Monday, March 27, 2017

The Grace-filled Heart of God

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2

The ministry of God is grace centered. Anything other than that is the religion of men.  This first characteristic is the heart of relationships in the body of Christ. 
A church should be a support group, a place where I can admit my weakness and still be accepted. . Every member of the body of Christ needs to properly understand what the fellowship is about and how they should relate to it.  Making unrealistic, unwarranted or non-Biblical demands upon a believer causes only guilt and frustration.   BUT, making demands less than what God does leads to missing the blessings of all He wants to give.
The activity of God's grace in the life of a believer will be manifest in deep concern for all of God's people who struggle with their weaknesses according to Galatians 6. 
WHO?  The one who is caught or trapped by sin. 
In the scriptures above, the picture is that of someone running from sin but sin, being faster, overtakes and catches themNo one is immune from the grasp of sin. James 1:14-16 tells us But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. At some time…“Each one is tempted when…carried away and enticed”. The war against the flesh has its casualties. What would you say to one wounded in battle?
• Would you criticize them for getting shot?
• Would you accuse them of not keeping their area of responsibility?
The answer to the question of who is everyone.  Sin is deadly…it kills.  God is aware that, if not intervened with, sin will destroy the life it possesses and others around it.  Viewing the life ensnared by sin as a victim instead of an enemy is the first step toward being a part of restoration. 
WHAT?  "restore"- Put back in position.  
Restore means making it work again or place back in a former position.  God does not do anything halfway.  He will restore, or make us whole again when we confess our sins, repent, and ask His forgiveness.  
Can we trust those who have failed?  God did.  David, Samson, Peter…HOWEVER, remember…That which has been mended always leaves a mark.  Sin destroys relationships - with God and with man.  You don’t sin without something being injured or broken. The scars are real and will remind us we are vulnerable. Recovery begins with trusting God at His word and claiming His mercy.  If the God of the universe will give us a second chance, we should be more than willing to give each other second chances too.  God’s grace in our own lives will reflect in our concern, love, and acceptance for others who struggle with weaknesses.  

Scripture to Claim:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

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