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Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource

By Marc Kunze email:

id you know that the whole New Testament is grace based? What this means is a whole lot more then simply the vertical act of receiving Christ as Lord. This is just the beginning. Once Christ has taken up residence in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, his grace immediately becomes DIVINE ENABLING POWER, that is a literal tangible substance that flows through us and enables us to do what is humanly impossible, like heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. One man once said, "the commandments of God are not hard, they are impossible!" This is true apart from the grace of God flowing through us. It is not natural to love your enemies and bless those who persecute you, it is super-natural. Grace partners with the human heart and the result is a super-natural lifestyle. SO GRACE COMES TO US IN TWO WAYS:


This is vertical and is from God to man through Christ. Has to do with our salvation (Eph.2:8)-"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God


This DIVINE ENABLING POWER working through man. Has to do with our gifts and calling. (Eph. 3:7)-"I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of Gods grace given me through the working of his power." (Acts 14:3)-"So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders."

Grace flows out of love because love must be expressed. "For God so loved the world that he GAVE(GRACE) his only begotten Son."(Jn.3:16) GRACE-(CHARIS) Is the root word for Kindness, Blessing, Credit, Favor, Gift, Gratuity, Thanks, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving. It is the Divine influence upon the human heart and it's reflection in life.

Sin, mans defiant misuse of his finite freedom, has negated any claim he may have levied on his Creator's blessing. Grace therefore stands as the antithesis to sin. GRACE-Is the only way a Holy God could justify unholy men. GRACE-Is the only means by which God effects human character and changes it. The Cross alone is the means to the grace, which is the means to our transformation. GRACE-Is given to us in Jesus Christ and works through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. The river of God only flows through the grace of God. -1

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource The very first sermon John Wesley preached which lead to revival June 11, 1738 at the University of Oxford was from the text (Eph.2:8)-"For by grace you are saved through faith." QUOTES: "I do not doubt that a far greater power for usefulness lies concealed within the doctrines of grace then some men have ever dreamed of." (Charles Spurgeon) "God has done it. God alone has done it! Nothing makes a man so humble, but nothing makes him so glad. Nothing lays him so low at the mercy seat, but nothing makes him so brave to look hi fellowman in the face. It is a grand truth. I pray to God that you will know it's mighty power." (Charles Spurgeon) "We believe that if we are ever saved at all, we must be saved (gratis) saved as the gratuitous act of a bountiful God; saved by a gift not by wages; saved by Gods love not our own doing or merits. This is the apostles creed: Salvation is all of grace from first to last, and the channel of that grace is the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved and lived and died and rose again for our salvation."(Charles Spurgoen) CONCLUSION: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ." (2Peter3:18a) -The word "Grow"can be rendered- "be continually growing" This is the realm of Gods unmerited favor and the exercise of Spiritual graces. Remember, if you do not have a settled conviction concerning Gods grace (TO YOU) in salvation, you will struggle to access his grace / enabling power (THROUGH YOU) in your daily life. RIVER OF GRACE PART #2 Last week we mentioned how grace comes to us in two ways: 1)-TO US- Vertically, "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." -This has to do with our salvation. 2)-THROUGH US- Horizontally, through the power of the Holy Spirit. -This has to do with our gifts and calling. It is truly amazing that God has given us all gifts by which we can minister to one another, but did you know that these gifts are the primary way that God releases and dispenses grace-ENABLING POWER to the church and the world? TAKE A LOOK AT ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL VERSES IN THE NT. "Each one should use whatever gift he/she has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms." (1 Peter4:10) -2

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource Believers should be diligent in using their Spiritual gifts. Each gift-(charisma) is to be use to serve(diakonos / deacon) or "minister to others." The phrase "faithful administering"-(hos kaloi oikonomoi) could be translated as "a good steward." A steward was one who served as a house manager; he had no wealth of his own, but distributed his master's wealth according to his master's will and direction. The Gift-(charisma) stems from Gods grace-(charitos). His grace is manifested to his church as believers exercise their Spiritual gifts in service to each other. His grace is evident in "its various forms" that is, it is manifold, variegated, rich in variety and full of color and life!


