Grace…it really is Amazing!

Teaching topic:  God’s amazing grace, the expression of His great love!

Photo of the interior of the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens (by Dea Minter Carey)

* GRACE GIVES,… out of the overflow of LAVISH LOVE!

Glimpses of grace come to us in all kinds of ways. We see the grace of God through His word, through an encouragement when we need it most, through the reminders of His love and mercy, and through the majesty and beauty of His creation, which is constantly sustained by His grace. We also see grace extended through the lives of others. We have been given lavish grace, and we have opportunities every day to extend this grace to others. In our lives, we all have stories of grace extended, grace recognized, grace blossoming, and grace overcoming darkness with light.

Sometimes we just don’t think about all of the manifestations of grace and may even take it for granted. We should think about grace, because we need to seek to extend God’s grace into the lives of people with whom we come into contact and into the world around us. The only way for us to extend the grace that we have been given by God is to do so intentionally. Grace is love that goes beyond. It is lavish love. It is not a mere exchange, requiring something in return. Grace gives when there is no promise of recompense. Grace reaches out through alienation and hurt. Grace heals, encourages, surprises us, and takes our breath away at the beauty of its motivation. For grace is pure. It is love that gives because it overflows, not because it is deserved or earned.  The best gift ever given, God’s only Son, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the lavish, loving grace of God.  Grace really IS amazing!

* GRACE EMBRACES….out of a longing for relationship

As Jesus has loved us, so are we to love one another. We must remember that we have already been given that which we do not deserve…the love and mercy of God through our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is because of the lavish gift of salvation that we must choose to lay aside that which is temporary and embrace that which is eternal. When we embrace and value the lives of fellow human beings, we are most like Christ. Though He clearly saw the sin and sorrow in every life He encountered, Jesus healed, blessed, encouraged, helped, taught, fed, raised, challenged, transformed, forgave, and loved all who came across His path. The desire for a relationship with us because of His great love for us was more important to Jesus than any condemnation of our unrighteousness or exaltation of His own righteousness.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:17

* GRACE SEES…what could be

Because grace is lavish love expressed through undeserved mercy, grace sees.
Grace sees what could be….in the hearts and lives of people.
Grace sees what could be….in our own hearts and lives….and our need for growth.
Grace sees what could be….in relationships.
Grace sees what could be….in attitudes.
Grace demonstrates love to us right where we are….and sees ahead to what God will do in our lives as we yield our will and our hearts to Him.

* GRACE KNOWS US…right where we are…and chooses to show us love and mercy.

Grace is a choice that God makes in every millisecond of time to continue to show mercy because of His great love for us. The world keeps on spinning because of Amazing Grace. Our hearts keep beating because of the amazing grace of God. He could choose immediate judgement, but instead He chooses grace. And, from the dawn of time, His plan was to meet our need for grace by taking our judgement upon Himself because of His great love. We didn’t have to deserve or earn the right to forgiveness and salvation. He loves, He provides, He forgives, He sanctifies, He heals, He makes all things new, He comforts, He blesses, He gives joy and life more abundant, and His mercies are new every morning…because He is love. His grace flows out of the overflow of His lavish love, and the flow is never-ending.

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:14 & 16

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. And from His fulness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:14 & 16

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Post written by C. Boyd

This post was first published as a page on our WorshipSound Music Blog at http://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/grace-notes/

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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You Are Greatly Loved!

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts throught the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” Romans 5:1 – 5

Teaching topic:  The Awesome and Infinite Love of God

There are so many ways that the immense and immeasurable love of God is manifested to us, His deeply loved ones. He has written His love for us into His creation, and He has chosen again and again to show us mercy and grace because of His powerful, perfect, and almighty love.

Here are some ABC reminders of the many ways that God has demonstrated His love to us.

{ A } God’s love accepts us just as we are. When we are ready to see our own sinfulness and come to Him for forgiveness and salvation, God is always ready to receive us. We don’t have to clean ourselves up first or get ourselves right. He takes care of that after we have come to Him. The invitation to come to Him for salvation and forgiveness has no other conditions. It is the beginning point of our walk with the Lord and our journey towards becoming like Christ.

{ B } God’s love blesses our lives in countless ways. Every good gift is from Him. (James 1:17)

{ C } God’s love covers our sin with His mercy through the blood of Jesus. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed in the one to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1 & 2
(Note: the sin is covered by God only as we confess it and ask for His forgiveness, as in verse 1a)

{ D } God’s love delights in fellowship with us. He is never unavailable. He is God with Us, Emmanuel.

( E ) God’s love is everlasting. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God’s love for us will never change or grow cold.

( F ) God’s love is forgiving. He is rich in mercy. As the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” expresses, He is “ever giving and forgiving.”

( G ) God’s love is generous. Because He loves, He gave the most precious gift ever given…His only Son.

“We love, because He first loved us.” I John 3:19

( H ) God’s love is holy. There is no impure thought or motivation within the heart of God. His love is the most pure and holy of all loves.

( I ) God’s love is immortal. The Bible says that God is love. And, since God will never die, His love (that is the basic character of who God is and the fundamental motivation for all that He does) will never die. Our mortal loved ones may leave us for a time on Earth, but God’s love has always been, constantly is, and will always be. It is who He is.

( J ) God’s love is a jealous love. He wants to be first in our hearts. To some, that may sound out of character for our merciful and loving God; but He is the one who made us and knows us best. He knows that our lives will be complete, abundant, full of joy, and our full potential will be realized only as we love Him first.

