Vol. 36, No. 11 November, 2012
THE MANY-SIDED GRACE OF GOD
By Dr. George Mills
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God.” (1Peter 4:10).
The word ‘MANIFOLD’ in this text means ‘MANY-SIDED’. In other words, there is a side of the Grace of God that will meet any need that you have. The most meaningful word in the language of men is the word GRACE. It soars higher, it reaches lower, it extends further than any other word. Nothing can do for us what the GRACE of God can do. Every one of us who have received The Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour have received an abundance of gifts. Just to mention a few, the Gift of Eternal life, the Gift of forgiveness of sin, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, the Gift of GRACE, and so many more, far too many to mention. Today let me share with you just a few things about the MANY-SIDED Grace of God.
1. THERE IS A SIDE OF GRACE CALLED SALVATION.
In the Book of Titus, Paul tells us of our condition before we were saved by the Grace of God; “For we ourselves were sometimes
foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers
lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful and hating one another.” (Ti. 3:3). That was our condition BEFORE we were saved. Verses 4,5,6 tell us HOW we were saved. “But after that the kindness of God our Saviour toward man appeared.” (V4). Paul is careful to remind us that we are NOT saved by some work or works we can do; “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”(v5-6). “That being Justified by His GRACE we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (v7). Justified by His Grace simply means that there is absolutely nothing we can do to add to salvation’s great plan. Justified means “to be declared ‘just’. “Just as if I’d never sinned.” And everything we have is by and through that wonderful word; GRACE! The GRACE of God even gives us the FAITH we need in order to receive Christ. “Well preacher, I’m not so sure about all that, it seems to me that there is something I must do.” Not so, my friend, salvation is not DO, but DONE! This is God’s plan of salvation and since it’s God’s plan, we must “DO” it God’s way! We are not saved by stopping, starting, quitting, turning or changing, we are saved by Grace and Grace alone. There is enough of the Grace of God to change every life that will trust Him.
THERE IS A SIDE OF GRACE CALLED SCOPE.
Titus 2:11 says, “For the GRACE of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL MEN.” That’s the SCOPE, ALL MEN! Not some men, most men, or many men, not black men, white men, yellow men, young men or old men, BUT ALL MEN! If you take the letter “G” away from Grace, what you have then is “race.” That’s the way man sees it. But GRACE includes ALL MEN. When God said “All are sinners,” that included me, and when God said that Grace is for ALL MEN, that too included me, and you and everyone, whoever, and wherever, and however you may be.
In John 4 there was a fallen woman, one who had five husbands, and was living with a man. She met the Grace of God in the Person of Jesus Christ at a well in Samaria. Grace touched her heart and life. She ran back to her town and brought many to Christ. Grace changed her life as only Grace can do. In John 8 there was another woman caught in the act of adultery. She was brought to Christ. The men who had trapped her wanted to stone her. When Jesus dealt with the men who brought her to Him, Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Being convicted by their own conscience left one by one, leaving her alone with Jesus. Jesus said, “Where are thine accusers. Hath no man condemned thee? She said, no man Lord. And Jesus said unto her neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.” (Jn 8:1-11). Grace was there that day. The thief on the cross met Grace next to him and said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into Thy Kingdom. Grace replied, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” On and on we could go with examples of Grace. Paul felt that he was the chiefest of sinners, but Grace was sufficient for Paul, for me, and for you. John Newton was a wild, wicked sea captain. He dealt in the slave trade. He would imprison men and sell them for slaves. He was vile and wicked to say the least. One day John Newton met the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace found John Newton and Grace changed his life. He later wrote the beloved Hymn;
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now I’m found,
Was blind but now I see.”
It matters not what your life may be like. If you are morally bad, or vile, or sweet, or just plain rotten. If you are on drugs or alcohol, or some vile habit or lifestyle. Or maybe you have done none of the above, ALL MEN everywhere are sinners and in need of the Saviour. There’s enough of God’s Grace to go around. Thank God for this wonderful side of Grace called SCOPE.
