The Importance of Having Grace with Others
I. Introduction (Hebrews 12:14,15)
A. Few things change a person – really change a person
B. Fear and disaster may cause a person to adjust their life, but rarely do people really change out of a disaster
C. Only GRACE changes a person – it affects the deepest part of the heart
D. There is a great purpose for grace – to enable me to get along with and even love people who are not like me, and don’t want to like me!
E. God can’t change a person with a hammer, or a disaster, or a problem – for the job of transformation, God uses something called His GREAT GRACE!
F. When GRACE gets a hold of a person’s heart, it transforms them – remakes them. The Law makes people only run and hide. Grace brings them close.
G. We need the law – shows us ourselves
H. But thank God for Grace – it changes ourselves! AMEN!
I. And it changes us not just FOR ourselves, but for others!
A. This month we are Learning about Others – What are we Talking About when we say “Others”?
1. The Christian life is really about living for others
a. Where we enjoy other people, and are a blessing to them – where we contribute to the lives of people around us, and that we live no longer for self, but for everyone – tall order!
b. Where we esteem people, value them, praise them as being better than ourselves – what a challenge (Philp 2:4)
c. This world teaches that our depression and our bad attitudes are because other people haven’t valued us – but the Bible says that we are not to value ourselves at all – GOD DID THAT FOR US:
1) Of more value than birds, plants, nations, the whole world
2) Showed us just how valuable we are when he took our place – HE, GOD in the flesh, took our place in death on the cross!
d. English-born critic & poet W. H. Auden said, We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.
e. Sam Levenson said, Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.
f. French author Anais Nin said, We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.
g. Salvation Army starter Mr. William Booth wrote a Christmas telegram to the thousands of helpers worldwide at the beginning of the 1900’s where he simply said on the telegram, “Others!” that was his motto – helping others, with the Gospel, and with every need they could provide!
h. Jesus said others were very important:
1) Lk 4:42,43 “And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.”
2) Jn 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring”
3) Mt 28:19,20 “Go ye therefore and teach ALL NATIONS…”
2. There are four kinds of “others” in every person’s life – people that are outside of our lives
b. My Family – both close, AND extended
c. My Neighbours
d. My Enemies
3. These are the four OTHERS that each of us have to deal with on a daily basis, and God tells us how we must correctly deal with them in the Bible
4. He says quite clearly to have something called GRACE with everybody! Possess it, live by it, and lean on it all the time!
B. What Does It Mean Having Grace Towards Others (Heb 12:28,29)?
1. Definition of GRACE
a. Favour; good will; kindness; a disposition to please another person
b. The free unmerited, unearned love and help of God - the source of all the benefits men receive from him.
2. Simply, Grace is the ability to put up with people and things when they are NOT what you want or not meeting your needs
3. Having grace towards other people is the ability to overlook a lot in their lives – not that you have to overlook everything, but that you ought to be able to ignore a lot of failures and blemishes and imperfections
a. Grace increases your threshold of tolerance instead of increasing your expectations
b. Grace makes it possible for people to have lots of second chances
c. Just like you and I constantly have from God
C. God’s Grace Towards Me is Five-Fold.
1. A Seeking Grace (2Cor 8:9) “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
2. Saving Grace (Eph 2:8,9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
3. Shaping Grace – transforms me (1Cor 15:10) “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
4. Securing Grace (Eph 1:6) “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
5. Strengthening Grace (2Cor 12:9) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
6. That’s a lot of grace – more than enough to give out to OTHERS
D. My Grace Towards Others. If I have been affected by God’s grace – been born again – then here is what my grace is going to be like!!!
1. Dependant (Heb 4:16; 13:9)
a. There is NO WAY to have grace with people without first getting it from the source of GRACE – Almighty God
b. That’s what prayer is for – to activate GOD’S grace in you towards others!
c. You CANNOT have grace with people – the right kind of grace with them – without first getting grace YOURSELF
d. If you run out of grace, get on your knees and humbly stay there until you can face your four OTHERS with kindness – PERIOD!
2. Delicate (Heb 12:14,15)
a. Grace is something very delicate
b. We can lose it
c. We can ruin it – quench it – override it
d. As soon as grace is replaced (with no matter what, anger, yelling, fighting) it is BITTERNESS that springs up
e. And once bitterness enters, everyone around gets DEFILED – gets infected by the person’s bad attitude!
3. Developed (2Pet 3:18; 1Thes 3:12; 4:9,10; Pr 10:12) – must be grown – must get bigger in our lives
a. Our love and kindness towards each other, and towards others ought to be getting better and broader and more powerful than last month
b. You develop your grace by soaking up more grace yourself
c. Get off your high horse and start desperately needing the grace of God on your behalf!
a. 1Pet 1:22
b. 1Pet 4:8 “Fervent charity”
c. Eph 4:29 “Speak with GRACE”
d. Col 4:6 “Grace seasoned with salt” – sweetness with a bit of grit, reality, honesty, but never bitterness and begrudgery!
e. Rom 12:10 “Be kindly affection”
5. Is Done Daily (Eph 4:26,27)
a. You cannot go a single day without having grace with each other
b. NOT A SINGLE DAY – it all has to be restored and settled by sundown or the devil has moved into your home, into your bedroom, into your thoughts and lives!
III. Application/Conclusion – Have you been Affected By Grace?
A. God is seeking you, right now
B. God can save you, if you will let Him
C. God wants to shape you/change you
D. God will secure your future – will you let Him?
E. God expects you to have the same grace with OTHERS!