Archives For Sons of Grace

Complaining never works. How should you live when people around you don’t share your faith? The amazing story of Daniel is a guide for being a carrier of God’s grace.

Looking at the story of Hosea and Gomer, one could think the teaching could very well be on marriage. There would be a lot of specific passages that would speak directly into marriage relationships.

The story is more about faithfulness. It’s about examples of how much we hurt God in our relationship with Him. We can look at all the times in our own lives where we keep returning to our same old sin.

God has created a covenant relationship with us. Covenant is kind of a churchy word, but it is creeping more into our everyday language and by doing so, it is morphing into different meanings. If you live in a subdivision with covenants, you know it’s mostly a list of “you can’t dos”. Other than some aesthetic issues in our covenants, in my subdivision the only real “can’t do” farm animals. Go figure.

If you are a leader at Suncrest, we hold that position to have a high value. You are asked to sign a Leadership Covenant. I reread it again and I can’t see the word “don’t” used one time. The Covenant here, talks more about, alignment, attitude, responsibility, commitment and safety.

We enter into a marriage covenant, but we sometimes have the idea we can define that as we go along. We repeat the vows that basically say, I’ll love you in spite of….. Our interpretation of that is, I’ll love you if…, or I’ll love you until……., I’ll do that for you, if you do this for me…. We make the covenant conditional.
We don’t think in terms of the covenant God has with us. “I love you.” Period. No disclaimers, no fine print, no guy reading really really fast to get all the legal stuff in. Period. God is faithful.

We on the other hand, return that love based on how we live that out in the rest of our lives. God, I’ll really love you when….., I’ll get back to you when I have more time….., I’ll work on our relationship right after I finish this little thing over here that I know hurts you. We have a faithfulness of convenience and the convenience is all ours. Yet, there is God, still being faithful to us, regardless of how we act toward Him. Hosea 8 pointed out God’s anger toward Israel, yet He never stopped loving them or being faithful to them.

So let’s examine our own lives and ask ourselves what kind of relationship we have with God. A relationship of convenience or one of a no questions asked covenant?

Most of us think of God’s grace as something light or soft. But what if God’s grace has some tough edges to it, too? What if God wants to use questions to challenge us and grow our faith in him? Watch as Wes explains from the story of Elijah how God’s grace uses tough questions to teach us hard things.

…by Kevin McHugh

I think about God’s grace when I pray and my prayer will include thoughts of gratitude to God for making a way for me despite the fact that I sin against Him all the time. My prayer then will move on to whatever is on my mind to ask for God to move in the world. I consider God’s grace more deeply when I receive communion and the focus of my thoughts is completely on what Jesus did for me on the cross rather than my requests of the day. Beyond this, there are the larger parts of the day where I am not considering this grace at all unless I sense something that makes me stop and notice, so it really struck me as authentic when Bobby made a personal illustration of putting ourselves at the center of the universe or in some partnership with God in the center rather than God alone in His right place at the top. Yes, me too.

This series also has me thinking about grace in some different ways – grace can be shown to us in ways that do not appear so “graceful” when they occur, but if we trust and obey then the outcomes will work out for God’s plan and for our own good. Let’s consider again the story of Joseph who was pampered as a kid, then plotted against by his own brothers, almost left for dead only to be taken away to slavery in Egypt. From there he managed to rise to a good position only to be falsely accused and thrown in prison where his God-given talents to interpret dreams win him favor with the pharaoh. Joseph’s advice to save up food during times of plenty save all the land during the times of famine – here is grace in a dramatic way that at times surely did not feel like grace to Joseph, but he and his people receive it just the same – they survived the famine and the people of God lived on.

So now I have another lens to see grace through. It is not always nice, it is not always easy, it is not always seen as grace at the time, but in the end it works for the good plans that God has for our lives. My take away is to trust more and seek God’s will. Bobby chose some great verses in his message including Matthew 6:33 which says: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”