Friday, May 16, 2014

Gods Amazing Grace

The Apostle Paul wrote, "I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord.  I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago.  Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don't know-only God knows.  Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body.  But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.  That experience is worth boasting about, but I'm not going to do it.  I will boast only about my weaknesses.  If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth.  But I won't do it, because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message" (2 Cor 12: 1-6 NLT).

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.

1.  God will allow you to experience things, by His grace, that will prepare you for your life's assignment.  Paul was used supernaturally, therefore he needed to have supernatural experiences with God.  God allowed Paul to experience heaven, even while he was still alive in the earth, in order to help shape his writings and ministry.  Paul is not the only human to have visited heaven and come back to talk about it.  You may not get that experience, but you can rest assured that God will allow you to experience, what you need to experience, in order to maximize your purpose and potential in the earth.  But when you do, just remember that God gave you the experiences by His grace, not because you earned them.

2.  Boast in the fact that you 'got to' experience it, not that you earned it.  Paul did not boast in the fact that he was selected to go to heaven, he boasted in the fact that he wasn't worthy of the trip.  Paul was just happy that he 'got to' experience it.  Learn from Paul.  Like Paul I don't credit for writing Today's Word every day, or for the fact that God allows me to preach His Word to the world.  I am just thankful that I 'get to' do it.  So no matter what you are called to do, just be thankful that you GET TO do it.  God could have selected anyone, but He CHOSE YOU!

3.  When you know you didn't earn it, you acknowledge and appreciate God's grace.  When Paul was talking about his trip to heaven and he said, "I will boast only about my weaknesses," he was acknowledging the fact that he had not earned the trip.  Similarly, I often think about my assignment in life, and the awesomeness of it.  Honestly, sometimes I can't do anything but weep, because I know I don't deserve it, and I know I surely haven't earned it.  But God, who is rich in mercy, calls us by His grace, not our merit.  

4.  The secret is acknowledging the fact that you don't deserve it.  Paul had the perspective he did because he knew all the bad things he had done in life before coming to Jesus, and all the mistakes he had made even after being Born-Again.  The message of grace changed Paul, it has changed me, and my prayer is that it also changes you.  Please embrace the amazing freedom from your failures, forgiveness for your past, and excitement about your future, that is found in God's grace.

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