Summary: By God’s grace we are motivated to do right, to live right. 1- By God’s grace we humble ourselves 2- By God’s grace we honor others 3- By God’s grace we use our gifts
INTRO.- You’ve been graced by God whether you realize it or not!
ILL.- When Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town, he was stopped by a policeman and charged with speeding. Graham admitted his quilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court. The judge asked, "Guilty, or not guilty?" When Graham pleaded guilty, the judge replied, "That'll be ten dollars -- a dollar for every mile you went over the limit."
Suddenly the judge recognized the famous minister. "You have violated the law," he said. "The fine must be paid--but I am going to pay it for you." He took a ten dollar bill from his own wallet, attached it to the ticket, and then took Graham out and bought him a steak dinner! "That," said Billy Graham, "is how God treats repentant sinners!"
I never had a judge or a police officer extend that much grace to me. Although I was given a speeding ticket in 1968 for doing 40 mph in a 20 mph zone. The officer extended grace and made the ticket for 30 mph instead of 40. It cost me $20 or $2 a mile. That was gracious of him but here is what grace is all about!
II Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
II Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
Isn’t this a beautiful text? Wasn’t it a beautiful thing that Jesus did for us? He left the riches of heaven for the poverty of earth so that we could become rich in heaven!
Wow! I don’t know of anyone else who would do that for me or for you! Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He gave up everything for us. He traded places with us in order to save us and give us a home in glory!
And God’s grace covers an even larger area than our salvation. It covers all of life!
John 1:16-17 “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” One blessing after another and all from His grace. WE HAVE BEEN GRACED!
Acts 6:8 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.”
Grace and power. Do they go together like a horse and carriage? I think so. This means when we experience God’s grace, the more power we will have in living the Christian life. AMEN! Power to do what? To live for Christ. To speak for Christ. To do good for Christ. To be better than we would ordinarily be.
Now grace has led to where we are today and grace will lead us on in living the Christian life. What does God’s grace cause us to do?
PROP.- By God’s grace we are motivated to do right, to live right.
1- By God’s grace we humble ourselves
2- By God’s grace we honor others
3- By God’s grace we use our gifts
I. BY GOD’S GRACE WE HUMBLE OURSELVES
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Some translations or paraphrases read: “Don’t have an exaggerated opinion of yourself or of your own importance.”
ILL.- Henry Augustus Rowland, professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University, was once called as an expert witness at a trial. During cross-examination a lawyer demanded, "What are your qualifications as an expert witness in this case?" The retiring professor replied quietly, "I am the greatest living expert on the subject under discussion."
Later a friend well acquainted with Rowland's disposition expressed surprise at the professor's uncharacteristic answer. Rowland answered, "Well, what did you expect me to do? I was under oath."
God save us from such prideful people! And yet, I believe they abound in politics and in Hollywood and perhaps in religious circles!
Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” What was Jesus saying? Don’t toot your own horn!
ILL.- Bob Russell preached at the large Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, for 40 years before he retired. But that church wasn’t always large. Bob went there when Southeast had 120 people in 1965. When he left their membership was 18,000. How could Bob not be proud of what he had accomplished? It would be easy to pat yourself on the back if you were Bob Russell, but I don’t believe Bob did that. I think he always gave God the credit and the glory for that amazing church growth. THAT’S BEING HUMBLE.