The gifts of God dispense the grace of God! When you exercise your Spiritual gifts, grace is manifested, and the invisible realm of Gods "favor" suddenly becomes visible. We literally become heavenly brokers, as we partner with God to see "His kingdom come on each as it is in heaven."

CONCLUSION: "We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a mans gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his FAITH." (Romans 12:6) The gifts are given to all of us. They are given by God, distributed by the Holy Spirit, and are exercised by the individual "according to" or in "proportion" to his/her faith. This is very important because once the gift is given, FAITH will determine the measure to which it is manifested. As you exercise your Spiritual muscles, your faith will increase and GREATER GRACE will be the result. "GLORY BE TO GOD!!" RIVER OF GRACE #3 (1Corinthians 15:9-10)- "For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the GRACE of God I am what I am and his GRACE to me was not without effect." (The Apostle Paul) "AND HIS GRACE TO ME WAS NOT WITHOUT EFFECT"

So effective was the grace of God (TO PAUL) that in a moments time his world was rocked! While traveling the road to Damascus in hot pursuit of Christians to persecute, GRACE-HIMSELF appeared to Paul. His name was changed, his identity was changed and his mission was changed.


Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource So effective was the grace of God (THROUGH PAUL) that he declared that he worked harder then all the other apostles. The ENABLING POWER of this grace caused Paul to travel, preach, plant churches, endure persecution and write more New Testament epistles then "all of them."-(other apostles). And yet no matter what the situation, Paul was always the first to acknowledge "Not I but the grace of God!" He would not take any credit knowing that it was Gods power that had changed him, compelled him, empowered him and produced the results.

CONCLUSION: (2TIMOTHY 2:1)-"You then my son, be strong in the GRACE that is in Christ Jesus." The weight of this verse is unreal. It is the end of Paul's life and ministry and he is writing for his very last time. He is a prisoner in a dark dungeon cell awaiting an almost certain execution under emperor Nero. He writes to his beloved disciple..."You then my son" Timothy. "Be strong in the GRACE that is in Christ" -(Literally Be empowered). Like Paul, Timothy would have to tap into Gods ENABLING POWER to be able to accomplish what would otherwise be impossible. Like Joshua following Moses, Elisha following Elijah, Timothy would need Gods power to follow in Paul's footsteps. NOTE: The Spirit of grace that causes miracle power to rest on men and women does not die with the individual. What God has done he will do again. QUESTION: Does your life and ministry require Gods ENABLING POWER? Its there and it's available and if you can see it you can have it, in JESUS NAME! RIVER OF GRACE #4 Grace, grace and more grace! I see it and I believe it, but how do I get a hold of it? I am so glad you asked. 2 WAYS GRACE IS RECEIVED: 1)-SOVEREIGNLY- This is where your heavenly Father comes to your front door with what you need(enabling power). He sovereignly comes upon you, ready or not. His grace and favor seeks you out and blesses you. 2)-SOUGHT OUT- This is where you seek out the favor of God. This is where you seek, ask and knock! This is where guys like Jacob and Jabez came into blessing. They wrestled for it. God loves to bless them that diligently seek him. 3 KEYS TO ENCOUNTER 1)-FAITH- "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." (Romans 5:2) -4

