When Jesus needed to amplify His voice, He stepped into a boat and used the water as His "loudspeaker" (Mark 4:1). When God wants to reach the multitudes today, He often broadcasts one message through several different speakers. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but God has been broadcasting the message of GRACE on various channels, from the East Coast to the West. I am hearing about grace everywhere I go!
The local Community Bible Study my husband and I just started is studying GRACE in Galatians. My women’s Bible study in central Massachusetts is looking at GRACE in Hebrews. Nationally, many leaders are speaking about God’s GRACE for the wounded and the outcasts, the kind of GRACE that can usher in a billion-soul harvest.* My own pastors just returned from a powerful sabbatical, preaching about GRACE.
And... just in case I should miss it, God walked GRACE right through my front door the other night!
A Personal Message from the West Coast
I had been praying for new neighbors to fill the empty house next door to us. They finally arrived this week, all the way from Seattle, Washington. They are a delightful family with three small children. We invited them to visit, and when the smallest little girl walked in, I asked her, “What’s your name?” With sweet little eyes looking into mine, she replied, “GRACE!”
GRACE is the name of this new move of God, and it’s not happening just inside the church!
Why Emphasize Grace?
It was always God’s intention that we receive grace. Unmerited grace (call it “favor” if you prefer) is the essence of the Gospel. Salvation, forgiveness, healing, and deliverance all fall under the heading of grace. Without grace we would have no relationship with the Father.
Traditionally, we have been slow to both give and receive grace. Why? For the same reason the Jews had a hard time giving up the law and its sacrifices. We have held to tradition so tightly that we haven’t recognized the One who fulfilled the law and let us go free.
We are raised by parents (most of us, at least!), under the law. We are taught right from wrong. But often, we are not taught the truth of who we are in Christ. Our perception of ourselves fluctuates depending on our behavior; if we do well, our parents – and by inference God - accept us. If we don’t, we’re “bad,” or in need of forgiveness. Some of us never receive the love of a parent in our lifetimes, and we conclude that we are perpetually unworthy. Church tradition only reinforces that belief.
Jesus became the “black sheep” of our family so that we could receive grace. (Click here to tweet this quote!) Our identity in Him is "good," not "bad." When He died, he took our punishment and replaced it with grace and truth. (John 1:17) Our Father ALWAYS sees us as spotless, pure, and good. We are seated with Him, loved by Him, and made for Him. GRACE gives us eyes to see our “new covenant” relationship with a Father who celebrates, not punishes, His children.
With a renewed focus on His message of grace, God desires to break the yokes of judgment, offense, religious tradition, and hypocrisy in the church. If the message of grace’s freedom makes you feel defensive, ask yourself what opposing beliefs you are holding on to. Remember that Christ accepts us for only one thing: belief in His Name. His grace covers all our other shortcomings - isn't that wonderful? God's love for us is so far beyond anything we could ask or imagine. Dare to take a fresh look at His amazing grace today!
Questions for reflection:
Do you see others through the same grace that God sees you?
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any areas where traditions, the fear of man, or your own standards and beliefs have bound you and kept you from experiencing the fullness of God’s grace.
Has God been spoken to you recently about the message of grace? Leave a comment or story below!
c. Deborah Perkins/ His Inscriptions.
*Doug Addison's prophetic word concerning grace the year 2016 reads, in part: "In 2016 God’s new agenda is about those who have been wounded by Christianity. These are the spiritual outcasts who do not fit into typical churches. Many have been pushed away and deeper into darkness by the very ones who hold the keys to God’s light and love.
High grace required
To operate in the new move of God for this year it will require us to have high levels of grace, mercy and love for people. God is going to start moving on people that might be offensive to many Christians. We will need to give up the “tough love” attitude towards people to allow them to get healed relationally and spiritually."
- See more at: DougAddison.com
Deborah Perkins is the founder of His Inscriptions, a ministry focused on life-giving communication with God. Through her website, inspired teaching and a weekly blog, Deborah offers discipleship to those who want to grow their relationship with God. A ministry leader for over 25 years, Deborah is an experienced prophetic counselor, marriage mentor, and prayer warrior. She's also fond of her hubby, 3 sons, and dark chocolate - in that order!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.