BILLY GRAHAM

Billy Graham, was a man of God who reflected God’s glory. He is a man who was preserved from scandal and unbelief. God’s anointing was on Billy to faithfully preach the Gospel to hundreds of thousands of people, many coming to follow our Lord Jesus Christ.

Billy was biblically faithful. He called us to be biblically faithful. It is not what we think, but “what the Bible says!”

In our Bible study Series, “Growing in God’s Grace,” we are now focusing on the Scriptures as a habit of God’s grace to shape our lives. So, in honour of Billy, this post contains Billy Graham’s notable quotes about the Bible-God’s voice to us.  May it so fill your heart and mind to action in growing closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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LISTENING TO GOD

charles spurgeon bibleIn our Living Out God’s Grace Bible study series, we have been exploring the grace of the gospel which brings us to faith in Christ and motivates us to live out our salvation.
As we enter into the second half of this series, we will slightly shift our focus to the “means of grace” by which our Triune God gives us as blessings to not only grow us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus, but to know and enjoy Jesus more and more. May it continue to comfort and challenge you as you learn to rest in God’s grace in your journey to become more like Christ.
Through the beautiful lens of the Gospel Good News, we consider the most vital means of grace to discipleship in Jesus: Listening to God through HIS WORD.

 

 

 

 

PAYING ATTENTION TO OUR DO’S AND DON’TS IN EQUAL MEASURE

lesley-grindrod

Lesley Grindrod, contributor for today’s blog post

After being away serving with the Oasis refugee ministry in Austria for the last four months, I can’t even tell you how GOOD it felt to be ‘back home’ with the lovely CBC ladies at the Bible Study on Monday. I’ve tried to keep up with the Grace Place blogs and study notes online, but it’s never quite the same as actually being there in person! And wow, what a wonderful feast it was as Kathy continued her teaching on living out God’s grace in our daily lives. Basing her teaching on Titus 2: 11-14, this week’s topic was how we are ‘Trained by God’s Grace.’ Kathy asked me to share some of the things that I took away from this week’s teaching, so here are just a few of the precious gems I picked up:
*Grace is not a ‘thing’ – it’s the person of Jesus Christ Himself! We live solely on the merits of Jesus alone, on our union with Him.
*What Paul wrote to Titus is still totally relevant today. Our heart issues and struggles are just the same. It’s not about challenging good things in a culture (this really struck home to me in relation to refugee ministry) but demonstrating what a household truly devoted to Jesus should look like – in any culture!
*Our salvation and training are inseparable. God doesn’t do one without the other. Being trained by God’s grace is not just learning to say ‘no’ but about saying ‘yes’ too! God’s grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, but at the same time it trains us to say ‘yes’ to what is Godly and righteous.
*Putting off our bad habits should work simultaneously with putting on the new! (Ephesians 4: 22-24) If we concentrate on one while neglecting the other we will become unbalanced in our Christian walk. In a nutshell: Pay attention to do’s and don’ts in equal measure!
*Paul says to be EAGER to do what is good. If we concentrate on saying ‘yes’ to what is good, we can trust God’s grace to do its work in our lives, helping us, strengthening us to say ‘no’ to what is bad. Do I spend too much time concentrating on ‘putting off’ at the expense of ‘putting on?’
*scissorsKathy used the great illustration of a pair of scissors …. two sharp blades, fixed and held together at a pivot point. Both blades need to be sharp and properly aligned to get a neat, sharp cut. Trying to cut with a single blade will generally result in jagged, torn and uneven lines. Jesus – the pure grace of God in our lives – will enable us to relinquish our ‘old habits and attitudes’ while at the same time embracing the ‘new.’ Both must work together like the scissors’ blades, with Jesus the beautiful embodiment of God’s grace holding everything together at the pivot point.

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!

1cc19207f9a7be506aef9a6dac205b3bHi girlfriends!

Just a reminder that tonight is our monthly Bible study with our study series of “Living Out God’s Grace”  where we FOCUS on God’s Word and we spend some time in FRIENDSHIP!

WHERE: CORSHAM BAPTIST CHURCH HALL

WHEN: TONIGHT, 29 JANUARY

TIME: 7:30-9:00PM 

Hope you will join us!

HE GIVES MORE GRACE

“But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud, but shows favour to the humble.’” James 4:6

I have been studying Scripture which teaches about being ‘TRAINED BY GOD’S GRACE’ in preparation for the upcoming Women’s Bible Study which is this coming Monday, 29 January at 7:30 in the CBC church hall.

There is precious treasure for our growth and maturity in Christ as we learn to embrace the truths of God’s gospel grace-comfort, hope, promise, purpose, peace, and enabling of God’s Holy Spirit for true followers of Christ.

Of course, there is a tension, as we know that we are ‘already’ redeemed but ‘not yet’ fully restored until we are with Christ in glory. What is this tension? It is the remaining sin in our lives that God, who through His grace, will “put to death” as we grow in Christ.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t want to put my rebellious sinful heart issues to death…at least not all the time. I too easily put myself on the throne of my life because of my pride and listening to the lies of Satan and the world around me. What to do? I am learning that I must keep the gospel of God’s grace before me at all times. Not only to remind me of its truths, but that I will cooperate with the Holy Spirit in enabling me to daily surrender my heart and life to God….every day. It always come down to a heart issue.

