Beautiful Things Pt.2 – The Beauty of Grace
Colossians 2:13 – Discover the depths of our brokenness – and the heights of God’s Love for us. Even out of the dust of our lives, God can make beautiful things.
I’m not preaching to the perfect today! But to those of us who don’t have it all together. The hurting, hopeless, and helpless. The stressed out, the successful, the prosperous & the poor. The messed up, misfits, frustrated, those of us with flaws, the imperfect, the broken, people who have had moments of indiscretion, weakness’s & failures. I’m talking about Noah who got drunk, David who murdered & commit adultery, Abraham who lied, Thomas who doubted, & Simon Peter who denied & cursed Christ.
Romans 5:15-20 NIV – 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. (MSG: When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down.)
1. Everyone is Broken
Tony Campolo’s Story – A party for Grace and Love
We fall short of our own expectations; we don’t need religion to tell us that we really aren’t all that good.
Life is filled with challenges, twists, and turns. Times of doubts, wandering, and weakness.
Psalms 38:4-8 NIV 4 My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. 5 My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. 6 I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. 7 My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. 8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards some are stronger in the broken places.
Every human being is broken. We’re all broken people. And that’s because we are all sinners because of the fall humanity took back in the Garden of Eden.
James 2:10 (NIV) – For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
The cause of a broken life is very simple. We experience brokenness when we try to live by our terms instead of by God’s terms
• Sin is living independently of God’s standard, missing the mark, taking a wrong turn – knowing what is right, but choosing what is wrong. It’s the one thing we all have in common but no one wants to talk about.
Romans 3:23-24 NIV – 23 for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and ALL are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Light shines best through cracks. None can boast of perfection. We are all broken. We need Jesus to shine through the cracks (my broken rib-painful)
God sees the best in the worst of us, knows the worst about the best of us, & loves us all without condition or exception.
Stop Beating yourself up – Jesus is a greater savior than we are a sinner!
• At 82, John Newton (Amazing Grace) said, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great savior.”
Romans 5:8 ESV – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us
But God is in the healing business and wants to mend what’s broken.
Listen to what Job said, “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, the grave is ready for me.” (Job 17:1 NKJV)
Now, that’s not an encouraging statement, but though the prophet Isaiah, this is what is said about Jesus’ purpose.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.” (Isaiah 61:3 NKJV)
It is this very Scripture that Jesus quoted about Himself and how God had sent Him to heal what was broken within us. (Luke 4:18)
•Thief on the Cross – “Remember Me”
Psalm 34:18 NIV “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Do not freeze frame a certain time in your life and condemn your future based on that moment. God is not done with you!
A mosaic is a work of art made up of broken pieces.
Ephesians 2:10 NLT – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
2. Because of GRACE, God is not holding anything against anyone
Grace – God doing in and for us what we cannot do ourselves. A Gift.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Grace is God giving people credit for something they didn’t do!
2 Corinthians 5:19 NIV – 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
The Call of Salvation is not “Come and get right so God will love you and bless you” The Call of Salvation is Come! You Are Loved! God loves imperfect people, moral misfits, broken burned out believers, religious incompenants.
“God’s love and power to save us is greater than our sin that condemns us”
“Love deems this world worth rescuing.” – Philip Yancey
I John 3:1 NIV – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
Nothing we have ever done could make God love us any less: not any sin, not any failures, not any guilt, not any regrets – We are the Beloved of God.
Psalms 145:8 – The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
Grace cleans up what we messed up!
I John 2:1-2 NIV – My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
“The good you do won’t finally save you and the bad you do won’t finally condemn you.” – Martin Luther
Psalms 103:8-12 ESV – The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
God has one disposition towards us & it is revealed in Christ. Ceaseless, endless, unconditional love. He never gives up on us
Micah 7:18 NIV “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”
Romans 3:22 LB “God says He will accept and acquit us – declare us “not guilty‟ – if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in the same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.”
For every person who has ever failed in their past, there is a forgiveness that forgets! Stop standing in Guilt and start standing in Grace.
It’s been said, “Every saint has a past and every sinner a future.” Jesus came for those who are less than perfect, those who are far from perfect, and those who are anything but perfect. God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).
Their is a story that begins in 2 Sam.4 when the dynasty of King Saul was coming to an end. King Saul had a son named Jonathon who had a 5 yr old son named Mephbosheth. The city was under attack and the nanny for little Mephibosheth was fleeing the city when she tripped and dropped him… his legs did not heal properly from the fall and Mephibosheth was crippled for life.
Fast forward to…
2 Samuel 9 to read an amazing story of love and grace.
The story begins as King David is reminiscing back on his life and specifically on his friendship with Jonathon (the son of King Saul). As David remembers that great friendship he asks “Is there anyone left in Saul’s family that I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Those who heard him sent for One of Saul’s servants named Ziba… Ziba… David asks… Is there someone in Jonathan’s house I can show Gods kindness to? Ziba answered There is still a son of Jonathon; he is crippled in both feet.
David sent for him and when he arrived (v.7) David said “Don’t be afraid… I will show you kindness today because of your father Jonathon.” I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul… I will order his servants to farm the land on your behalf… and you will always eat at my table.
(v.08) Mephibosheth says… “What did I do that you should notice a dead dog like me?… What did I do to deserve this?”
God pursued him with HIs Grace. He went from a place of Brokeness to a place of Blessing.
Listen to me closely as we close today: God says to every one of us in this room who is deformed and crippled by sin, brokeness, mistakes, “You are my son” or “You are my daughter.” How do we know this to be true? Because over and over and over in the Bible God tells us as much. He loves you, no matter what you’ve done, no matter who you are.
We are a spiritually broken people , BUT God has been pursuing us with His Grace and His Grace brings complete Restoration – New Identity, Empowerment, and New Life!
Grace is God kissing the unkissable. Not because we are good, deserving, or right, but because HE LOVES US and FORGAVE US.
Titus 2:11 NIV – For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.