The Grace of God- Part 6 - Extending Grace
By Colleen Donahue
Grace always starts with God the Father and is distributed through His Son Jesus. In fact, grace is the person of Jesus and His Holy Spirit. It was never God’s plan that we would go through life living it on our own. We were meant to walk together here on earth and then on into the eternity of Heaven.
When Jesus had finished his work on earth and had resurrected from the dead, He poured out His own Spirit – called the Holy Spirit—to indwell our human spirit. This was to be the way that He would continue to live His life on earth – through us. The Holy Spirit within us would remind us of what Jesus taught. He would guide us, comfort us, restore us, and transform us so that we would look like Jesus in this world. His presence within our lives would be the seal that God had adopted us into His family and that we belonged to him forever.
As we continue to study about grace, we’ll see that it doesn’t stop with God’s saving grace in giving us Jesus and the Spirit. God within us just keeps extending His grace in new ways to us. I was so excited to discover what this meant for my life. I hope you will be too.
- What is called “saving grace” is God coming to earth in the form of His Son Jesus to redeem us and then to restore us to our original state by Christ’s Spirit indwelling our own. Paul in his letter to Titus sums this work up.
Titus 3:5We are saved through:
A. “the water of rebirth” – Jesus washing away our sins with His blood so that….
B. we can have a new life through the Holy Spirit
- Now in this study, we’ll see that God doesn’t stop with “saving grace” to us. He keeps on giving grace (more of Jesus and His Spirit) throughout our lives. We still don’t deserve it, but we belong to the Father and are precious to Him.
Isaiah 43:1We are now part of God’s family and He extends His grace in new ways.
CARING FOR, PROVIDING, AND SATISFYING US
3. God knows us – warts and all—and still wants us as His own. He keeps close to us even if we hold him at arm’s length.
4. God’s grace to us is most often expressed in His care for us.
5. When we see how God takes such good care of all the creatures He has made, we should be convinced that God will do the same for us – if we let Him. This grace is what shows us how much He loves us.
Job 38:41 / Psalm 145:15-16 / Luke 12:24
6. God wants to satisfy us on a daily basis. Will we ask Him?
7. Not only does God take responsibility to care for us daily but He is committed for our entire lifetime.
8.How well will He care for us?
9. Since God already knows our needs before we even ask, He has the provisions all ready to meet those needs. Reread:
10. How does the grace of God promise to keep us in life? Read this psalm slowly like you were savoring every bite.
11. God not only helps us but sustains us throughout our life.
12. By giving us the Holy Spirit to indwell our own Spirit, we can know the voice of our good shepherd. What will He never allow to happen to any of us who belong to God’s family? It is repeated twice in these verses.
13. Like children who run to their parents with problems and frustrations, God wants us to run to Him with ours and not be self-sufficient. When we run to the Father when we need help then we receive it whether we deserve it or not. This is his grace poured out to us.
14. God cares for me because I am part of Jesus and He cares for His body.
15. When we are part of the sheepfold under Jesus the Good Shepherd, we’ll find that He is highly attentive to our needs. What is true for us because of this?
List them out one by one. Could any other life be more satisfying than this?
THE GRACE OF GOD PROTECTS
16. At present, we live in a fallen world with Satan as its ruler. WE have been snatched by Jesus out of his evil clutches (Colossians 1:13) and now belong to God’s family. But this makes us enemies of our former owner – like it or not. As soon as we are enjoying our place in God’s family as his children, Satan is scheming to get us back into his own kingdom of darkness. WHO in particular is he looking for?
1 Peter 5:8
17. If you and I are not keen to be devoured, then we’ll need God’s protection. Jesus confirms this in his prayer for his disciples when He knew He was leaving soon.
18. When God as King speaks, His word is law and therefore it can act as a shield of protection around us. When God speaks, Satan and his minions have to heed it.
This means we can quote God’s Word to Satan and he has to heed it – just the same way that Jesus had to quote God’s Word when He was facing temptation.
Matthew 4:4, 7, 10
19. God shows His grace to us by always being ready to help us in our times of trouble.
Psalm 10:17-18 / Psalm 46:1 / Psalm 138:7
This grace is like a blanket of protection so that we stay sheltered and safe.
20. God keeps a protective watch over us – not because we deserve it – but because we belong to Him. What does He do for us so that we don’t need to fear?
