Dr. Leighton Ford is the president of Leighton Ford Ministries and a prolific author, speaker, and social activist. Among many other credentials, he was vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for 31 years. He shares this true story about what Jesus has done for us because of His amazing grace.
Billy Graham said in an interview on Australian television, “I know I’m going to heaven, not because of what I’ve done, but because of what Jesus Christ has done for me.”
The agnostic master of ceremonies of the program was so stunned by this that he went out in the streets and started asking people, “Do you know that you’re going to heaven?” This agnostic became a street evangelist by just asking the question and making people think about it.
Salvation, eternal life, adoption into God’s forever family and more is all because of His glorious and amazing grace. What is grace? It is unmerited and undeserved favor, the Lord giving us what we do not deserve. The Apostle Paul proclaims, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Gotquestions.org points out: “In His grace, God is willing to forgive us and bless us abundantly, in spite of the fact that we don’t deserve to be treated so well or dealt with so generously.”
Arthur Tappan Pierson (1837-1911) was an American Presbyterian pastor, Christian leader, missionary and writer who preached over 13,000 sermons, wrote over fifty books, and gave Bible lectures as part of a transatlantic preaching ministry that made him famous in Scotland, England, and Korea. Despite these accomplishments, and many more besides, he declared, “However poor a preacher I am, I can preach the gospel better than the angel Gabriel can, because Gabriel cannot say what I can say: “I am a sinner saved by grace.” Everything we have is because of the amazing grace God lavishes upon us.
And it does not stop there! We live by grace and we also give grace.
We live by grace; in other words, we are not saved by grace and then must live a Christian life by our own efforts, striving hard to try to please a demanding God who cannot and will not accept what we offer Him. We live in the grace He daily and lavishly gives to us.
Plus, we give grace! We don’t live by grace ourselves and then expect others to live a life that we cannot possibly live. There is only One person who can live the Christian life – Jesus Christ. Because He defeated sin, death, and hell by rising triumphantly from the grave, He is alive today and available to live His life in you and in me. You can’t do it; neither can I. So don’t expect others to do what you cannot do. Give them grace. Cover them with grace. You are not saved by the Law, so don’t try to live by it or force others to do what you yourself cannot do. Live grace! Give grace!
This Sunday, January 8, we begin a new series about what the Church is to be - starting with A House of Grace. We are saved by grace, live by grace, and give grace to others, including those “unworthy” of grace. Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am either in the building or online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday to both locations.
The “Joy of Belonging” classes for current and new members begin this Sunday in the 9:30am Adult Bible Class. If you are interested in, or simply curious about, membership, this series of four classes is for you.
This Sunday is also Un-Deck the Halls Sunday. For those who can stay after the service that morning, we will put away all the Christmas decorations and then enjoy a delicious prepared lunch together. (Lunch is provided; you do not need to bring anything that day.)
This month’s Drive-Thru Prayer outreach is this Saturday, January 7, from 11am-1pm (Note new time).
Aloha ke Akua!