Summary: So many people, when they come to the valleys of life, set up camp and plan on staying there or they will do little to get out it. God never intends for us to stay in these valleys but to learn from them and move on.
The Valley Of Grace
We have spent the last 10 weeks looking at different Valleys that we face in this life, I want to look at one more aspect of the valleys this morning to encourage all those who are traveling down a hard road today.
Isaac finds himself in the Valley of Gerar – it was a Philistine town and Gerar meant “lodging place!” So many people, when they come to the valleys of life, set up camp and plan on staying there or they will do little to get out it. God never intends for us to stay in these valleys but to learn from them and move on.
Look how the Lord provided for Isaac – I’ve called this valley, “The Valley of Grace”
I. The Promise In The Valley
a. The promise of God’s commitment - 1 Timothy 6:17
One of the traps of wealth is that it gives rich people a false sense of security and power. Their money can buy most things, protect them somewhat from certain problems, and smooth their way through life. Poor people tend to turn to God; rich people tend to turn to gold. Money though has a way of disappearing. The person who has plenty of money is in danger of leaving God out of his thoughts.
All good things come from God, but we must put our trust in the Giver, not the gift – whether it be money, good health, happy family life, or anything else. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
There is no variation or inconsistency in God’s character. He always does what’s right and best – although, as Isaiah tells us, His point of view is quite different from ours. God is too loving to be unkind, too wise to make any mistakes and too powerful to be hindered. He can be trusted absolutely.
b. The promise of God’s Presence – Matthew 28:20b
When is Christ with us? Just when two or three are gathered? Not only is He with us when we gather for worship, but He is with us when we witness and when we struggle through life’s valleys Hebrews 13:5
Dr. G. Campbell Morgan told about an experience in his early Christian life. He would visit several ladies once a week to read the Bible to them. When he came to the end of Matthews Gospel, Morgan read, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He added, “Isn’t that a wonderful promise?” one of the ladies quickly replied, “Young man, that is not a promise – it is a fact!”
Valleys continually remind us of God’s grace, how amazing it is, how sufficient it is. God has promised us grace for every trial and grace for every step we take along lifes road.
c. The Promise of God’s Forgiveness - Romans 5:20
Paul tells us that the lost sinner is under a mountain of sin! He tells us that sin abounded. This word means "to abound in abundance." In other words, there was a pile of sins and they were all pressing us under their weight. Eventually, these sins would take our lives and we would be destroyed.
However, look at the contrast! Paul tells us that where that mountain of sin existed, grace did abound. He uses a different word here. This word "abound" means "to abound above measure; to overflow." The first word speaks of addition. One sin was added to another. The second word speaks of multiplication. God’s grace was multiplied over and over again! Simply stated, once we were being crushed under a mountain of sin, now, in Jesus, we stand on a mountain of grace! Yes, sin abounded, but grace super-abounded!
II. The Product of The Valley - Grace
a. There Is Grace For Saving – Romans 3:24
This verse introduces us to two great theological words and they are the words "justify" and "redemption." The word "justify" means to "To declare one not guilty, or to make one as he ought to be." In the biblical sense, it means that God, in His power and in His grace declares us to be righteous and worthy of a relationship with Him. The word "redemption" means "to set at liberty after the payment of a ransom price."
To put it all together, when we received Christ as our Saviour, God applied the price that Jesus had paid on the cross to our account and declared us righteous. He thereby freed us from the condemnation and the consequences of our sins. He very literally set us free!
In Jesus, I am free from the need to try and please God. He is already pleased with me because of what Jesus did at the cross. I no longer have to try to be good to get God to let me go to Heaven. He has already given me His own righteousness! What a blessing!