Deuteronomy 31:6,8 / Isaiah 41:10 / Isaiah 43:1-2
This doesn’t mean that God over rides our free will to do things, but in His grace He doesn’t allow His children to be crushed and defeated. He wants us to know that we are never alone.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
21. The Spirit of Jesus within us guards us from the evil one and strengthens us to stand our ground.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
This means that we need never be overcome by evil. The Lord will always provide an “escape hatch” for us.
Psalm 91:4-7 / 1 Corinthians 10:13
22. Jesus, as our Shepherd holds us close to Himself (Isaiah 40:11) and has already given his life for us (John 10:11, 14-15). What has he done to Satan?
Therefore, what can we be confident of?
BY GRACE WE ARE HEALED
One of the common ways that Satan can devour us is by laying pain, sickness and diseases on us that we just accept as the result of our genetics, our poor choices, or old age. Those can indeed all be contributing factors for sickness and disease, but it’s a fact that God wants his children to be well so that they can do the work God has assigned them.
You can’t be a good mom to your children if you’re in bed with a migraine head ache. You can’t concentrate to write that book if you’re dizzy with vertigo. You can’t host a meal for your friends if you’re sick to your stomach. You can’t play ball with your kids if your knees hurt and your hips give way!
God does not lay these things on us. That is Satan’s work and God proved His own attitude towards sickness when He came to earth as Jesus and “He healed them all”. Over and over scripture uses that phrase, “he healed them all”. Or, all who came to Jesus were healed.
23. God never does things in half measures as Jeremiah found out.
24. During our lives his grace enables us to be restored to full health. God has sent Jesus to be the one to deliver us from anything that keeps us from being free to live whole-heartedly for God. Sickness and disease keep us from living our life fully for God.
25. Often our “soul problems” (mind, will, and emotions) need healing as these can result in physical symptoms. God’s grace of healing covers these.
Psalm 34:18 / Psalm 147:3 / Isaiah 57:15-16
26. King David blesses the Lord from a full and deep heart. What did he discover that God had done for him?
Grace does this for you and I as well.
27. WHO does God pay special attention to especially during times of famine or disease?
28. What sustains us when we have little or no resources in ourselves to provide or fight?
2 Corinthians 12:9
29. Disease occurs in a body that is at “dis-ease” or without ease. Jesus calls us to Himself so that He can provide the rest that we need.
Psalm 23:1-3 / Matthew 11:28
30. How will we find the rest and refreshment that will keep us healthy?
Isaiah 40:31 / Acts 3:19-20
31. Jesus as the Great Physician is not only able but willing to heal and cleanse us. What was the only thing that this man did to receive this?
32. When a king gives his word it becomes the law and goes into action to do what he commands. Both God’s written word and His living word (Jesus) go forth to do what?
33. God shows his grace to us by nursing us when we have been overcome by sickness and then healing us despite our sins that may have even caused it.
34. God wants us whole in spirit, soul, and body. That’s why He sent Jesus (his grace) to us.
1 Peter 2:24
GRACE SHOWS ITSELF IN GOD HEARING US
When we are going through tough times one of our greatest comforts can be in knowing that God is with us in our situation and that He hears us when we call out in distress. This assurance that God hears us is another way that God extends His grace to us. He hears us as if we were the only one talking to Him!
35. We have said in previous studies that grace is really the person of Jesus. It’s His work that makes us righteous in God’s sight. (When God looks at us He sees His Son.) What are we certain of when we have the righteousness of Christ?
Proverbs 15:29 / 1 Peter 3:12
36. God always keeps us in His thoughts so that He can be there to help when we call on Him.
Psalm 40:17 / Psalm 55:16-18 / Psalm 145:18-20
37. God makes Himself available to us when we seek Him. He longs to fill us with His own life.
Psalm 63:1, 6-8
38. Because of Christ’s work for us (God’s grace to us) what can we be confident to do?
Hebrews 4:14-16 (especially vs 16)
39. And don’t think you have to beg God and keep repeating. He hears us the first time!
40. Too often when we ask God for things, we don’t really believe (or only half believe) that He hears us and will give it. What does this make us?
