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50 Shades of Grace Part III

Today is Election Day in the United States of America. Major decisons are being made as votes are being cast. As I stand in line to vote, I think how blessed I am to live in a country where I have the freedom to pray and to vote. I am thankful for our forefathers who laid our country’s foundation of freedom. I am also thankful for our military and leaders who serve to protect those foundations. Sharing your story of God’s grace is a freedom that not everyone shares. I pray that you will be encouraged by evidence of God’s grace. 50 Shades of Grace: Part III

6. “I’ve been thinking about 50 Shades of Grace and I have transcripts of a radio program by J. Vernon McGee. While these words are not original to me, they spoke to me and I hope it speaks to others. Quoted below are the words from the series ‘Thrus the Bible with J. Vernon McGee.” This was originally broad casted in the 1970’s and is being re-run.” “The gospel of grace puts us in the dust and makes us beggars before God. By nature man responds to legalism. He thinks he doesn’t need a Savior. All he needs is a helper…Man’s conscience witness to the law, and legal conviction will lead to works. Man tries to compensate for the fact that he is not doing enough. He tries to balance his good works against his sins and have enough on the plus side to be saved. The apostle Paul, tried to do this. And he had a whole lot on the plus side. But one day he came to Christ. Then he said, ‘What gain for me became loss and what loss became gain (see Philippians 3;7-8)’ “The gospel shuts out all works. Romans 4:5 says ‘However, to the man who does not work but trusts, God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.'” “I find a great many folks who think they have to be good enough to be saved. The other day a man said to me ‘McGee, I want to become a Christian. I am going to try a little bit better, and if I improve I’m going to become a Christian.’ I said to him, If you improve you will never become a Christian. The only class that God is saving is the ungodly. The Lord Jesus said he didn’t come to call the righteous; He came to call sinners. The reason he said that is because there is none righteous, no not one. Even the righteousness of man is as filthy rags in God’s sight. Law condemns us and must make us speechless before grace can save us.” -Karen

7. “I have failed many times in life and on my pursuit of becoming more like Christ and it is only by God’s grace that I can get back up and keep moving forward. Without His grace, I would stop in my tracks, not daring to take another step. Many times, the fear of failing yet again would have overcome me for sure. When I hear John Mark McMillan’s song ‘How He Loves Us’, I am completely overwhelmed by those words, “if Grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…”, because I am reminded that we are all sunk. Without His grace, we are incapable of doing anything worthwhile or good. We need God’s grace every day of our lives to continue on our journey with Him. As a result of experiencing God’s grace in my life, I have had the great opportunity of offering grace to those I love. Raising kids is difficult; raising teenage boys is almost impossible…without God’s grace. We pray every day that they will make good decisions and never have to endure any type of trial or emotional devastation. We plan to shield them from the mean, outside world that threatens to unravel all that we have spent years engraving into their brains. What I failed to realize, but now stand on– is that the best lesson we can teach our kids as they move through the teenage gateway to adulthood, is how to get back up when they face failure and trial in their lives. It will happen. If you are lucky, it will happen while they still live with you; so that you can guide them as they navigate their way through the muck of life. Watching my boys fail at something is never easy and it often hurts me as much, if not more, than it hurts them. There have been a few times that I have been furious, sad, and scared for them all at one time. And yet, being able to offer them an ocean of grace to sink into has been one of the greatest privileges of being their mom. Being able to look at them and remind them that no matter what that outside world tries to do to them, that they always have an ocean of love and grace at home is only possible because that is what my Father does for me. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in (your) weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). -Gwen 8. When I asked my 7-year-old-daughter what she knows about grace, she reached for her pink Bible and this was her response. “Mommy, for by grace you have been saved, through faith and not by yourself, it is a gift from God, so no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9” -Rachel

I would love to share your story of grace. You can email me at ~April

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