Bible Studies & Devotionals

From Olive Branch Ministries

By Mark and Tinsley Baker

Get all the Soul Foods online @: http://www.olivebranchministries.us

 

Grace

 

James 4:6. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''

7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Grace is many things, Iíve heard it said that grace is Godís riches at Christ expense.

I believe many people confuse Godís grace with Godís mercy. No, thank God for his mercy,

but without the grace of God we could not be partakers of his mercy.

I like to think of grace among other things as Godís enabling power for us to do His will.

He wants you to do His will and He will give you the ability to carry it out.

Romans 8:32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?

God has freely given us all things, and what makes that an even more awesome fact is that He has given us the ability to receive it, and walk in it, thatís what grace is! Even the act of salvation comes by grace.

Eph:2:8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

God produces the faith in our heart when we hear the Word, and then He gives us the ability to go through with His will. His Word and his will are synonymous terms, so if you want to know what Godís will is then first find out from his Word. Godís Word is Godís will!

By grace you went from darkness unto light, by grace you have the ability to continue to walk in that light, when you are submitted to Godís Word, as we already read in James 4:6&7.

6. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. You notice it didnít say he might flee from you, it says he will flee from you, when you are submitted to God. He has given you the grace to carry it out.

Peter said virtually the same thing, only in a slightly different way.

1 Peter 5:5. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''

6. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

7. casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

10. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

11. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Here again we see by the scripture, that first of all God gives us grace when we humble ourselves and are submitted. Another way of saying this is that He gives us grace when we are submitting ourselves to His will. James as well as Peter said nearly the same thing, after we are submitted to the will of God then resist the devil. Resisting the devil is Godís will or He wouldnĎt have told us to do it would He? No He wouldnít. He will give us the grace and the ability to do it, and God will always back up His Word. You may ask why resisting the devil is Godís will. As Peter said in vs. 8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. It didnít say he was a lion only like a roaring lion. He has a very big bark, but God has given us the tools to overcome him every single time, resisting him steadfast in the faith.

Then it goes on to say in vs. 10. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. Why do we need to be strengthened by God? For what purpose? Just so we can stand up under the bullying of the devil? NO, heís a bully alright, but we are given the grace to resist him. This is a trial of our faith, God will strengthen us, perfect us, establish us, and settle us, it will put us on a firm foundation, and as Peter said in vs. 9. knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. The sufferings he is talking about is the trial of our faith. If you look back at what Peter said in the 1st chapter, youíll see what God thinks about this.

1 Peter 1:7. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Thatís a pretty good reason to submit ourselves to God isnít it? God considers the trying of our faith as a precious thing. It is precious in His sight. Well then, letís rejoice, and thank God for the opportunity to be a submitted child of God.

You can count on the devil trying to steal the Word from you every time you hear it. The Word tells us that Satan comes immediately to steal the Word. Remember the parable of the sower?

Matthew 13:18. "Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

19. "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

20. "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21. "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he stumbles.

22. "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

23. "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.''

Satan immediately comes to steal the Word from your heart. In every case the Word was sown into a heart, and faith was produced. But in only 25%, or one fourth of the people did faith produced fruit. Why? The people let Satan steal the Word, thatĎs why! We have an obligation to receive the Word and stand in what we have received. Satan can not take the Word from us without our permission. God has given us the ability to stand up to the devil and receive the fruit of our faith.

Paul started off talking about submission in the 6th chapter of Ephesians and end up talking about resisting the devil.

Ephesians 6:1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

2. "Honor your father and mother,'' which is the first commandment with promise:

7. with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

8. knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

9. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

11. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

24. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

 

We have to be submissive to God and to the authority God has put us under, whether we like it or not this is Godís will for our lives, then we have the grace to withstand the devil in the day of evil. Paul ended the book of Ephesians with salutations and speaking grace to them. This was right after he told them to take up the whole armor of God and resist the devil. We see this common theme throughout the New Testament. Submit your self to God and his Word, and God will give you the grace and the ability to resist the devil, and be an over comer.

2 Corinthians 12:7. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

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.

Paul was talking about the revelation of the Gospel that was given to him, and starting with vs.7 we see that Satan sent a messenger to buffet Paul , one translation says: an angel of Satan, to beat me. Remember we just read the parable of the sower, Jesus said; persecution arises because of the Word. The Word is very clear, this thorn in the flesh was a messenger sent from Satan, as you can see in vs. 7. (a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan.) God wanted to exalt Paul, he was His messenger to deliver the life giving Gospel. Satan didnít want Paul to be exalted, he certainly doesnít want the gospel, the good news going forth. His job is to try and defeat it before it gets started. The revelation of Godís Word will exalt you, and Satan will do everything he can to thwart the will of God in your life, thatís why he sent a messenger to try and stop Paul. Paul didnít like it very much and he went to the Lord to try and get Him to do something about it, Jesus responded by saying my grace is sufficient for thee. In other words Iíve given you the ability to do something about it. Once we are submitted to God, we have been given the grace to defeat the devil, as the Apostle James said, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. This grace is not just so we can bear up under the onslaught of Satan. NO, that wouldnít jive with the rest of the scriptures would it? No it wouldnít. Godís Word doesnít contradict itself, and as Peter said in the book of Acts, God is no respecter of persons. Whether it is the Apostle Paul, who received the revelation of this New Covenant or the newest babe in Christ, Godís Word remains true for all men. Over and over we see God gives the grace to do His will to those who are humble and submitted to Him, His will always lines up with His Word. His will and His Word are one. We serve a good God, Heís given us the ability to fight and win every time. God has made us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherein Christ has made us free. Glory to God. Amen.

If you are reading this and you havenít had the opportunity to receive the new birth, then know this, Godís will is for all to come to a saving knowledge of Him. Godís Word says He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2Pe.3:9)

Since we know that salvation is His will, we also know He will give us the grace to receive salvation. God has given you the ability to receive the new birth by His grace,

and I would like to invite you to receive it by praying this prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).

I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).

I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),

And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!

I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!

Glory to God!!!! Amen.

 

 

 

If you truly want to know for sure that you are a child of God, then I would like to invite you to earnestly pray this prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),

So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).

I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).

I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),

And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!

I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!

Glory to God!!!! Amen.