Embrace His Grace

                    

Home
Up
Devotionals
Messages

                                       

                      A Word from Billy Graham

                               

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

 

        April 15th in the United States is a day dreaded by most Americans. It is the day when our income taxes are due to be paid to the government. Often there is a frantic rush to complete the forms that should have been done much earlier but were put off. Post offices in big cities stay open until midnight, and thousands of procrastinators hurry down to make sure their returns are postmarked by twelve o'clock so they will not have to pay a penalty.                                                           

        Jesus told His followers to 'render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's (Matthew 22:21). At such a time of year when we are preoccupied with what we owe the government, we would benefit  by thinking about what we owe God. We owe God everything! We have been bought and paid for with a terrible price, the broken body and shed blood of God's Son.

        Because we belong to God, if we have trusted in Christ to save us from our sins, God has a right to expect that we would render certain things unto Him. We have an obligation to present our bodies a 'living sacrifice, made holy and acceptable to God.' We are commanded to present God with our tithes and offerings. And beyond that , God wants to have communion and fellowship with His children, much as those of us who are parents want the same relationship with our own children.

         God wants us to speak to Him through prayer and to receive His answers through the reading of His Word and the leadership of His Holy Spirit. God describes all of this as 'reasonable,' and so it is for One who has done so much for us.

     

Our Father and our God, thank You for the precious avenue of prayer. I take great comfort in being able to talk to You continually. It is my joy to know that You are ever-present and attentive to my needs and concerns. Help me to be vigilant in prayer and praise to You and Your Son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

 

 

                    Guidelines for Christian Living

The Bible teaches that the Christian life is one of constant growth. When you were born again, you were born into God's family. My wife, Ruth and I now have sixteen grandchildren. And each of them is precious to us. Each is an accepted, treasured member of our family. And that's the way God feels about you. It is God's purpose that you will grow into full stature and become mature in Christ. It would be against the law of God and nature if you were to remain a baby and thus become a spiritual dwarf. In 2 Peter 3:18, the Bible says that we are to grow. This implies steady development, constant enlargement, increasing wisdom.

           

    ~Read Your Bible Daily~ Your spiritual life needs food. What kind of food? Spiritual food: the Word of God, the Bible. Read it, study it, medicate on it, memorize it. The Bible will nourish and guide you. The very practice of reading the Bible will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart.

    ~Learn the Secret of Prayer~ Every prayer that you pray, as a born-again believer of Jesus Christ as the risen Lord, will be answered. Answered according to God's will. Sometimes the answer will be 'Yes', sometimes 'No', sometimes 'Maybe', sometimes you may not hear an answer but it will be answered. The Holy Spirit that lives within you will help to understand and will teach you how to pray. Praying is communicating. Communing with God. Prayer combined with Bible study makes for a powerful, healthy Christian life. The Bible says, 'Pray without ceasing.' Without the constant prayer and communion with God you can never know the inner peace He wants you to have.

    ~Rely on the Holy Spirit~ Remember that Christ dwells in you through the Holy Spirit. You body is now the dwelling place of the Third Person of the Trinity. Stand aside and let Him take over in all the choices and decisions of your life. Rest in the Lord through the Holy Spirit. A true victorious Christian is one who in spite of worries, inner conflicts and tensions, is confident that God is in control and will be victorious in the end. In reliance on the Holy Spirit, you will find that many of your physical and mental ailments will disappear along with many worries, inner conflicts and tensions.

    ~Attend Church Regularly~ Christianity is a religion of fellowship. Following Christ means love, righteousness, service; and these can only be achieved and expressed through social relations with other Christians. Jesus Himself did not proclaim His service alone; He had disciples. And those disciples had other disciples. And they continued to set up Churches for other believers. All these believers in the Gospel were in the Church. There is a visible church and there is an invisible church. The invisible church is made up of true believers throughout the world, throughout the centuries. The visible church is made up of both Catholic and Protestants, including all the various denominations of the latter. The church is Christ's organization upon the earth. It is a place where we can worship God, learn from His Word, and fellowship with other Christians. This forms a complete worship to God to which He is entitled. We should joyful embrace these places of worship.