THERE IS A SIDE OF GRACE CALLED SEPARATION.
“Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you. And will be a father to you and ye shall be my sons and daughters saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”(2Cor. 6:17-7:1). God calls His people out of this world’s system. “Be ye separate.” Someone has lied to this generation. The thinking today is “we must be like the world in order to win the world.” Many have tried this way and it doesn’t work! God’s people are not to be a part of this world system. We are NOT to act like, think like, be like, look like the world. When the world sees us the world should know that we are different. GRACE enables the christian to live that separated, dedicated life while we are here on this earth. In the worst part of history, when man was at his worst, when God threatened the world with judgment at the time of the flood, (Gen. 6). There was a man by the name of Noah. Noah was not part of that world system..he lived separate from it, and unto God. In that evil, wicked time, it it recorded that, “Noah found GRACE in the eyes of the Lord.” GRACE enabled him to live separate, different, and to be a witness to that generation. He found GRACE enough, and sufficient. In the Book of Titus 2:11-13 teaches us that GRACE is all we need in this generation. “For the GRACE of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto ALL MEN. Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.” GRACE teaches us and enables us to live for God in this godless society. Hebrews 4:15 tells us about the Throne of GRACE where we can find GRACE to help in time of need.
THERE IS A SIDE OF GRACE CALLED SERVICE.
“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.” (2Cor. 12:9). Paul had a thorn in his flesh. He thought that this thorn hindered his work, so he asked God to remove it. Three times he prayed and God said in answer to his prayer, “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE No doubt that Paul thought that this thing,(whatever the thorn may have been) if this was removed, I could do great things for God. But God said, “it’s there for a purpose, you must learn to rely upon the GRACE of God. I have heard many say, “Oh, if I had more talent, more ability, more education, etc, I could really do something for God.” Learn to rely upon the GRACE of God. GRACE will bring out abilities in you. People all over the world are serving God. They never believed they had the ability to do what they are doing, BUT FOR HIS GRACE! God has always poured His GRACE into weak, earthen vessels. All that He asks of us is to present to Him a clean vessel for His use.
THERE IS A SIDE OF GRACE CALLED SECURITY.
“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.” (Eph 2:8-9).
I would not waste my time on a salvation that I have to try to hang on, or hold to, or hold out. Thank God for His gracious hand that holds us. I did not do one single thing in order to be saved. I did not quit, stop, join, refrain, reform, turn over a new leaf, I did not help, try, I did not hope, think, I did not do one single thing, absolutely nothing, in order to be saved. Jesus did for me what I could never do. He paid for my sin on His cross. The only thing I could do was to RECEIVE HIM! That’s GRACE! And if you are saved today, the same thing is true in your life. We were saved by GRACE plus and minus nothing. Since the day I was saved back in August, 1960, I have not lived one single hour good enough to keep myself saved, and neither have you. If we are saved, it is by GRACE ALONE, and that same GRACE will keep us. NOTHING ELSE! We do not live good enough to keep ourselves. It is BY GRACE ALONE. That’s God’s part! In his beautiful Hymn, John Newton further wrote;
“Through many dangers toils and snares,
We have already come,
‘Tis GRACE hath brought me safe thus far,
And GRACE will lead me home.”
It is all by His wonderful GRACE. If my security had been determined by my faithfulness, I would have lost out many years ago.
THERE IS A SIDE OF GRACE CALLED THE SECOND COMING.
Again, Titus 2:11-15. GRACE teaches us to look for that “Blessed hope and glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.” We are not to look for the tribulation period, or for the antichrist or for world programs, we are to keep looking for The Lord Jesus Christ. GRACE teaches us to do many things, among these are…
To deny ungodliness.
To look for the Saviour.
We do not need rules, laws, how-to’s. We rely upon His GRACE.
“Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
THERE IS A SIDE OF GRACE CALLED SUFFICIENCY.
“My GRACE is sufficient for thee.” Sin abounds today. Sin engulfs society, it effects every life. Paul said in Ro. 5:20, “But where sin abounded, GRACE did much more abound. Sin is powerful, but there is the super abounding reign of GRACE. Now I know there are questions. Questions like; “How do I get in on the GRACE of God, or how do I partake of His GRACE?
