Summary: God’s grace is not just something we receive but also something that affects our lives, how we relate to others. This sermon explores what it means to perservere with God’s grace.

Our focus for this week is 2nd Corinthians chapter 6 verse 1 to 13.

Please open your bibles to 2nd Corinthians chapter 6 verse 1,

or if you don’t have a bible please refer to the sheet in your bulletin.

This reading follows immediately after the reading we explored last week.

Last week we were reminded that walking by faith primarily means relying on and sharing God’s forgiveness and reconciliation throughout our life.

Receiving and sharing God’s forgiveness is the number one priority for our lives.

Connected with God’s forgiveness is the concept that essential to the church is God’s Grace.

Grace has been described as

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense

Grace is also understood at what God is doing for us and through us.

Throughout history graceful actions have changed people.

A few years ago in South Africa.

Whites had significant power over blacks.

One day a young black boy and his mother were walking down a street, approaching them was a tall white man.

Before they could get off the path as required, the white man stepped off the path into the gutter, and tipped his hat and sad afternoon maam.

The young boy asked, “Mum why did that white man do that, aren’t we the ones who are supposed to be in the gutter.”

His mother responded, “He’s an Anglican priest,

He listens to God more than He listens to men.”

That small gesture of grace changed the young boy’s life.

He got more interested in God.

And as a result that young boy became an Anglican priest,

His name is the Desmond Tutu, the black Anglican Bishop.

And when it comes to grace we all love receiving it.

Who here loves benefiting from God’s grace?

As I live my life I am constantly thankful for

how graceful God has been and is to me.

God’s grace is essential to our lives as individuals and as a community of believers.

We should aim for every action, every word and every decision we make as individuals and as the church to be influenced by God’s grace.

Let’s look at verses 1 to 2

As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. ž

2ž For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,

and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.

It is always Grace time…time for grace

God’s grace is relevant for every situation.

Think about your life right now.

What is happening in your life?

Think about how God’s influence can affect every situation you are involved in.

In some situations, it may actually change what occurs.

In Acts chapter 9 we see an example of God’s grace at work.

A gentleman called Saul, who had been killing and persecuting the early Christians,

His life is changed when God interacts with Him.

God didn’t disown him for what he had done, but equipped him for a new life.

And becomes one of the best known Christians, St Paul.

Instead of persecuting Christians, he dedicates his life to following God

converting people to Christianity

and encouraging churches.

Also God’s grace can actually change how we view life and ourselves.

Research shows one of the biggest issues people face today is poor self esteem.

That is people not thinking themselves as being worthwhile.

People with poor self esteem either harm themselves or harm others, and often both.

Some years ago I developed a friendship with a young man

when I first met him he was a skinny young boy.

He however became obsessed with body building.

Over a few years his body altered to a muscley character.

Because of his obsession with body building His mother was worried.

He would look at himself in the mirror constantly,

picking out the smallest flaws in his body,

and connecting them to other problems in his life.

Body building had taken over his life.

At times he would miss school and not do chores around the house

because he was so obsessed.

His obsession had even meant he had cut people out of his life.

His girlfriend was fed up with him, and she soon became his ex girlfriend.

For him this was devastating.

Basically he had done what every obsessed person does

He had turned his interest in life into an idol,

It was more important than loving God and loving others.

Is there something in your life you are obsessed about?

Is it an idol?

But there were two things going for him, one he was prepared to talk to someone and secondly he had some respect for God.

That’s how I became friends with him.

As we talked about life I discovered that he didn’t think much of himself and he thought no one else did either.

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