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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Everyday Grace: Faith

Last week we talked about Grace.  I shared with you a challenge Elder Gene R. Cook gave to go through your scriptures and substitute "enabling power" for "grace" everytime the word appears.  Elder Cook promises us that,

"You will then understand some doctrines about grace which you have never understood before."

Try it.  It really does help you understand alot about grace that you probably hadn't understood prior. 

This week I wanted to talk about Everyday Grace. You know, how we can access and use the grace of God daily in our lives.

Elder Cook states,

"...we must realize that this great concept of the enabling power of Jesus Christ is what gets us through our everyday problems...It's how the Lord Jesus Christ and his Father are involved with us on a daily basis.  This grace can see us through our problems if we can tap the power."

In the same talk by Elder Cook, he lists several ways in which we can access grace every day.  The ways that he suggests are:

Access Grace....

...Through Faith

...by Doing All in Your Part

...Through Repentance and Good Works

...Through Keeping the Commandments

...Access Grace through Humility

I want to dive into each of them a bit, and it may take a few posts to do it...but we'll get there!

Ok, first, Accesing Grace Through Faith

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherin we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."  

 In my opinion, faith is the greatest power on the earth and throughout the eternities.  Hebrews 11 tells us all that faith has accomplished, including framing the worlds (vs. 3), Enoch translated (vs. 5), seas parted (vs. 29), and city walls destroyed (vs. 30). 

If faith can do such amazing things, is it that hard to believe that by faith we can access grace in our daily lives? 

Paul, in his epistle to the Church in Ephesus stated,

 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

 Like Paul says, we're saved by grace through faith.  So while we are saved by Christ's enabling power, we still must offer what we can, and that is our faith.  We are asked to give our all, and when our all has been expended, Christ picks us up and carries us the rest of the way. 

In our daily lives how does this happen? 

How about when you are doing all you can to get all you need to get done and it just doesnt seem like you'll be able to do it.  And then somehow you find some extra time, or one task takes less time than you expected.  Is this not grace?  After you have put all you could into your tasks, you had faith and the Lord made the difference.

Or when you've done all you can to raise, teach, encourage a child and that child decides, still, to make poor decisions.  But you exercise faith and sooner or later that child comes to their senses, straightens up and gets back on track.  Did you not do all you could?  Did you not encourage and counsel, pray and plead, love and exercise patience?  And the grace of Christ made the difference. 

Another important point about accessing grace through faith is remember that faith and doubt cannot co-exist.  So for us to use faith to access grace, we must do all we can to eliminate the doubts that frequently enter our minds when we are stressed or worried. 

My friend, Chris LoCurto tweeted an awesome quote about faith today,

 "Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible."
 What this means to me is that if we are in a situation where faith is necessary (and that is pretty much all the time...) doubt probably wont be too far behind trying to sneak into our minds...so be proactive in having faith, and therefore, experiencing grace more fully in your life!

I want to end with another quote from Elder Cook (I know, I'm quoting him a lot...its a GREAT talk!),

"Thus it doesn't matter whether you're in the first hour or the eleventh hour according to Jesus' parable.  The requirement is to put in all you can.  Wherever you are in your station in life, the Lord will put in the rest.  The grace of the Father and the Son truly is sufficient to cover us all. 

How have you seen that you have found access to grace through your faith? 

If you appreciate these posts, please share them with your family, friends, and even that kinda weird guy you see at Wal-marts that you can never remember his name.... ;)

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