God gave us three wonderful avenues. This is nothing new. Just a reminder of some basic principles of the Christian Life.
THE HOLY SPIRIT. If you know Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you. He came in at conversion. You have an honored guest living in you. Treat Him graciously. Christ told His disciples that He would take up his abode IN us. (Read John 16:16-24). He is that still, small voice in you that seeks to guide you in all things. Learn to listen to Him. He will give you individual instruction and minister GRACE to you. The Bible says, “Be filled with the Spirit.” That simply means, “be controlled by the Spirit. This comes by a daily yielding ourselves to Christ. Don’t look for some emotional experience, or some “feeling.” This is a matter of fact of the Word of God.
THE WORD OF GOD. What a wonderful Book. As you read the Bible, (KJB) you are partaking of His GRACE. You are getting stronger in Faith. As you read the Word, you can see and understand human nature. We see the Mind, and Plan of God. We see how God has moved in the lives of others, and that He wants to do the same in our lives. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” AS you partake of the Word of God you are partaking of Christ, (Jn. 6:30-48). You are getting stronger in faith and growing in GRACE as you read
PRAYER. I know this is basic, but in order to win you must stay with the basics. The very moment you were saved you became a child of God. Along with becoming a child of God, certain privileges came with that fact. One of these privileges is ACCESS TO GOD.(Eph. 2:14-18) Jesus bought that access for you on the Cross of Calvary. You can go to God anytime, night or day. Every believer should see daily answers to prayer. God delights in YOUR prayer. Prayer and access does not mean that you are going to get everything you ask for, it does mean that God will give what is best for you. Because you have access to God, you do not have to get someone to do your praying. You do not have to dial some “800” number, or dial some religious TV program, or some religious headquarters. There are no “super christians” who can get to God before you can. Your access to God is not through some earthly media. “Let us therefor come boldly unto the throne of GRACE that we may obtain mercy and find GRACE to help in time of need.” God bless you. Remember, there is a side of the GRACE of God that will meet your need. After all, it is the MANIFOLD (MANY SIDED) GRACE of God..
And you, my dear friend. If you have never trusted Christ as your Saviour, this message probably does not mean quite so much to you. Why not, right now, tell God in your own words that you believe that Christ died for your sin, that He was buried, and that He arose from the dead, and lives in heaven for you now. Tell Him in your own words that you receive Him. He is there, where you are, in the person of the Holy Spirit. He will hear the cry of your repentant heart.
“But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.”
THINK ABOUT IT…There is POWER in the Name of Jesus…
POWER to attract. His Name is like a magnet. It draws men to God.
POWER to dispel. Forces of evil scatter at His Name.
POWER to surmount. Every obstacle can be overcome at the mention of His Name.
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
“BACK WHEN” WE HAD CONVICTIONS
I have a hard time understanding where the convictions went and why. Only one explanation–we have back-slid. Shouldn’t we as Christians be growing stronger in our walk with God instead of becoming weak and not caring? If we had convictions “BACK WHEN” then our convictions should be even stronger now after we have walked with Him and listened to His Word, and have experienced His blessings, His healing and absolute goodness to us. Where did our convictions go? Why are some things OK now that were not OK “BACK WHEN?” Seems as though anything and everything goes these days and no one has a problem with it. I guess we just don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings these days, but “BACK WHEN” we didn’t have a problem with speaking and living our convictions. Of course our convictions have to come from the Word and just plain ole common sense! I believe we need to be reminded that the Church building is the House Of God, the place where we meet to worship Him and to fellowship with our sisters and brothers in Christ. We need to respect His House and dress in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Where have our convictions gone? Not only God, but people, lost and saved are watching the Church and what do they see? Can they see any difference in the ones coming out of the Church than they do the ones coming out of the bar? “BACK WHEN” we would know a Christian by the way they were dressed, now it’s hard to know by looking at them so we have to ask and if they say “yes” we then wonder where their clothes are. I’m just saying, “BACK WHEN” we had some convictions and was bold enough to let our convictions be known. Let’s repent of our slackness, remember our convictions and get back to the “BACK WHEN” days.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8).