~Be a Witnessing Christian~ If you faithfully practicing the four preceding guidelines, this one will generally take care of itself--as in the case of the cup continually being filled will indeed overflow. There was a question ask of Billy Graham: which is more important, to witness by one's life or to witness by the Word? He answered: Which is more important the left or right wing of an airplane? This is ultimately true; however, the Word of God is what is blessed. We are responsible to God for the way in which we live but it is His Word that He has promised to bless and this explains why a musician in a communist country can pick up a page torn from a old Bible and be converted. God's purpose for you after you have been converted, born again, is to witness to His saving grace and power. We are holding God's light for this world. We are to let it shine! Though it may seem but a twinkling candle in a world of blackness, it is our job to let it shine, not worry about the darkness. We must be faithful witnesses. There is no happiness greater than that of winning another person to Christ.

    ~Be Ruled By Love~ Jesus said to those who followed Him, 'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.' Of all the gifts God offers His children, love is the greatest. Of all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, love is the first. The Bible declares that we who follow Christ should love one another as God loved us when He sent His Son to die on the Cross. This is our greatest tool for demonstrating that we are Christians: we love our fellow man. If we learn this secret of God early in our Christian experience, we will go a long way as happy, mature Christians.

    ~Meet Temptation~ Temptation is natural. Temptation is not sin, however. It is the yielding to temptation that is sin. God does not bring temptation to us, but He does allow it to test us. The Christian must realize that temptation is the work of the devil. Once recognized as such, it is not difficult to combat: quote a verse of Scripture at the 'tempter', and he will run, for he can not stand the Word of God. Do what Jesus did in the Wilderness when He was confronted with the temptations of Satan himself: Quote Scripture!  Three times, He said, 'It is written.' Be like the little girl who said, 'Every time I hear the devil knock at my door, I send Jesus to answer it.' Amen.  In order to quote Scripture, you must know Scripture, must study Scripture, must make Scripture a part of you daily life. This requires obedience. God would rather have this obedience than anything else.

    ~Be An Obedient Christian~ Let Jesus Christ and the Word of God have first place in your life! Make Him the Lord and Master of your life and all the choices you make in your life. We must make all our thoughts, deeds and actions subject to the scrutiny and obedience of Jesus Christ.

    ~Be a Wholesome Christian~ We should be chivalrous, courteous, clean of body, pure of mind, poised and gracious. We should be neat in appearance, clean and attractive, in style with good taste and discretion. Our lives and appearance should commend the gospel and make it attractive to others.  We should remember our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We should glorify His presence with our bodies.

    ~Live Above Your Circumstances~ God made you as you are and where you are so you can best serve and glorify Him. Some people are always looking for a greener pasture; wasting time on wishful thinking, not serving God as He in His infinite wisdom has chosen to place them. Wishful thinking causes one to overlook the advantages and opportunities that are available right where you are, in time and space. If you need inspiration, look no further than the great Apostle Paul: He learned how to abound in plenty or how to abound in need; he learned to be a great, witnessing Christian even in prison. In shackles, Paul was heard singing, praising and glorifying God. Would that we could be the same! Don' let your circumstances dictate your beliefs. Learn to live graciously, but powerful for the Lord within all circumstances, knowing that God is with you always.

        These principles, guidelines and suggestions may seem simplistic, perhaps so, but keep them in your heart for they do work. They are tried and tested in the lives of countless thousands of Christians throughout the world. Properly and faithfully kept and practiced, they will give you peace of soul, happiness, peace of mind, and pleasure in the Lord, and indeed you will have learned the secret to living life with Godly satisfaction.

 

Read Billy Graham's Steps to Peace With God  Click Here!

 

 

Return To Top Of Page

 

                                                                 Webmaster