James 1: 5-8
41. God actually puts on our heart to pray for things that He wants too and this should give us great confidence.
1 John 5:14-15
42. God asks us to do three things in these verses and then promises to fulfill them. This can only mean that He has heard us.
Hearing is God extending his grace to us.
GRACE SHOWS ITSELF IN GOD’S COMFORT TO US WHEN IN DARK PLACES AND HIS ENCOURAGEMENT TO MOVE FORWARD
43. God is our ultimate comfort. We can run to humans who are fickle and weak or we can run to the Almighty God who made everything and knows about everything. His grace is always ready to enfold us. But what do WE forget?
44. God comforts us the same as any parent would.
Even when we feel alone in a dark place why don’t we need to be afraid?
45. What does God do for us when we are hurting?
46. Even if God has allowed our troubles as consequences of sin, He will not allow them to overwhelm us. King David experienced this first hand.
47. Our Heavenly Father can’t stand to stay angry with us. At just the right time He comforts and saves us so that ultimately, we can have salvation and victory in our life.
He is a compassionate God and it results in our being comforted.
48. God has given His word to us in written form (the Bible). By reading and studying these words, what will it do for our lives now?
God uses His written word to communicate to us and because we have Christ’s Spirit indwelling us, He interprets that word to us.
49. Often, we don’t need words, or advice, or answers. We just need to be held and assured that we will be OK. Jesus is God’s grace to us to be our comfort in every trial. He is indwelling us with His Spirit and therefore always with us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 / Revelation 21:3-4
50. As Christians we’ll mourn sometimes about things that we see done in opposition to God. At these times God comes alongside us so that mourning doesn’t overshadow our life. What does He do for us?
GOD’S GRACE GUIDES AND TEACHES US
51. God, in His grace, has given us an entire universe to show us a path to Himself. Even if a person can’t read, or lives in a place that has never heard of Jesus, he can find God through what he sees around him.
Job 12:7-10 / Psalm 19:1-2 / Romans 1:20
52. Just by studying the creation we can come to know the one who made it because it is full of His goodness to us. This is God’s grace given to everyone.
Creation is God’s megaphone to the whole world so that everyone can know Him.
53. God makes sure that all of us who want to know Him and learn to live for Him will be taught. He doesn’t leave us in our ignorance.
54. What is one of the ways that God guides and teaches us?
WHO does He do this to?
WHAT does it produce in our lives?
55. God didn’t just create us and then let us fend for ourselves here on earth. What did He do?
In verse 11 your translation might say, “I will place my tabernacle among you”. This was God saying that he would place his residence or his dwelling place among them. Later, when Jesus was soon to leave the world, He made it plain that He would not leave us as orphans.
Jesus was going to pour out His Spirit to indwell our human spirit and keep us on track with God and focused on doing God’s will. What would Christ’s indwelling Spirit do from within us?
John 14:26 / John 16:13-15
56. Besides the Holy Spirit, what has God given us to teach and guide us?
Psalm 19:7 / Psalm 119:11 / 2 Timothy 3:16-17
What is the ultimate use of scripture for our lives?
Reread: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
57. God has given us the “living word” in His Son Jesus and the written word in the Bible. What do they both become for us?
Therefore, the Bible is the authoritative plumb line for our lives.
58. God first gives us Jesus as our example in obeying God’s word and then Jesus gives us His Spirit so that He can continue obeying God’s Word throughout our lifetime. What will be the end result?
1 John 2:5-6
59. God doesn’t guide us in abstract ways. No, He gives us His Spirit to indwell our own and then we walk side by side.
Psalm 23:1-3 / Isaiah 41:10
60. One of the ways that we are guided is by the protection that God arranges for us along the way. He has no obligation to protect us when we go our own way and do our own thing. Therefore, grace can be God giving us ministering angels (the same as He gave to Jesus) as we walk through our life.
61. Grace is God granting us the joy of His presence through the indwelling of Christ’s Spirit here on earth and into eternity. In this way what does God show us?
62. If we have been following our own path apart from God, then grace is God giving us Jesus and His Spirit so that we can make our way back to Him from the independent trail that we’ve been on.
63. Jesus is central to all truth about God. He is God’s grace extended to us in real time so that we can be united with Him as His child. But there is a lot of “spiritual truth” put out that is actually false. What is the test for any and all spiritual teachers?
1 John 4:1-3