**Reposted from origional post on 7/12/07.**
~My Sweetheart and my oldest son. What does this pic (taken June, 2007) have to do with this post? Maybe nothing; but I like it. Actually they are great blessings in my life.~
God is the origin and spring of all benefits man receives. He benefits the sweaty one toiling in the sunny field with a cooling flower laden breeze. And the drug addict weeping to be forgiven He blesses with a new life.
God's unmerited favor is called His grace. All we have gone astray and turned to our own sinful ways. God could leave us and never turn back, letting us face the wages of our sin without hope. But God's grace lovingly influences man in order form man into His image. By grace God reconciles man, constrains him from sin, and cleanses him from all unrighteousness through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Countless moral failures have proven God's forgiving grace as they became sterling tools in the hand of God. Anointed myriads have testified to God's deliverance from an old life of sin and demonstrated God's grace working in their exemplary new life. Notice a cowardly Peter transformed into the bold, Spirit filled preacher. And see a rabid Saul become the gifted Paul. Grace also rested on Timothy through his Godly upbringing. And grace was upon John banished on the island and permitted him the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Yes, God's grace crowned thousands of believers suffering in the Roman Coliseum and covered the others fleeing the demonic Roman emperors. And God by grace preserved a remnant in the midst of a corrupt church. Grace gifted William Tyndale to spread the Word of God in the common tongue and then answered his dying prayer at the stake to open the king's eyes. Just one year later, the king ordered the printing and distribution of Tyndale's Bibles. It was even God's grace allowing Gutenberg the brilliant idea of a printing press which printed such Bibles.
Grace lifted Luther from a damnable righteousness of works to the saving righteousness which is of faith. Later grace led Wesley with Luther's preface on Romans to believe, to be strangely warmed, and to be sent out in apostolic power. God's grace has raised up multitudes from spiritual death to preach with a living and vibrant faith. One was that ruthless slaver, Newton, who has now successfully preached to millions with "Amazing Grace." Grace has elevated other wretches from crying in their beer in despair to weeping behind the sacred desk with love and compassion.
Innumerable others have been delivered from a plethora of sins, pride, levity, hatred, lust, impertinence, ungratefulness, and a glut of sin's fruits such as pornography, drunkenness, sodomy, riotousness, and divers more. God's grace is abundant, for where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
God in His grace blesses all, but His children benefit infinitely more. For of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. So we then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. Avail yourselves of God's grace and with resolve share it to all. Grace be with you all. Amen.
* By Phillip Dickinson, first published in "Dickinson Update," our missionary newsletter.*