Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

GRACE & FORGIVENESS

Our Relationship With God

GRACE & FORGIVENESS

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.      Ephesians 2:8-9

Grace is first, for the first thing in God is love, and grace is love in action—it is the word of love become flesh.  It is Love favoring us when we are not favorable, loving us when we are not lovable, accepting us when we are not acceptable, redeeming us when by all the rules of the book we are not redeemable.  Grace is love applied, the word of love become flesh.

                                                         E. Stanley Jones, The Word Become Flesh        

 Grace is the central invitation to life and the final word.  It's beckoning nudge and the overwhelming, undeserved mercy that urges us to change and grow, and then gives us the power to pull it off.

                                                        Tim Hansel

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace--only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

                                                        Anne Lamott

Jesus coming and his presence are his decision, based on his love freely poured out. His coming is bound to his promise, not to our works or virtue.  We have not earned the meeting with God because we have served him faithfully in our brethren, or because we have heaped up such a pile of virtue as to shine before Heaven.  God is thrust onward by his love, not attracted by our beauty.  He comes even in moments when we have done everything wrong, when we have done nothing—when we have sinned.

                                                         Carlo Carretto, The God Who Comes

 

Jesus comes for sinners, for those as outcast as tax collectors and for those caught up in squalid choices and failed dreams.  He comes for corporate executives, street people, superstars, farmers, hookers, addicts, IRS agents, AIDS victims, and even used car salesmen.  Jesus not only talks with these people but dines with them—fully aware that His table fellowship with sinners will raise eyebrows of religious bureaucrats who hold up the robes and insignia of their authority to justify their condemnation of the truth and their rejection of the gospel of grace.

                                                         Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel        

 

We experience grace as pardon: we are forgiven for wrongs we have done.  Pardoning grace is the answer to guilt.  We experience grace as acceptance: we are reunited with God and our true selves, accepted, cradled, held, affirmed, and loved.  Accepting grace is the answer to shame.  We experience grace as power: it provides a spiritual energy to shed the heaviness of shame and, in the lightness of grace, move toward the true self God means us to be.  We experience grace as gratitude: it gives us a sense for the gift of life, a sense of wonder and sometimes elation at the lavish generosity of God.

                                                         Lewis B Smedes, In Shame and Grace

And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on God's.  When he tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.

                                                        Corrie Ten Boom 

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • Describe how you see God’s grace at work in your life.
  • Define in your own words what grace is and how you see it connecting to forgiveness.  Who has shown grace to you?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

1.  List one or two friends that you know you need to show some grace and forgiveness as you have been shown by Christ.  Hold each other accountable to do so this week.

2.  Brainstorm ways that you can show grace in your home this week.   Hold each other accountable to practicing one of those things this week.

Additional Quotes

And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on God’s.  When he tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.     Corrie Ten Boom (Author of the Hiding Place and Nazi concentration camp survivor)

All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.      Flannery O'Connor-The Habit of Being

I do not know whether God can bestow upon a man anything greater than this grace, that by his work wayward men might be changed into better, and sons of the devil be changed into sons of God.   Richard of St. Victor

More Video Illustrations

I Feel Like the One Losing
Tenth Avenue North's powerful song with lyrics that will convict your heart and uplift your soul. A reminder that while we all may fall short many times in our lives, we are always forgiven by Christ!

Alternate Topics

verses related to this topic

  • Psalm 103:8-13

    Psalm 103:8-13

    The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him, as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.

  • Isaiah 1:18

    Isaiah 1:18

    Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson they shall be like wool.

  • Micah 7:18-19

    Micah 7:18-19

    Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

  • John 8:3-11

    John 8:3-11

    The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."

  • Acts 24:16

    Acts 24:16

    So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:10

    1 Corinthians 15:10

    But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

  • Ephesians 2:8-10

    Ephesians 2:8-10

    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

  • 2 Timothy 2:1

    2 Timothy 2:1

    You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

  • Titus 3:4-7

    Titus 3:4-7

    But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

  • 1 John 1:8-10

    1 John 1:8-10

    If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

books related to this topic

  • The Prodigal God

    The Prodigal God

    Keller uses the parable of the Prodigal to reveal God’s prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and the skeptic to see Christianity in a whole new way.

  • The Ragamuffin Gospel

    The Ragamuffin Gospel

    Grace is defined as “the freely given and unmerited favor and love of God.” But, as Manning points out, we have “twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper.” In reality, God offers us grace immeasurable.

  • In Shame and Grace

    In Shame and Grace

    With warmth and wit, Lewis B. Smedes examines why and how we feel shame, and presents a profound, spiritual plan for healing.

  • The Return of the Prodigal Son

    The Return of the Prodigal Son

    Henri Nouwen’s most profound work. It explores the issues in the life of the prodigal, the elder brother and the father from the perspective of how their characteristics are part of each of us in the self-revealing way that is vintage Nouwen.

  • The God Who Comes

    The God Who Comes

    Carlo Carretto went into the Sahara in 1954 and at age 44 to serve the poor and draw closer to Christ. His word pictures are stunning and draw you into his world and closer to Christ. Editorial by Bob Martin

  • Chasing Daylight

    Chasing Daylight

    We all have dreams, hopes and aspirations. Why, then, do some of us realize our dreams and advance forward while others watch timidly from a distance and hope for a break? Author Edwin McManus reveals the direct relationship between passion and initiative. Chasing Daylight is a call to live life of blazing urgency. We have but one life.

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