This coming Sunday, November 3, we begin our new series following the outline of Max Lucado's book, Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Can Imagine. It is the perfect complement to Dusty's sermon series "Scandalous Grace.” We picked this topic, not only as that complement, but because those of us who have been way lost have felt the full effect of getting what we don't deserve...forgiveness, and a new chance to get it "right" this time.
But as we learn more about this amazing thing called grace, we see that God has an all together different way of looking at it than we do. He that is last is first, despite the fact that the first one may have worked longer and harder; doing good is just a part of serving, not a qualification for heaven; and, being a previously total train wreck in your life may qualify you to be one of God's greatest leaders. WOW! It's scandalous, upside down turning, and may be the most misunderstood quality of God!
Max says: "It rewires you, from insecure to God secure. From regret riddled to better-because-of-it. From ready-to-die to ready-to-fly. Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.” And, this is exactly where most of us fail. We are saved, and now we've got this....just do the right thing and everything will fall into place. Wrong. The power is in understanding that grace is not a one-time gift but is truly the gift that keeps on giving! Life happens, and every moment of every day we need grace to deal with ourselves and the human race.
Max goes on to say that "When grace happens, we receive not a nice compliment from God, but a new heart. Give your heart to God, and he returns the favor. 'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you' Ezekiel 36:26.” And he adds these powerful words:
"You might call it a spiritual heart transplant... when God hears your heart, does he not hear the still-beating heart of his son?"
So we will begin this Sunday with the topic "The Grace Shaped Life,” asking the question of you: What does a grace shaped life look like? And, more importantly, do we look like that? Is God hearing the heartbeat of his Son within us?
We have books, participant's guides, and a line-up of grace-filled teachers to lead this compelling topic over the next two months. Please join us when you can and let's let the Spirit of the Lord guide us into a life completely filled with Grace!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.