Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 21 Grace That Sustains???
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
answered and said to the king,
we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so,
our God whom we serve
is able to deliver us
from the burning fiery furnace,
and he will deliver us
out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king,
that we will not serve thy gods,
nor worship the golden image
which thou hast set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
We’re all familiar with the story of Daniel’s three friends and the fiery furnace, but do we really understand the import of the stand that these three godly young men took? They demonstrated an amazing trust, confidence and assurance of the grace, power and sufficiency of their GOD—The Sovereign Lord God Almighty of Israel! The God who reigns in all things; all things that they had seen, and experienced because they had determined to serve their God faithfully no matter the circumstances of their service to a pagan king in Babylon! They knew that God’s power, grace and provision would deliver them, either out of the fire or through it into HIS presence! How about you and me?
“But Daniel purposed in his heart
that he would not defile himself
with the portion of the king’s meat,
nor with the wine which he drank:
therefore he requested of the prince
of the eunuchs
that he might not defile himself”. Daniel 1:8
While Daniel and his friends had a faith and confidence in God’s grace, we can also have that amazing, glorious, life-giving grace which God in His mercy has provided for us at Calvary.
“For we ourselves also were sometimes
serving divers lusts and pleasures,
living in malice and envy,
and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love
of God our Saviour
toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness
which we have done,
but according to his mercy
he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace,
we should be made heirs
according to the hope
of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7
Kind of like something I recently heard, “No matter how hard you try, you can’t get an egg from a rooster”! Now some of you dear city friends may not get it, but just FYI, only “hens” lay eggs! So, our self-righteousness is just about as likely to get us to heaven on our own, as waiting on an egg from a rooster! Paul had a great deal to say about our inability to save ourselves, apart from the grace of God.
“For by grace are ye saved
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works,
lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk
in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
And as he told the believers in Rome:
are we better than they?
No, in no wise:
for we have before proved
both Jews and Gentiles,
that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written,
There is none righteous,
11 There is none that understandeth,
there is none that seeketh after God…
….23 For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely
by his grace
through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus:” Portions of Romans 3:9-24
We must decide if we want to be a man, woman, boy or girl of faith and obedience, or if we want to walk our own way! Grace is God’s provision, but we must be willing to repent of our sin—going our own way—and believe in the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for SIN. The very resurrection of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus, whose saving work of redemption we celebrate and praise God for each day but especially on this most special day of recognizing the work of grace, love and redemption that God has provided, and continues to provide for “whosoever will”!
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man
be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world,
that he gave
his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.” John 3:14-16
Jesus was lifted up in a ‘wilderness of sin’, just as Moses lifted up the serpent in a geographic wilderness. The question is which “whosoever” are you? One of the believers and receivers, or one of the rejecters and hence the doomed?
“And he commanded us to preach
unto the people,
and to testify
that it is he
which was ordained of God
to be the Judge
of quick and dead.
*** 43 To him
give all the prophets witness, ***
that through his name
whosoever believeth in him
shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:42-43
Paul reiterated to the believers at Rome that salvation is a grace gift that is available to “whosoever” will call upon Jesus!
“But what saith it?
The word is nigh thee,
even in thy mouth,
and in thy heart:
that is, the word of faith,
which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe
in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart
man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on him
shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference
between the Jew and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all
is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call
upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved.” Romans 10:8-13
I implore you to please come to The Lord Jesus to receive HIS saving grace! There is only one alternative, and I pray that you will choose Jesus instead. God’s sufficient grace is just that, “all sufficient” for saving, leading, keeping and escorting us into the very presence of God, in HIS time!
“And I saw the dead,
small and great,
stand before God;
and the books were opened:
and another book was opened,
which is the book of life:
and the dead were judged
out of those things
which were written in the books,
according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead
which were in it;
and death and hell delivered up the dead
which were in them:
and they were judged
every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell
were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the second death.
15 And whosoever
was not found written in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:12-15
The choice is yours, but don’t miss the grace of God which is there for YOU; not just saving grace, but as I mentioned above, ‘saving, leading, keeping and escorting’ grace—provided by the blood of Jesus Christ, which “cleanseth us from all sin”! (See Matthew 1:21 & 1 John 1:7)!
“But by the grace of God
I am what I am:
and his grace which was bestowed upon me
was not in vain;
but I laboured more abundantly than they all:
yet not I,
but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
Amen and Amen!!!