It was 37 years ago today that I married Steve Sikes. Over the years, I have heard him described by others in many ways:
- 37 things that I've come to know about the GRACE of God...
Is it an all inclusive list? By no means! In fact, these only come from a few books in the New Testament: Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians...
- Steve's: 2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
- Patti's: 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves...
THE GRACE OF GOD...
- Comes upon...
- Fills... along with Truth... and Power...
- Brings about blessings....
- Comes through Jesus Christ...
- Brings gladness...
- Should be continued in....
- Is something to be committed to...
- Saves both Jews and Gentiles...
- Commends christians who agree to disagree...
- Brings belief...
- Is the gospel that we must testify to...
- Builds up the sanctified....
- Gives an inheritance to the sanctified....
- Is received through God and for His Name's sake...
- Justifies freely through the redemption that comes through Jesus Christ...
- Guaranteed to those who are of the faith of Abraham...
- Is gained access to by faith...
- Is to stand in...
- Overflows to many...
- Brings the gift of righteousness...
- Is God's abundant provision...
- Increases where sin increases...
- Reigns through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord...
- Encourages us not to sin...
- Chooses us... not our works....
- Gives us gifts...
- Overflows in thanksgiving to the glory of God...
- Builds the foundation of Jesus Christ...
- Effects who we are and how we work...
- Conducts itself with holiness, sincerity, and wisdom...
- Should not be received in vain....
- Gives generously out of extreme poverty...
- Can abound in us, in all things... at all times... in every good work...
- Attracts others prayers and hearts to us....
- Is an indescribable gift...
- Is sufficient...
- Accompanies the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit...
- And the child grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom, and the GRACE of God was upon Him.
- The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of GRACE and truth.
- From the fullness of His GRACE we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; GRACE and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made Him known.
- All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much GRACE was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
- Now Stephen, a man full of God's GRACE and power...
- When he arrived and saw what the GRACE of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
- When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the GRACE of God.
- From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the GRACE of God for the work they had now completed.
- "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the GRACE of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
- Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the GRACE of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
- When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by GRACE had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
- "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's GRACE.
- "Now I commit you to God and to the word of His GRACE, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Romans 1:4-7 5
- Through Him and for His name's sake, we received GRACE and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
GRACE and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
- This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by His GRACE through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
- Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by GRACE and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring-not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
- Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this GRACE in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
- But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's GRACE and the gift that came by the GRACE of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of GRACE and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
- The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, GRACE increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also GRACE might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that GRACE may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
- For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under GRACE. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under GRACE? By no means!
- So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by GRACE. 6 And if by GRACE, then it is no longer by works; if it were, GRACE would no longer be GRACE.
- We have different gifts, according to the GRACE given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
- Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The GRACE of our Lord Jesus be with you.
1 Corinthians 1:3-5
- GRACE and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank God for you because of His GRACE given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in h\Him you have been enriched in every way-in all your speaking and in all your knowledge-
1 Corinthians 3:10-11
- By the GRACE God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:10-11
- But by the GRACE of God I am what I am, and His GRACE to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet not I, but the GRACE of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
2 Corinthians 1:12
- Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's GRACE.
2 Corinthians 4:13-18
- It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the GRACE that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2
- As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's GRACE in vain. 2 For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
- And now, brothers, we want you to know about the GRACE that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of GRACE on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this GRACE of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
- Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all GRACE abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad His gifts to the poor; His righteousness endures forever."
2 Corinthians 9:12-15
- This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
- Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
- And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing GRACE God has given you.
- Thanks be to God for His Indescribable Gift!
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
- Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 13:14
- May the GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.