I was recently challenged in one of my devotional books, this one by Paul Tripp, New Morning Mercies, with the following questions: ‘ What do we really want out of life? What do we really want from God? Do we really esteem his work of grace? Do we really admit how much we need his moment-by-moment rescue? Do we value his forgiveness? Do we really care to be transformed? Are we concerned about the character of our hearts and the condition of our souls? Do we have any interest in being holy as He is holy? All these questions boil down to one question: Do we value God’s grace, or would we rather have comfortable lives- nice houses, cars, vacations, cuisine, and friends?’
GIVES MORE GRACELet’s truly contemplate His saving, redemptive, life-changing, sustaining, transforming grace— JESUS, who leads us on this narrow, counter-cultural path to glory.
You know, to get real and humble ourselves with our Lord and be honest with ourselves can be daunting and maybe painful…but you know, there is God’s grace for that as well! And when we humble ourselves before the Lord, then He will lift us up.

GOD IS WORKING IN US

“And I(Paul) am certain that God, who began a good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT

Last Friday I struggled through a strange day. I was out of sorts, and had a bad attitude on several levels. I was also in the midst of having to make several decisions that I didn’t want to make. I just wanted them to sort themselves out or go away. Life isn’t like that though, is it? So as I was “muddling through” I realized I needed to pause and ponder what was going on in me. So I did; all throughout the day I stopped to pray for God’s grace-to enable me to cooperate with the Holy Spirit about my attitude; to ask God to help me to cast my anxieties on Him and trust that He cares for me. Each time I talked to God, I prayed that these heart issues that were coming to the surface, would be used to train me in His grace. I repented to God where I sinned in my thoughts or actions. And as to the decisions I needed to make, I asked for God’s clarity and guidance.

j0438647God answered my prayers. He was training me with Christ’s redeeming love in action. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. But as the day wore on, my rebellious attitude began to be diffused as I surrendered my self-justification, self pity and entitlement issues at the cross. I began to see things more clearly. I was able to go ahead with decisions and ministry with God’s confidence in wobbly me. No second guessing if I got it right ……or wrong. I was given God’s peace in my messiness and in the ongoing, daily spirtual battle. I hate to think how the trajectory of this would have altered my life had I carried on in my own strength and sinful heart. Not a pretty picture– carnage of bitterness and  pride overflowing into “the enemy’s deceitful foothold territory.” Yikes!

You see, we can accomplish nothing in “being and doing good” when it is detached from the DONE of the gospel. We will wear out and burn out and give up and give in to Satan’s deceptive lies. But God’s gospel grace gives us oxygen and space to breathe; the power to repent and obey.

Jared Wilson says it so well: “The Gospel is good news. The Holy Spirit of God living in us ensures it. We will bear good fruit. This doesn’t make us sinless. It DOES make us sure of spiritual growth and it DOES make us more conscious of and convicted over our sin.”

I think that is what I am learning more every day. God’s gospel grace that saved me will grow me and refine me into Christ’s likeness more and more. It is a daily process until I am with our Lord Jesus.

Praying that this will resonate with you, reader, as you consider the training of God’s grace in your life. This is Good News! God began His work in you when He saved you; and He will CONTINUE His work in you until it is finished. Be encouraged!

 

 

STAYING IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

in step with the SpiritI am amazed at where the time has gone since Christmas and New Year’s Day! It is almost mid-January! I hope you all have settled back into the routine of “normal” in your lives. I have been praying for you as you “live out God’s grace” in your every day life.

God’s grace comes to us in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ…every minute of every day. God not only forgives us but also gets inside of us by the Holy Spirit. As we have been studying, our Triune God’s grace gives us His identity and transforms us increasingly into Christ’s likeness. This month (29 January) we will consider God’s grace training us.

We are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches us that we will struggle with our flesh and spiritual forces, run the race, fight the good fight, and pray without ceasing.. Our hope is not in our ability to do these things, but in the God of grace- Jesus Christ in redeeming action, working sovereignly in our undeserving lives. Our God of grace never grows tired, never gets frustrated, and never gives up on us!

These are wonderful truths. But sometimes I find that these wonderful themes of grace can become commonplace and so familiar that I take them for granted. I can lose my wonder of the cross, the value of His forgiveness, the need for Christ’s moment by moment rescue and redeeming action. Before I know it, my concern and care to stay in the step with the Spirit wanes, and my life has lost its gospel attractiveness, witness, and I am just plain sloppy.  It is simply not honouring to our Lord and I suffer the consequences as well. Can you relate?

So how do we stay in step with the Spirit? We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves everyday to remember who we are in Christ, to remember there is a spiritual battle going on. Even to remember, we need God’s grace.

So as we return to our study of Living Out God’s Grace; let us encourage and pray for one another- to preach the gospel to ourselves daily; to value and celebrate God’s grace. To ask God to value Him above our comfortable lives and agendas. And as we centre on God’s gospel grace, God’s training of us will begin to seem more like a delight than a duty.