2019 Grace Life Conference (Session 13)

Jul. 10, 2019 | By Taffi Dollar

Summary

We want to be able to run the race God has given us; however, living a grace-filled life is difficult if we are in emotional turmoil. Religion or our past circumstances can affect our ability to connect and have a relationship with God and other people. Grace relates not just to how we treat others, but also to how we feel about ourselves. God wants us to go to Him to get the help we need, but this begins with first knowing that He accepts and loves us, and wants to commune with us. He wants us to enjoy life to the fullest until it overflows, but this is tough to do if we do nott enjoy ourselves. Grace can be defined as a divine influence on our hearts that guides our lives; when we learn to like ourselves the way God likes us, our self-image—and our lives—will be dramatically impacted for the better.

  1. Jesus showed acceptance toward others. His example allows us to accept ourselves.
    1. This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help… (John 3:16, 17, MSG).
      1. God helps us through the Holy Spirit in us.
      2. God wants us whole, not broken or hurting.
      3. Jesus did not go through the pain of being crucified and dying on the cross just for us to point accusing fingers at others.
    2. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious (1 Peter 2:4).
      1. Jesus did not walk on the earth to be stern, harsh, or mean toward others. He did not judge or accuse. His approach was radically different from the performance-based society in which He was operating.
      2. We are God’s chosen; we must walk in the knowledge of this.
  1. To enjoy the best in life, we must like ourselves and see ourselves as God sees us.
    1. By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise (Romans 5:1, 2, MSG).
      1. We must ask ourselves if we like ourselves. If not, we open the door to many problems in our lives.
      2. Self-rejection and self-hatred affect our relationships with others, and with God.
      3. We are three-part beings. God wants us to be at peace in our spirits, our souls, and our bodies.
      4. We do not have to earn God’s love; neither do we have to exhibit perfect behavior to receive His forgiveness.
      5. Seeing ourselves the way God sees us changes our mindset. This gives us peace with Him.
      6. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1, 2).
      7. Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God (Romans 5:2, AMPC).
    2. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
      1. God did not make us worthless or downtrodden, but accepted and loved.
      2. We must be careful to use our words to enforce this; words are powerful.
      3. Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose (Proverbs 18:21, MSG).
      4. When we know God has accepted us, we can accept ourselves.
      5. Grace allows us to stand before God and receive His favor on our lives, because of what Jesus did.
      6. Even when others do not look favorably on us, God’s grace causes promotion and success. This happened with Joseph in the Old Testament.
      7. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand (Genesis 39:4).
      8. It is vital to let the message of grace sink down into our hearts and influence our thinking.
      9. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he… (Proverbs 23:7).
      10. Religion gives us a long list of things to do that are hard work to keep up with. We can be thankful for what Jesus accomplished. What He did, not what we do, saves us.