Monthly Archives: April 2016

How Graces Changes Everything…

Just coming off of how Easter changed everything… now we have Grace show up and I’m saying this changes everything.

This is a Sunday chapel sermon I’m giving tonight. Check it out… and tell me if you don’t think that Grace, does indeed, change everything…

How Grace Changes Everything

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Intro…

This message has had about 10 titles… I’ll share a few that were close to being winners:

Grace that transforms

When Grace comes into your life

The Grace changer

Grace changes everything (closer)

When you meet up with Grace (a little hokey, I know)

When God graces you (even hokier)

But when it got all said and done I think I got it right…

How Grace changes everything… the difference Grace makes in our life. You will see by the time we get done that grace, does indeed, change everything. When the grace of God appears like He has… nothing can be the same anymore.

I grew up with an Aunt Grace… she was one of those life changing kinda people. She was always around, always helping out, always loving. I don’t think anyone could butter my toast like her. And, for sure, nobody could make an Italian cookie like her (except her daughter!), she always had ice cream money for me… but most important… she always loved me.

Let’s jump into this short section in Titus chapter 2 of the Bible. We’ll break it down verse by verse. We’ll make sure we read this section of the Holy Bible, I’ll explain it to you, then we will apply it and see how God can use this to transform us. Sound like a good plan?

For the grace of God has appeared

It appeared in the person of Jesus… this is called the incarnation.

We’ve seen John 1:14… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Like the church I grew up in every (most Sundays… okay some Sundays) Sunday would recite as we exited… Christ Has Died. Christ Has Risen. Christ Will Come Again.

And what has happened because of this historic event…

That offers salvation to all people

Salvation has come… this is God’s saving grace

This salvation or saving grace has a few pieces to it…

First… and probably the one most understood is the fact that Jesus came to save us from our sins… I know four year olds that know this. He came to save us from the penalty of sin.

Salvation is a rescue, Jesus was on a mission. He rescued us from death.

And ultimately He rescues us from hell.

Next… this one that has appeared bringing us saving grace does some teaching…

The verse says…

It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age

First the grace of God shows up in the person of Jesus Christ… now it becomes our instructor.

I don’t know about you but along the way I had a few very good teachers and counselors… can you think of the ones you have had. They cared. They knew their stuff. They were invested in you. I’ve done a lot of coaching over the years and know how it works…

Grace is the best teacher of all, isn’t it? I mean, we are ultimately talking about God being the best teacher. Our father, our heavenly Father knows best. Because we are loved, we are saved, we are forgiven, we are adopted into His family… all this is life changing stuff. It teaches us…

Romans 2:4 the kindness of the Lord that brings about repentance

Now we wait… now we are in the in between time.

There’s a line I see in the scriptures… this age and the age to come

We are in this age and are waiting for our blessed hope…

While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ

The Bible says because we have this hope. Because God has a day, the day, when He will return, that this does something to us… let me read this passage…

1 John 3:2  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure

We know the Lord is returning, we know it could be any time, we know we are to be about His business, we know there is to be an urgency about this. We need to make sure we are faithful about being good ambassadors for Jesus. Faithful about going out into the ends of the earth delivering the gospel summons to a lost world.

Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own

This reminds us of John 3:16…. doesn’t it?

He not only deals with our sin at the wonderful cross (I like the modern day version of this song from Chris Tomlin) but He sustains us, He keeps us, He delivers us from evil (sounds like a line in the Lord’s prayer).

There has been a break from the old life which was controlled by sin.

Now as those who know 2 Corinthians 5:17 and are in Christ… out with the old and in with the new. And… God will help us with new ways, new habits, new thinking, new friends, new desires, a new heart, a new life… the King James Bible says it in a way I’ve always appreciated…

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Eager to do what is good

What does this mean?

Why are we eager?

What is different about us that makes us want to do the right thing?

Good questions…

I did a chapel about a year ago. I brought in a 5 foot nothing leader from our prison ministry. She led us in song. She did this little ditty here that I’ll share. I won’t sing it for you today… I promise

Change my heart oh God, Make it ever true Change my heart oh God, May I be like You

You are the Potter I am the clay Mold me and make me This is what I pray

Isn’t it simple like this? When little Mary led the group of inmates in song it was quite a moving experience.

When we realize, when God helps us realize, what He has done for us… it is life changing. It causes us to be eager to do what is good. He changes us from the inside out.

You find yourself reading Psalm 119 now and you are now saying yes Lord… I am eager to do your will. Whereas before you did not have this Ezekiel 36 heart of flesh… you had the pre-Jesus heart of stone and you were (I was) a rebel child.

But now… thanks be to God… behold! All things are become new.

Let me close with a little memory I have.

My daughter asked me to speak at a youth camp… this was a few years ago

I did not realize there would be so many 4-6th grade munchkins… but I loved every minute of it!

They started every night with this little kid’s song. I am famous for listening to lyrics of songs (it’s a wonder I’m not goofier than I already am with all the before Christ came to me Led Zeppelin stuff I piped into my numbskull).

About the 3rd night I picked up on the lyrics of this little repetitive song the kids would sing… the leader of the worship music was really good and had those kids really into it with this catchy tune. I know I was. It went like this…

The greatest day in history Death is beaten, You have rescued me Sing it out, Jesus is alive

The empty cross, the empty grave Life eternal, You have won the day Shout it out, Jesus is alive He’s alive Oh, happy day, happy day You washed my sin away Oh, happy day, happy day I’ll never be the same Forever I am changed

 Songwriters Timothy David Hughes;Ben Cantelon

Published by THANKYOU MUSIC, LTD.

I think that says it all. Doesn’t it?

In a simple little silly song where the gospel is made very clear. It’s a very happy day because Jesus washed my sins away.

I’ll never be the same.

Forever I am changed.