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource * This"access" or privilege of approach, is granted to all those who have been declared righteous. Jesus ushers us into the very presence of God. The heavy curtain-(of the temple) that separated man from God has been removed. * As FAITH has gained us access to presence of God so this same faith continues to access the very fullness of the kingdom of God. * Faith then is a key that makes the grace of God available. 2)-HUMILITY- "But he gives us more GRACE. That is why the scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives GRACE to the humble." (James 4:6a) * The word "Oppose" or "Resists," is (Antitassetai), a military term meaning "To war against." To the "Humble" however God gives grace. * Whether a believer is called to resist his human spirit, which tends toward envy or to rejoice in the Holy Spirit who jealously yearns for each believers edification, the call is to shun pride and submit humbly to God's authority. * The cure for conflict is a humble spirit, which is rewarded with God's unmerited favor, his ENABLING POWER. * From this verse one thing is clear: there is more grace available to the believer and humility is a key to accessing it. 3)-CONFIDENCE- "Let us then approach the throne of GRACE with CONFIDENCE, so that we may receive mercy and find GRACE to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:16) * The proceeding verse 15, is key, "for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are..." For this reason we are invited and exhorted to come before the "THRONE OF GRACE" to find both mercy and grace. * "THRONE" -emphasizes God's sovereignty and "GRACE"-reflects God's benevolence. The two together insure the believer of "help in a time of need." * This is one of the most powerful verses in the New Testament, for it reiterates the fact that Jesus as High priest has fully satisfied all requirements, turning the throne of judgment into a "THRONE OF GRACE." ensuring both mercy and grace for all who call upon his name. * Confidence then in the finished work of the cross is yet another key to encountering grace. APPLICATION: You can be very humble and yet not exercise faith. You can be very confident in the finished work of the cross and yet not humble enough to see your need to contend for it's riches. But when these "3 KEYS TO ENCOUNTER" Faith, Humility and Confidence collide in your life, you will have an explosion on your hands! -5

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource We all love it when grace sovereignly comes upon us, but your life is much to powerful and your vision so requires Gods provision that there is only one thing left to do......Go after this river of grace like never before!!!!! Amen. RIVER OF GRACE #5 Did you know that the EVIDENCE of God's grace can be seen and RECOGNIZED in a person's life? EVIDENCE"When he arrived and SAW EVIDENCE of the GRACE of God he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts" (Luke 11:23). The church in Jerusalem had heard that the gospel had not only been preached to the Jews but had now been delivered to the Greeks in Antioch. As a result they sent Barnabas to go and check out these reports. Upon his arrival he "SAW EVIDENCE" of the grace of God at work among the Greeks. Most likely it was the (Fruit of the Spirit)-"Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and selfcontrol" (Galatians 5:22-23a). This again is grace (TO US). The message of the cross has the power to so release the human heart into what Jesus described as "abundant life." Heaven is a place, but eternal life is a state produced by being united with the Eternal God. His life flows out of us and the EVIDENCE of that life is the fruit of the Spirit, which should never cease but rather grow in intensity.

RECOGNIZE"James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they RECOGNIZED the GRACE given me" (Galatians 2:9) James Peter, and John "RECOGNIZED the grace given" Paul, which was the success that God granted him in his preaching. God had endorsed Paul's ministry to the Gentiles just as he had Peter's to the Jews. "I became a servant of the gospel by the gift of Gods GRACE given me through the WORKING OF HIS POWER" (Ephesians 3:7) This then is grace (THROUGH US). God calls, God saves, God performs miracles. It is God who endorses and validates ones ministry. Grace then can be recognized as the super-natural activity of God working through a persons life.

APPLICATION: If you are currently living without EVIDENCE of the Spirits fruit in your life; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control, chances are you probably need to revisit the CROSS and ponder once again what it means to be SAVED BY GRACE? Then RECOGNIZE the ministry of grace through you in ministering to others. -6

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource "But to each one of us GRACE has been given as Christ apportioned it" (Ephesians 4:7). From God "each" believer receives "grace" or enabling power as "Christ apportioned it" (Literally according to the measure-metron) of the gift of Christ. Each believer is to function in Christ's body by God's enablement, proportionate to the gift (spiritual ability) bestowed on him, no more and no less.

