Over the last four days, we have looked at the definition of grace and what it means to say grace, like when you are exhausted from trying to get it right, when you feel like you are experiencing something amazing, or when you feel angry and bitter. But last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder told us that probably the most important time to say grace is when you are evaluating what matters most.
When we look at our lives in our current circumstances—the place where God has put us in history and in our communities—we need to remember that our purpose is not about telling others how amazing our lives are (or all the positive things we post on social media). We need to remember that God pours his grace on us. As undeserving as we are, we have been forgiven. We are on a mission for God. Our purpose is to share the good news about the grace of God!
Pastor Ben said that Jesus started the church to expose the unbelieving world to THE GRACE OF GOD. CedarCreek invites unchurched people to join us on the life-changing adventure of following Christ.
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
Paul continued the work of Jesus when he addressed the elders of the Ephesus church in Miletus on his way to Jerusalem. He had hoped to be in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost because he had missed Passover and wanted to show his loyalty to Jewish tradition. In addition, it was important for him to go to Jerusalem because he had collected money from various Gentile churches for the Jerusalem relief fund. More paramount was the fact that the Spirit had compelled him to go, even though his fate was uncertain. Despite warnings and his own fears, Paul refused to draw back from his cause of spreading the Good News about the grace of God.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
In verses 5-6, Paul gave reasons why he could brag about himself including the fact that he was of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee, and blameless regarding the law. So how is it that Paul considered the reputation he had built up to be rubbish? It is through Christ, and Christ alone, that he found his worth. The day he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, he not only was cleansed of his sins but also gave up all his earthly accomplishments.
We too find our worth in Christ alone. So, we need to realize that our value has nothing to do with us or what we do. Our worth is all about Jesus and what he has done for us. He lived and died a tragic death so that we could be free from sin, for us to be called children of God, and to offer us a life in eternity. HALLELUJAH!
Are you living for Jesus Christ and his word? If not, why? Where do you find your worth? Is it in your earthly accomplishments or in your relationship with Jesus?
Write down what matters the most to you in life. Have you listed things that you think give you worth? Now, read Acts 20:13-38 to see how the Apostle Paul gives an account of how he is a great example to follow when evaluating what matters the most.
Complete GrowthTrack! GrowthTrack is a four-week experience designed to help you to take your first steps in discovering purpose. Find out more about GrowthTrack here.
Check out CedarCreek.tv/21days for prayer resources you can use throughout this season of prayer.
21 Days of Prayer: Day 25
Dear God, we read in James 5:16 that we need each other to find healing. We confess that we often look for healing in many other places and we hide what’s really going on. Help us to see that when we are in community with others who love you, we’re right where you would have us be. We pray that every Group at our church would be a safe place where people can be real, experience deep connection, and find freedom and healing from whatever struggles they are going through. Amen.
This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She is enjoying retirement and feels blessed to be writing for LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.
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