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
As teenagers it is in our very nature to ask, “why.” We are left with so many questions to the difficult situations that we face throughout our life. “Why did I not make the team?” “Why do I get picked on at school?” “Why is my family going through such a difficult time?”
In the Bible there are many examples that show us that these difficulties we face are all for His glory. The Israelites were held in captivity for many years in Egypt so that God could deliver them from slavery into the Promised Land. The Apostle Paul was sent to prison for preaching the Gospel and suffered many hardships all so that the power of Jesus could be seen through him. Even Jesus Himself asked his Father as He lay dying on the Cross, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” As you can see, the Lord has showed His glory and strength in many times of despair and darkness. So I ask you the next time you are facing a trial or test in your life not to ask God “why” but ask God how He can be glorified and praised through it. The lyrics to an old Christian song tells the message so clearly;
“Just remember when you’re standing in the valley of decision, and the adversary says give in.
Just hold on our Lord will show up, and he will take you through the fire again.”
Until next time Ashley Stevens
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
And the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, BUT DON’T QUIT!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY AMERICA!
November 22, 2012
Pastor George Mills
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God. It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING and into His courts with praise, be THANKFUL unto Him and bless His Name. For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His Truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100).
The Psalms are filled with thanksgivings unto Almighty God. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His Mercy endureth forever.”
Today, with the Palmists, let us express our gratitude, our THANKSGIVING unto our God, the Lord of all lords, and the King of all kings, our Wonderful Lord Jesus Christ. It is good that this nation has set aside a day to express Thanksgiving. This has been true since the beginning. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the last Thursday in November be a day of Thanksgiving. This day was observed until 1939 when Franklin Roosevelt made the fourth Thursday in November as that day of Thanksgiving. Congress made that date official in 1941.
It is recorded in Romans 1:21, “Neither were they thankful.” Man began with a full revelation of God, but man was not thankful for that. “They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” I believe that ingratitude is a base sin. Our degree of service for God is determined by our Gratitude for what God has done. Today, allow me to share with you some things for which I am grateful. There are so many…
SALVATION. I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation. This great plan included me. Man excludes, or limits salvation to some, or a few, or a chosen few. I believe that Jesus Christ offers Salvation to anyone who will receive Him, (John 1:12).(Jn. 3:16, 5:24, 6:37, Romans 10:13). We are sinners without hope, but Christ died for our sins. I thank God for the day in my memory when I asked Jesus to come into my life, AND HE DID!
SOUL WINNERS. I am Thankful for the Soul winners who were instrumental in leading me to Christ.
My wife prayed for me. She encouraged me to go with her to Church. She did all she could to make me see my need of the Saviour.
A small community Free Will Baptist Church prayed for me. The Pastor came to my home to speak to me about my need of Christ.
Their prayers were answered in August, 1960!
SPIRIT. I am Thankful for the presence of the HOLY SPIRIT in my life. The HOLY SPIRIT used the Word of God to convict me of my sin and to birth me into the family of God. Since that day The HOLY SPIRIT has taken abode in my heart and has been my Guide, Power, Strength, and Teacher. There is so much more the Blessed Comforter of God does in the life of the believer. I am thankful for His indwelling presence in my life.
SCRIPTURES. I am Thankful for the Holy Bible, (KJB). What a wonderful Book.
INSPIRED. “All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God.” God inspired men, common men, to write His Words. Without this Bible we would have no idea where we are in world history. But the Bible is right on time and up to date. We know, what, who, and where we are because of the Bible
PRESERVED. Men quarrel over these two words; Inspired, and Preserved. NOT ME! I will not join in with their arguments. God INSPIRED the original authors to write, and God PRESERVED what they wrote. INSPIRATION and PRESERVATION are God’s Business. Psalm 12:6-7, “The Words of the LORD are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of fire purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them O LORD, thou shalt PRESERVE them from this generation for ever.” Now, take a look at what we have. We have a Book given to the English speaking people of the world that has had God’s approval over 400 years. This Book, (KJB) has been the foundation of our Great nation and other nations and societies. God has confirmed this Book since the beginning, and without any promotional programs, has been accepted as God’s Word. God has so confirmed this Book.
