believing that his son lived a perfect, a blameless, life.

It’s believing that Jesus suffered torture then died on a cross.

Most importantly it’s believing that Jesus’s death was the ultimate sacrifice, the perfect atonement for our sins. That if we only confess them and ask for forgiveness, we will be forgiven. We will have a clean slate. It doesn’t matter what kind of sin it is, it is forgiven. To God’s eyes, sin is sin. One is not worse than another. They are all just as bad and he forgives them all.

It’s believing that against all odds he rose again on the third day.

It’s believing that he later ascended into Heaven.

To believe that takes faith. A lot of faith.

Yes, there is plenty of physical evidence that all of this happened. But even with this evidence you have to have faith. Evidence in many cases isn’t the reason that people believe. If that were true, then probably just about everyone would already be saved.

But there is more to believing in God than believing in the evidence. It takes faith. And having faith in something we can’t see, feel, hear, or smell, in something not physical is hard.

At times, we can find ourselves doubting. But we have to let go of that doubt. It will get us no closer to Jesus, but fully believing in him will.

John 20:29

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

This doesn’t mean that those who saw Jesus and believed weren’t ever blessed, but they weren’t blessed for that reason.

Faith in Christ is like believing that there is invisible hands there to catch you as you fall from a cliff. You are submitting to Him, placing your life in the hands of someone you only believe is there. But the thing is…

Your life is already in God’s Hands. It has always been in his Hands. Taking that step of faith is just you finally opening your eyes and believing in someone who has been there since the beginning of time.

That is the difference between our faith and other people’s faith in their religion. Our faith rests in something true and real; their faith is in something nonexistent.

-G. Paige

Here’s to You: You are Right in His Sight

Here's to You_

Here’s to you:

I believe that we set ourselves up for failure, a lot. We push ourselves too hard and too far to accomplish more than is possible. We want to believe that we can do it. That we can make it. That we can finish it. We want to be perfect. We expect ourselves to be. And it’s that expectation that goes against us when we fail. When we don’t finish it or make it. When we sin. That expectation turns into guilt that will have us rebuking and reprimanding ourselves. It makes us feel worthless. It fills us with need to somehow fix it.Read More »

Thanksgiving…and Joy

ahr2I know, Thanksgiving has come and passed, but I’m not talking about the holiday. I’m talking about the act of giving thanks, of being thankful. That is something that we can discuss all the time.

I have recently started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She talks about living a fuller life in Christ. I have really liked what she has had to say about it. An important role in that is thanksgiving.

The Greek word for “giving thanks” is eucharisteo. In that word, there are the parts of two other Greek words: charis and chara. Charis means grace, while chara means joy. Isn’t that neat?

But aren’t you here to talk about thanksgiving? Yes, I am and I believe that grace and joy play a part in that. Being thankful is hard. I fail at it, a lot. We all get so lost in our own troubles and worries and temptations that sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture.

I’m not saying that any of our struggles are unimportant, because they are important. God lets us haves struggles so that we grow stronger in our faith and closer to Him. Whatever you’re going through, He will be with you. And we know from the Bible that He will not let us be tempted more than we can bear.

1 Corinthians 10:13

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

But in all of this, we can become quite ungrateful and not thankful. I know I do it‭ all the time.

So how do we become thankful? I think it would help if we took time to focus on Christ throughout each day, everyday. For Ann Voskamp, she started to write a list of one thousand things she was thankful for.

If we start to pay attention to the things around us that we can be thankful for, naming specific things, it would bring us to not take things for granted. I believe that we would get a small glimpse of how much we can be thankful for. There are big things like God, living another day, family, etc. Then there are the minuscule things like melted butter on hot bread, rain pattering against the roof.

When we become thankful, we become joyful.

Joy is dependent on thanksgiving. The more thankful you are, the more joyful you will be.

This is something very important that I learned from One Thousand Gifts. It is so true. How can we be joyful when we are ungrateful? We may be happy, but that isn’t joy. And it definitely doesn’t last like joy does. Happiness comes and goes and can’t be trusted. It comes from material things. But joy, on the other hand, is something that can last forever. It comes from God. Once we have it, it can’t be taken away.

As Christians, we already have that joy that comes from God. But it sometimes gets diminished in going of life. Sometimes we need more of it.

Jesus lived a life of thanksgiving. Even near death, he gave thanks. He even gave thanks for his death.

2 Corinthians 4:15

All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

Because of God’s grace, we can live a life of thanksgiving too. We can learn to see things to be thankful for in any situation. It just takes a lot of practice.

But in the end, I’m sure that it will bring us so much joy.

-G. Paige

God’s Grace

So…about three days ago I was flipping through Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul (I actually read it almost three years ago). I came across a section about God’s grace and I thought that might be a good topic to discuss. But first, for starters, we must know what the word “grace” means. So what does grace (biblically) mean?

Grace means (at least from the dictionaries I’ve looked at) the free and unmerited favor of God. My mother use to explain it like this: grace is getting something that you don’t deserve and mercy is not getting something that you do deserve. Mercy, you say, I thought we were talking about grace? I know, I just want to make sure that you know the difference between grace and mercy because they’re definitely NOT the same thing. Mercy is forgiveness given to someone by someone who could punish them instead. Grace is blessings given to someone who should be punished.

Okay, now that we know what the word “grace” means, what does God’s Grace have to do with us (as Christians)? God’s grace is one of the foundational reasons why we can be saved and be “Christians”. Without God sending His one and only Son to suffer and get the punishment we deserved, we wouldn’t be able to be saved. Jesus taking on all our sins and dying to give us the chance to be able to believe in Him and live in Heaven after our life here on Earth, that’s grace. I think this Bible verse states how we are saved quite clearly.

Acts‬ ‭15:11‬

“We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

We are all saved by grace. There’s not one person who lived, lives, or will live that has not been saved by grace. This next verse also says what God’s Grace does.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.”

The grace of God, His undeserved favor, has come. This saving grace brings salvation to all people. Isn’t that amazing?

Hebrews 2:9

“What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.”

God’s grace is the reason Jesus suffered and was tortured to death. Because he did that for us he was taken from his position “a little lower than the angels” to now where he is seated at the right hand of God “crowned with glory and honor”.

‭Romans 11:5-6

“It is the same today, for a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace—his undeserved kindness in choosing them. And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.”

We must always remember that God’s grace is free and undeserved, as the verse states above. It wouldn’t be grace if it was not free and undeserved and it wouldn’t mean anything either. We can not comprehend how much grace God has given us, but God’s grace is not infinite. There will come a time when judgement will fall as described in Revelation.

Jude 1:4

“I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

As Jude wrote above, we should not use God’s grace to our advantage. Look at what James says.

James 2:14

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”

If people use God’s grace as a free ticket to live immoral lives, thinking that they won’t get the consequences that come from sinning (which they will), are those people even saved in the first place? If you are saved by God’s grace, you should want to follow Christ because God, through the Holy Spirit, has given you the need or want to follow Him.

So I’d like to close off with a verse from “Amazing Grace”:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

‘Twas blind, but now I see.

Doesn’t this portion of the song speak such truth? God’s grace has saved us all. We are so blessed to have such a gracious God.

-G. Paige