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Thursday, April 26, 2018 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
To Fall From Grace

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast (Eph.2:8-9).
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! (Gal.2:21).
You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace (Gal.5:4).

The words "fall from grace," draw most of us to consider thoughts or questions regarding the "once saved, always saved" issue. To some it is no issue as they hold to a belief that a person who has truly believed in Christ for his/her salvation, cannot lose that salvation. For others, however, there is a belief that one can be enlightened by the truth of God, having received recompense for their sins and with that, have been cleansed from all past unrighteousness. Yet they, as strongly as they profess salvation through Christ they also believe that one can sin presently, and without remorse fail to come before God to make confession and in so doing, lose his or her salvation.
Consider how great the salvation of God that has been provided through His Grace and the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Consider how demeaning it is to the Work of Christ that men should see it as something to be obtained as a personal possession through hard work and conquest; or to be lost through works that are contrary to God. To continue living as though our works can cause the Grace of God to waver is to make the established work of Christ of no effect. Whether I do good or bad, live or die, God's Grace remains and is not dependent upon my efforts, my sins or my understanding of it. It is not something we claim, but something we live within--as a result of Christ's work--not ours.
The "works based faith" mentality has been a crippling factor to God's children long enough. We come to grips with the understanding that whether or not we lose our grip on God, He will not lose His grip on us. This is faith: that we trust that Christ's work was sufficient to pay the penalty of our sins--yesterday, today and tomorrow. If I do bad, the work of Christ remains--bringing me comfort to know that God's Grace exceeds my downfalls. If I do good, the work of Christ remains to keep me in mind that even if I live a life of righteousness, I still depend completely upon His work rather than mine. His Grace is greater than my greatest good, and His grace is greater than my greatest bad. And He continues to say to us, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength
is made perfect in weakness." And we reply, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in
my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
But consider now how many have fallen from Grace. For there are many. Though it is not through wicked deeds or failure to do what is right, because it is not a loss of salvation but a loss of perspective. For there are many who come to God through Christ for salvation through Grace, only to belittle God's Grace through the adoption of "rightness by works" thinking. Many a Christian has come to fall on the Grace of God only to surrender to a life under the law. They receive, with gladness, the gift of eternal life through grace, only to submit themselves to a code of laws of right and wrong. Where they once trusted Christ's work to be sufficient to please God that God's grace might abound toward us; they now trust their own efforts to please God and soon find the Christian life to be too difficult for them to live.
How many of us have heard that it is impossible to live the Christian life, and that we must let Christ live it through us, and yet we continue trying to be what is expected of us? When we attempt to live the Christian life through works, we fall from Grace. It is a slipping away from dependency upon Christ's work, and the moving into a need to "be" and to "do" better in and of ourselves. There is within Grace a simplicity that escapes us. It is the simplicity of one "to do"--not a list of laws, and right and wrongs, but one simple "do"--and that is to simply abide in Christ. As we draw near to our Lord and remain with Him, His Grace is sufficient for every aspect of our lives. His Grace enables us to do right, and His Grace helps us to avoid what is wrong. And as we live within Him, we rediscover each day, the sufficiency of His limitless Grace. And rather than being compelled to work harder and harder to please Him, we are drawn closer and closer to Him, to sit at His feet, hear His voice and simply be with Him.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her (Lk.10:38-42).

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