Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Lord is Gracious

Temple Baptist Church - 5-3-2017
1 Peter 2:1-3


A.  One of the most amazing of all doctrines is the doctrine of the Grace of God!  Hebrews 2:6  But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?  (Mindful-means to be consumed by a thought.  Visitest-a continuing form of “to visit.”  To come to where one is.)

Psalms 40:5  Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Psalms 40:17  But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

B.  The First Mention of someone being “visited” by God is found in Genesis: Genesis 3:8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

C.  God was certainly “gracious” to Adam and Eve in their sinfulness as He provided a sacrifice as an atonement for that sin!  God loved Adam and Eve, even when they were sinful and tried to hide from His presence.

D. God’s graciousness was and is based upon His great love for mankind. 

1.  God made man for Himself and loves everyone on the planet.  His love and graciousness is equal and available to all. 

2.  I try to be gracious to everyone who comes to our home but there are certain restrictions that go along with it.  People do not just come to our home and walk in.  They are invited into our home.  Children and grandchildren are different!  Our home “IS” their home!

E.  “Tasted” means to have personally experienced it. Tasting something is not something that others do for you.  “Let me taste that for you?”  That may work with beets and turnips but, for the most part, I will taste something for myself. 

1.  Have you ever eaten too much of a good thing and wished that you had not eaten at all?  I would rather pay for my lunch “up front” because, after I am full, my billfold is a little harder to get out of my pocked.  The Holy Spirit used the word “tasted.” 

2.  When she is cooking, Barbara will come to me with an “army spoon” (that is a big one) and allow me to taste what she is cooking.  Those little “tastes” are better tasting than the meal itself.  I am glad that we have hard times as well as good times for just that reason.  When you have hard times, it makes the good times even better.

F.  Many never realize just how much God does for us because of our “entitlement” mentality.  I peached on that last Sunday night.  These “strangers scattered” were living in hard times as they, through great persecution, had to leave their beloved Israel.  They were hated of the Jews because they were Christians and now lived in a gentile land where they were hated because they were Jews as well as Christians.  Peter did with them what God must do with all of us: remind them of the love and graciousness of our loving God!  He is good all the time!  All of us have that mentality to some degree as we take for granted the companionship, communion, and blessings of God.  We feel that we are “owed” these things and often complain when we do not get what we want.

G.  Verse 3 says, “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious”.

Psalm 86:15  “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”

Psalm 103:8  “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”

Psalm 111:4 - “He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.”

H.  Thank God I have tasted Him as gracious many times.  I thank God that along the way, He has been gracious to this preacher!

1.  He was gracious to me when I was lost!  1 Timothy 1:12-14  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;  (13)  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  (14)  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

2.  He was gracious to allow me to be born in America to a solid, loving family!  1 Corinthians 15:10a  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me 

3.  He was gracious when He saved me!  Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

4.  He has been gracious to me in His longsuffering!  Romans 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

5.  He has been gracious to me in His provision!  Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

6.  He has been gracious to me in tribulation and trials!  2 Timothy 4:17  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

7. He will be gracious to me in death!  Psalms 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

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