( K ) God’s love is kind. He has our best interests at heart. As the lyrics from the chorus to the song, “Trust His Heart” (recorded by both Babbie Mason and Cynthia Clawson) tell us so beautifully: “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So, when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”

( L ) God’s love is long-suffering (patient even when it is painful to be so). He allows the world to continue even though our sorrows bring him grief and our sin breaks his heart. His desire is to allow us more time to come to faith in Him, even in this fallen world. He sees beyond the present pain to the joy and victory that is to come and continues to show mercy.

( M ) God’s love is merciful. Perhaps a better spelling for the word would be mercyfull! Because God’s love for us is infinite in its fullness and in its capacity to forgive, God delights in showing us mercy. His mercies are new every morning!

( N ) God’s love is near. He is near to all who call upon His name. We don’t to wait for someday to know the love of the Lord. He is here. He is near.

( O ) God’s love is the origin of all true love. We love because He first loved us and created us with the capacity to give and receive love.

( P ) God’s love is powerful! His love has the power to transform lives, heal hearts, and purify souls.

( Q ) God’s love has both…quality and quantity! The quality of his love has a purity that goes beyond anything we experience on earth. And, as for quantitiy, there is always, abundantly, more of God’s love…enough to fill our hearts for eternity!

( R ) God’s love is redemptive. He will redeem every experience, every pain, every rejection, every loss, and every heart that says “Yes!” to His “Come Just as You Are” invitation.

“For God so loved…”

( S ) God’s love is saving love. In the words of Dottie Rambo, “He looked beyond my fault, and saw my need.” Because of His great love for us, God met our need for holiness, for relationship with Him, for abundant life, for purpose, for salvation. He sent Jesus as our Savior and allowed the ultimate sacrifice of Christ to become a substitutionary payment for the wages of our sin.

( T ) God’s love is true. We may wonder about the constancy of others, but God’s love is unaltered by time or circumstances. There is nothing that can separate us from the true love of God.

( U ) God’s love is understanding. There are those in our lives who may love us but not completely understand us. God, on the other hand, understands us better than we understand ourselves; and the best part is that He loves us anyway!

( V ) God’s love is victorious! The Latin phrase, “Amor vincit omni,” means “Love conquers all.” Our earthly loves are sometimes lasting in spite of obstacles, but we are inevitably separated by the enemy of death. God’s love has conquered sin, hell, and death! His love is victorious over all and will ultimately allow us to share in this victory.

( W ) God’s love is welcoming. We are the prodigals, captivated by our own desires, undertaking risky and ill-advised paths through life to get to the destination we think we want, using other people to get our way, living as if there is no tomorrow, breaking the Father’s heart with our sin and self-destructive ways. He is the ever-loving Father, waiting and praying for our return, continually watching for a sign that we are on our way home, ready to run to us and embrace us in all of our filth when He sees that we are ready to return, restoring our lives and our status as His own children, ready to celebrate and to give us every good gift!

( X ) God’s love is eXtravagant. He always goes far beyond in everything he does for us. He could have made us an earthly home that would have sustained us without all of the beauty and majesty that he has put into His creation. The colors, the shapes, the textures, the variety of species…in every facet of life…birds, trees, fish, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, insects, flowers, grasses, leafy plants, crustaceans, mammals, food-bearing plants, shrubs, vines, and even microscopic creatures…it’s amazing! Every idea that we think we have came from Him first. Drinking straws? Butterflies have a built in tube for drinking nectar. The wheel? Have you ever seen a tumbleweed in the wind? The internal combustion engine? Our sun and every other star. Machines and factories? Our bodies are a machine. They are designed so that we can do work and accomplish tasks. A robotic arm has joints that allow it to bend and move in ways that we take for granted. Airplanes? Obvious. Electicity? What about lightning and the electical impulses in brains and our nervous system. Computers? Our human brains are amazingly capable in storing information and in reasoning that goes far beyond what any machine can do. What about identification technologies that quickly calculate all the relationships between the swirls of a fingerprint, the structure of a face, or the identifying points in an eye? We are that individual, each one the Master Artist’s masterpiece. None of these individual characteristics unique to every person could have come from evolution or natural selection. Did our ancestors select each other for mating based upon such miniscule identifiers? Such a thought is preposterous. No, each of us is formed by God in the womb as a totally unique and individual creation. Do we carry some genectic traits? Of course. God planned it that way. As the founder of the family, he wants us to be connected to those who are related closely to us. And yet, there is nothing in genetics that could explain the artist’s signature that is found in our fingerprints. What about salvation? He didn’t just send us a do-it-yourself guide. He sent Himself, gave Himself, and sacrificed Himself in the person of God the Son, Jesus Christ. Every moment His love and mercy allows us to live is a gift far beyond what His holiness and justice would require, were it not for God’s eXtravagant grace.

( Y ) God’s love yearns for what is best. He has promised to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He will not rest until he has accomplished this. He who began a good work (in us and in His kingdom purposes) will be faithful to complete it.

( Z ) God’s love is zealous for us. He never loses His zeal for our salvation and sanctification; and He will accoomplish our ultimate glorification as we come to live forever with Him and are complete in Him, becoming like Christ in purity.

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This post was written by Cynthia Boyd and was inspired by the awesome and limitless love of God, with the help of the prompting provided by the message of the Valentine used as the illustration for this post.

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.familysong.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys

praise4ever

praise4ever

I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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Giving a Song to say “Thank You”

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

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