There is a big difference between (your) ministry and (His) ministry through you. Look for that which he does and performs through you. Be honest, be humble. It's never been about what you can do as much as it's about what He can do through you. Grace says; "Nothing is impossible to them that believe!!!!!" RIVER OF GRACE #6 If you have a (Man centered/works theology) rather then a (God centered/grace theology) you will find yourself always struggling with INSECURITY, INSTABILITY and constantly lacking Gods ENABLING POWER in you life. Could you imagine watching Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" and walking away saying to yourself; "I know Jesus took many blows to the head, and a lot of lashings but I am just not sure if he suffered enough? I know he prayed; "It is finished!" but my situation is unique and may require more?" And yet this is what we do all the time, YES YOU!!!!! The evidence is what I call a "roller coaster Christianity," full of ups and downs rooted in insecurity and instability. LISTEN; Our lack of faith and confidence in the FINISHED WORK OF THE CROSS, stands as one of the greatest hindrances to the flow of God's ENABLING POWER in our lives. GIFT OR NO DEAL: "I do not set aside the GRACE of God for if righteousness could be gained through law, Christ died for nothing!" (Galatians 2:21) Summing up his case against Peter, Paul declares, "I do not set aside the grace of God." The clear implication of this was that Peter and those who followed him at that time were setting aside Gods grace. The essence of grace is for God to give men/woman what they don't deserve and have not worked for. To set it aside or try to mingle God's gifts with human achievement is to nullify grace and make a mockery of the cross. "If righteousness could be gained throught law, Christ died for nothing!" And the cross was a futile mistake.

NO MIXTURE: "You who are trying to be justified by law have been ALIENATED FROM CHRIST, you have FALLEN AWAY FROM GRACE." (Galatians 5:4) "Fallen away from grace" Placed yourself outside the scope of Divine favor, because accessing Gods grace by works and recieiving it by faith are mutually exclusive. -7

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource "And if by GRACE, then it is no longer by WORKS; if it were, GRACE would no longer be GRACE." (Romans 11:6) This again is grace (TO US). No fine print, no guilt offerings and no promised vows! Its a gift or no deal!

ACCESS BY FAITH ONLY: "Through whom we have gained ACCESS BY FAITH into this GRACE in which we now stand. (Romans 5:2) "Through whom?" Through Christ; his life, and ressurection, end of discussion! By works, NO! by FAITH we have ACCESS!!!!!!!!!!!

"For it is by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH and this not of yourselves, it is the GIFT OF GOD." (Ephesians 2:8). APPLICATION: As I have mentioned on several occasions, if you are not secure and confident in the FINISHED WORK OF THE CROSS-(grace TO YOU), then you will have great difficulty accessing ENABLING POWER-(grace THROUGH YOU). By nature we seek to access Gods power by works rather then by faith. Works done in faith is the goal, "BUT" understand this: Faith in God releases grace and works flow out of that grace. In this way God is glorified! NOTE: The implications of what God has done for you; (God centered theology) rather then a (man centered theology) is so dynamic, so full of potential not only to release your heart into abundant freedom and gratitude, but has the power to release you into signs wonders and miracles!!!!! "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you" (Thessalonians 5:28). RIVER OF GRACE #7 Why so much emphasis on grace? I was hoping you would ask. Because God's grace has the power to STRENGTHEN YOUR HEARTS, BUILD YOU UP AND give you an INHERITANCE, among them that believe. STRENGTHENED BY GRACE: "Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be STRENGTHENED BY GRACE not ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them" (Hebrews 13:9).

The proceeding verses 7-8, exhort the believers to "remember your leaders" especially their teaching"the word of God" and their way of life. These leaders may have passed on but their teaching remains true even as verse 8 stresses that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." If the believers did this they would not "be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings." -8

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource Concerning our "hearts being strengthened by grace" this would be in contrast to external works done under law such as eating "ceremonial foods." Man by nature gravitates toward religious ritual to appease his conscience and try to strengthen his position before God. Religious ritual is not evil, but when it is done to establish what only the cross could accomplish, then it is worthless and of "no value." The grace that strengthens the believers heart and results in intimacy comes only through Jesus Christ. It is Christ who gives us strength.

BUILD YOU UP & GIVE YOU AN INHERITANCE: "Now I commit you to God and the WORD OF HIS GRACE, which can BUILD YOU UP and give you an INHERITANCE among all those who are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).

Like the above verses, Paul address the saints that the time will come when men will distort and depart the truths of the gospel leading many astray (Vs29-31). After warning them night and day for 3 years with tears, Paul does 2 things. 1-Commit them to God 2-And the word of his grace As a result they would be BUILT UP, EDIFIED and ESTABLISHED! This once again is grace-(TO US). And secondly they would receive an INHERITANCE. This is grace-(THROUGH US).

