Plans of Grace by Pastor Dave
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich..”
2 Corinthians 8: 9
Jeremiah 29: 10-14
Sometimes our lives, situations and outlook seem incredibly bleak. We may feel trapped, guilty, alone, lacking in hope and feel we have no real prospects. In the Old Testament God’s people were often in positions like this; quite frequently because of their own actions but on occasions because of other factors. Our reading today has the prophet Jeremiah telling the people that despite their situation God had amazing plans for them. Their captivity would not be forever, it had a purpose and He would reconcile their lives and situation.
Last week we encouraged people to look at God’s Story and Our Story because, as I often say, they are meant to be together, forever entwined. You heard from some of our musicians and how God speaks to them through music and lyrics (incredibly gifted people). On Friday you will have heard from John who shared his story. John found himself in a terrible situation where he condemned himself for his actions and their outcomes – he was in dire straits. He had hurt people he knew and loved. The outcome was not what he expected. He was shown, much to his surprise and wonder, love and forgiveness. It helped transform his life and drew him deeper into God. I won’t repeat the details here but would encourage you to listen to our musicians and John’s stories via our website.
What John spoke about and the musicians referred to is known as Grace; God’s gifts of love and life to us through forgiveness in Jesus. It is called Grace because this incredible act of compassion on behalf of God is unmerited and undeserved by us. In our verse above we see that in this Grace, Jesus became poor so that we might become rich. Therefor if we stand in Jesus through faith there is now no condemnation for us – final! Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8: 31-39).
How do we receive this Grace, how do we enter into His hope, plans and spiritual life? Jeremiah tells us that we need to seek God with all our heart and we will find Him (vs. 13). The apostle Paul tells us that through our faith in Him we will be saved by His Grace (Ephesians 2: 8). May we all realise the depth of God’s love for us, His joy over us, His plans for us – in short His Grace. May this Grace transform our lives and those around us and in so doing bless the world.
To Ponder: Meditate on God’s Grace and unpack what it means to you. Look back over the last two weeks of my blogs or listen to John’s Story if you need help. Do you recognise the need for God’s Grace; do you feel His loving embrace?
Pray: Lord Jesus we thank you that for our sake you became poor so that we may become rich….in you. Open our hearts and minds to grasp this Grace-filled gift of love. Help us to seek you with all our hearts that we may find you and in so doing find life. Show us the amazing plans you have for us. Amen
Praise: Members of St Aidan’s Church praise God for His plans for us
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwh7lfGQCWE&feature=youtu.be
Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJNR0lxbIP4
Grace wins every time
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JXl1czvh7g
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.