On the other hand we have about two hundred “versions” since 1889 (ERV). New versions keep coming. The thing is, they don’t agree with each other, but they do agree that they don’t like the Book God gave. Don’t be carried away with all of this “stuff” on the market today God is not in all of this confusion. Thank God for His Work in INSPIRATION, and PRESERVATION.
SUPPLICATION. Supplication is a long word for Prayer. What a privilege we have. As Christians we can go to God any time in Prayer and He hears us. He delights in the prayers of His people. Jesus bought our access to God by His finished Work on the Cross and His Glorious Resurrection, and His ascension into Heaven to be our eternal High Priest. (Eph 2:14-22), Thank God for the privilege of prayer.
SERVANTS. So many, many wonderful SERVANTS OF GOD, down through the years have helped me, encouraged me, prayed for me, and in ways I am not aware of helped me. Teachers, preachers, and just plain old God fearing people have, in their own way, been my helper. I thank God for each and every one. I choose not to use any name because I could not get them all in and I am sure that I would miss someone and I would not want to do that. Thanks to God who has used you, wherever you are, to be my helper, my encourager.
SERVICE. I am thankful that God has used me in His SERVICE, small, though it may be. I did not have some glorious experience, or vision of some kind, but I just knew that God was calling me into His Service. I did not know much when I started. I have learned some things, and I have much to learn. I thank God that He saw fit to place His call in my heart. The WILDERNESS Ministries have been used in homes, churches, schools, jails, prisons, in other publications, on the internet. “The Church In The Wildwood Broadcast” which began in 1966, and so many wonderful things that all I can say is THANK YOU LORD for allowing me a place in your service.
SECOND COMING. I am Thankful for the promise of the Second Coming of Christ in the Rapture of the Church. Any day the clouds could burst asunder, and there stands the Lord Jesus Christ calling His Church Home. “Come up hither.” What a day, what a promise
SWEETNESS. I am thankful to God for the sweet things in my life. As I have said many times, “My life is filled with sweetness and good things. I am thankful for my family, my home, my ministry, my health and strength. I am thankful that I live in America. I thank God that I have the promise of Heaven, a place reserved for me.
“What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me?” (Psa 116:2) How can I show forth my gratitude?
TELL GOD. Begin the day in prayer. Express to God your gratitude for the things we have discussed, and for others things. Remember, there were 10 lepers cleansed, but only one stopped to give Glory to God.
SHOW GOD. By the way you live, let the world know that you belong to God.
PROVE GOD. Prove Him in the winning of others. Reaching the unsaved around our neighborhood, in our city, state, or wherever we may be is the greatest way I know of to PROVE GOD.
“That I may publish with the voice of THANKSGIVING and tell all Thy wondrous works.” (Psa. 26:7)
“O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD…FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER
By Pastor George Mills
O My God, with Great Gratitude…
I praise Thee for blessings that could only come from Thy Great Hand,
For protection from enemies that would destroy all the comforts and course of this great land.
For tender mercies manifest, and deliverance in each daily care,
We are a people richly blessed, and your kindness is displayed everywhere.
For Calvary’s Great Love where God alone could so richly display,
His Great favor for those who believe and will His Commandments obey.
For Thy Holy Word preserved through ages of trial and kept pure from the enemy’s blast.
In our time of great need we thank Thee O God for Thy Great Grace to help us as in all ages past.
We will Publish to those near and in every land and with grateful hearts we will confess,
“This is from our Father’s Great Hand,
His Great Hand of Righteousness.”
When the ‘gods’ of this world are so highly praised,
Only to the God of the universe could our voices be raised.
To the Great Giver who is always and ever the same,
The Lord God Jehovah is His Great Name.