APPLICATION: The Lord Jesus has done absolutely everything required for us to finally have "peace with God." His FINISHED WORK is completely sufficient to STRENGTHEN and ESTABLISH our hearts so that we are free to respond in love. If we seek to strengthen our position with God through religious works, then our position will only be as secure as our works? Roller coaster Christianity, full of ups and downs! Paul said; "if anyone has any reason to put confidence in the flesh-(good works), I have more!".......BUT......."I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that is from God and is by faith" (Philippians 3:4;8-9). Our life should be full of good works that flow out of our love for Jesus, but grace alone is the spring that releases that love. WARNING: Guilt, shame, and manipulation are all illegitimate influences which may produce good works, but those same works will one day be tested with fire and proven to be of "no value!" Once you are secure and confident in your position before God, grace-(TO YOU), then life becomes and adventure as you step into your inheritance, grace-(THROUGH YOU)! Be confident, have faith and walk in power, Jesus did. RIVER OF GRACE #8 "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 GODS GRACE" (Acts 20:24). When Paul received grace -(To him) he determined that he would then devote his life to seeing grace flow (Through him). This was his "task" of which the rest of his life was "worth nothing." -9

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource It was 99% pass the baton and 1% his life. GOSPEL OF GODS GRACE:

No one understood that magnitude of these words-"Gospel of God's Grace" like the Apostle Paul. As a religious man he did absolutely everything possible to prove his dedication and zeal to the God of his fathers. A recognized scholar once said; "Paul was such a brilliant man that even if Christ had never come. Paul still would have emerged somewhere in our history books."


Privileged custom- Circumcised on the eight day Privileged tribe- From the tribe of Benjamin Privileged language- Hebrew speaking Hebrew


Religious achievement- Pharisee of Pharisees Religious performance- Legalistic righteousness -faultless Religious training- Trained under Gamial

But with this privileged position and advanced religious training, Paul, not only missed the Messiah, but also was completely bent on destroying his body, -the Church. This was the context of which the Lord Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Through that encounter with Christ, Paul, understood that everything he had received and pursued as a religious leader had actually served not only to separate him from Christ but make him an enemy of the cross. "The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly along with faith and love that are in Christ" (1Timothy 1:14).

The result was the revelation of the "GOSPEL OF GOD'S GRACE." Paul's mission in life then became the single task of offering to the world this gospel in the same manor of which he had received it, -AS A GIFT.

"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" (2Corinthians 4:15).

"ALL THIS"- Was the suffering that Paul was enduring to make God's grace available to the masses. So much of what Paul suffered was in direct proportion to his passion to preserve the purity of this gospel of grace and make it available, free of charge. For instance his fellow Jews abused Paul more then above everyone for two reasons: 1st- He declared that anyone could be saved, even Gentiles. 2nd- He declared they could be saved apart from observing the law. Both truths where revealed through his Damascus encounter. But Paul could not compromise the truth. If he could not pull it off in the flesh no one could. And if Christ appeared to him with full pardon and acceptance, anyone and everyone could be saved. - 10

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource APPLICATION: Paul's testimony is huge!!!!! 1st- As for human righteousness and religious achievement, Paul scored straight A's, only to find out that God did not grade on a curve and PERFECTION was required. Christ is the perfection of God. Paul then declared concerning his attempts; "I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from Law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes FROM GOD and is by faith" (Philippians 3:9). 2nd- Paul was a violent man, who sought to destroy Christ very body -the Church. With this as the back drop, Jesus appeared to him, pardoned him, and promoted him to sonship, and Apostleship. Grace! "Suffering for the gospel" then has nothing to do with earning your salvation, but everything to do with loving both Jesus and the message of his grace so much, that we will endure like Paul hardships to see others encounter the "GOSPEL OF GOD'S GRACE!" RIVER OF GRACE #9 "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 of grace that came by the one man, Jesus Christ overflow to the many" (Romans 5:15). THE GIFT IS NOT LIKE THE TRESPASS: Adam's sin brought death to "the many"-(The entire human race).

"HOW MUCH MORE"-was that which was bestowed to "the many" through God's grace, and the gift of righteousness which came through his Son. The emphasis in this parallel is the degree of influence achieved by the two men. If Adam's sin brought about death to all humanity, God has "MUCH MORE" brought about life to "overflow to the many" through Jesus Christ. God's grace for good is infinitely greater then Adams sin for evil.

"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 the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17). LIFE REIGNS THROUGH GRACE:

The wages of sin is death, and thus Adam's sin brought about the rule of death over humanity, "death reigned." "HOW MUCH MORE"- is the reign of life that envelopes those who have "received" God's graciousness and the "gift of righteousness" given through his Son. "REIGN IN LIFE"- is what we are called to simply because of God's "ABUNDANT PROVISION OF GRACE."

"So just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:21). - 11


Once again Paul speaks of reigning in connection with life. In (verse 17) we saw that those who received God's gift-"reign in life" through Jesus Christ. Here we see God's grace personified as reigning and bringing eternal life. Grace reigns with a goal in view- Eternal life! Eternal life is a quality of life; it's living by God's life-(Holy Spirit) and for God.

APPLICATION: Because of God's ABUNDANT PROVISION OF GRACE, we who have RECEIVED both pardon-(from sin) and promotion-(to sons / daughters), now have access to the life that is truly life. Abundant life! Life that overflows out of grace, reigns through righteousness and is experienced by the power of the Holy Spirit. Life that causes people to stand firm in the faith. Life that enables ordinary people to become extraordinary believers. What God has secured in your favor, is so much bigger then you could have ever imagined! As (Charles Spurgeon) wrote; "The man or woman who truly understands the grace of God will never backslide." And I would say, that the man or woman that "grows in grace"-will have a joyful face, will run the race and will be brought into a spacious place, Amen. "BE FILLED!!!!!!!!!!!!" RIVER OF GRACE 10 "From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another" (John 1:16).

The word "we" here is speaking of all Christians everywhere including John the author. Because the fullness of Gods grace is eternal, "one blessing after another"-literally means "grace on top of grace." Grace comes to the Christian as waves come upon the seashore.

"And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches" (2 Corinthians 8:1).

The Macedonian churches gave and gave despite their own financial poverty. Paul understood that this was not natural, but supernatural, for (Vs.2)- tells us that the Macedonians suffered severe trials, and extreme poverty, and yet God's grace was evident in their "overflowing joy" and "rich generosity." When they should have been sad and stingy, they were abundantly generous and overflowing with joy. There is (self giving) and there is (grace giving).

"So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning to bring to completion this act of grace on your part"(2 Corinthians 8:6)

A collection of money had been taken up in Corinth under the direction of Titus, which was for the needy saints in Jerusalem. For some reason the collection had come to a halt. Now one year later Paul sends Titus back to Corinth with this letter for the purpose of completing this good work, which he describes as a work of "Gods grace." - 12

Kaua`I House Of Prayer Resource The initial decision and commitment to give was in response to God's grace, now Paul calls forth that same grace in the completion of the gift.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich"(2 Corinthians 8:9).

Paul does not want his motivation to be an external command but rather appeals to the supreme incentive for all genuine Christian giving-(the life and of Christ). Jesus relinquished heaven for our sake. NOTE: We try to imagine how wonderful heaven will be, but imagine how traumatic it would be to transition from eternal glory and perfection into a time space fallen creation...."Ouch!!!

APPLICATION: "But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us, see to it that you also excel in the grace of giving" (2 Corinthians 8:7). Paul makes reference to the many grace's of God already active and growing in the church at Corinth and with these words exhorts the saints...."See also that you grow in the grave of giving." This whole verse is powerful because of the emphasis on growth and maturity-"Just as you excel in everything." The river of Gods grace flows from the ocean of his love. Grace is by nature giving, and this grace should grow and flow (THROUGH US) in ever increasing measures."God so loved the world that he gave-grace...." and keeps on giving. "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all you need, you will abound in ever good work"(2 Corinthians 9:8). Marc Kunze Market Place Minister - 13