Grace Period

Grace Period is a blog from the heart of a Christian. I enjoy sharing my faith, my hopes, my dreams - and especially my opinions! Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's sad. Hopefully it's always thought-provoking.

This Week's Sound of Grace Broadcast

Listen for free to our most recent broadcast: David - The Grace of God in the Storms of Life @ www.thesoundofgrace.com

God is gracious. This week we look at a particular incident that happened in this story of David during Absalom’s rebellion that reveals the grace of God in the storm. Music by the Pleasant View Baptist Church Ladies’ Ensemble.

Radio Stations & Broadcast Times

* 88.5 FM Joy Christian Radio, Tullahoma, TN * Sundays 8:00 AM Central

* 105.1 FM WHMT The Ticket, Tullahoma, TN * Sundays 9:00 AM Central

Posted 99 weeks ago

Be of Good Cheer

Be of good cheer. Seriously. In every area of our national life, economically, geopolitically, and even spiritually, it seems our country is going from bad to worse. Reading from Matthew 24 and 25, I have found new encouragement and determination.

In Matthew 24:6, our Lord mentions some terrible things, but then He said this: “for all these things must come to pass.” In Mark 13:7, the sister companion to Matthew’s discourse, our Lord put it this way: “for such things must needs be.” In Luke 21:28, just after a very similar discourse, our Lord gives us this encouragement: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

In Matthew 25, Our Lord gives three parables about being ready, reliable, and rewarded. The one that grips my heart is the third. When the King (Jesus) rewards His faithful servants, He gives this tribute: “For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me” (Matthew 25:35-36).

Then the astonished saints ask when did we do all of that? Our Lord replied, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40). Then it dawned upon me, the worst times of life (hunger, thirst, deprivation, sickness, persecution) are the very opportunities God gives us to be of service to Him.

In these troubled days, we do not have to be troubled. In John 16:33, Jesus gives this wonderful promise: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Let us be of good cheer, and let us be of good use for the Master!

Posted 103 weeks ago

Ecclesiastes 1:3 “What profit?”

Solomon asks a very relevant and important question at the beginning of his philosophical book, Ecclesiastes. “What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3) is a pertinent question, and it causes us to stop and ponder the meaning of true profit.

If Wall Street and wealth are all that we are living for, we will wind up greatly disappointed at the end. But if we live for something more, something eternal, we can lay our head upon our dying pillow and leave satisfied!

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.“ There is profit in living for the Lord.

  • The Profit of Communion – When you serve with the Lord you have fellowship with Him. You also have fellowship with the saints who are serving
  • The Profit of Continuation – When you serve and labor for the Lord, you will win some souls to the Lord. You will also leave behind some devoted Christians who will carry on when you are gone.
  • The Profit of Commendation – Scripture says in Matthew 25:23, “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” What other commendation could we want other than those words from our Savior? The praise of the world will not compare!
  • The Profit of Commission – The Word of God says in 2 Timothy 2:12, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us…” It also tells us in Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” I want to invest my life in such a way here, that I have a profit in the world to come.

April and I recently visited the Biltmore in Asheville. I learned that George Vanderbilt who owned and built the palatial home and estate died at the young age of 51. He didn’t really get to enjoy the profit of his labor very long. I told April that it taught a lesson: "Don’t live for this world; live for the next world, we’ll get to enjoy it longer.” If you labor for yourself, then you will say what Solomon said in the verse just above: “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

Posted 122 weeks ago

Preach the Gospel

Listen for free to our most recent broadcast entitled “Preach the Gospel” at www.thesoundofgrace.com

The word “gospel” means “the good news” or “the good message.” It is found 104 times in 98 verses. The good news is summed up succinctly in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Music by Pictures of Grace.

Posted 130 weeks ago

God's Providence

“Wherever you may be, whatever may be your case, God will be with you. Whatever period of your life you may now be in, God is with you. His eye is at the bridal and at the funeral; at the cradle and at the grave. In the battle, God’s eye is looking through the smoke; in the revolution, there is God’s hand managing the masses of men who have broken loose from their rulers. In the earthquake, there is Jehovah manifest; in the tempest, there is God’s hand, tossing the bark, dashing it against the rocks, or saving it in his hand from the boisterous waves. In all seasons, at all times, in all dangers, and in all climates, there is the hand of God.” - Charles H. Spurgeon, God’s Providence, published 1883.

Posted 132 weeks ago

Some Things We Have

Listen for free to our most recent broadcast entitled “Some Things We Have” at www.thesoundofgrace.com.

Jesus said to His followers to rejoice because their names were written in Heaven. What a wonderful perspective that is! There may be a multitude of reasons to be discouraged, depressed, and defeated. But if we have been saved by the grace of God, there is always at least one reason to rejoice - our eternal home is Heaven because our names are written on its roll! Music by the Kingsmen.

Posted 132 weeks ago

The Wisdom of God, Part 2

This week’s broadcast has been posted to www.thesoundofgrace.com where you can listen for free!

True wisdom is the divine skill of correctly applying the knowledge of God to life. Man’s philosophy and the wisdom of this world cannot answer the questions or solve the struggles of life. Thank God for His precious Word which reveals God’s wisdom to us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Music by the Victorious Valley Girls Choir.

Posted 133 weeks ago

Where Is God?

“And he (Elisha) took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? (2 Kings 2:14)”

Sometimes we wonder aloud even as Elisha did, “Where is the Lord?” Well, He is exactly where He has always been. He is omnipresent. Nothing about Him has changed – only our circumstances have caused us to doubt His promised presence. Allow me to suggest three places where we can find the LORD God of Elijah!

He is in Heaven. Nothing that happens in this world takes God by surprise or is out of His control. While we may wonder where the next terrorist attack may present itself from organizations such as Al Qaeda, or ISIS, or when the next economic recession or depression may materialize, we do not have to wonder and doubt where God is.  We may or may not change the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but He is still on the throne in Heaven! The Psalmist declared, “The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in Heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men (Psalms 11:4).” Speaking for God, Isaiah penned, “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me? and where is the place of My rest? (Isaiah 66:1)” I love the picture that Paul painted of our link to Christ in Heaven when he wrote to the Philippians, “For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).”

He is in the hard times. Elisha had just experienced a hard time. Elijah, his friend, mentor and guide, had just been taken away from him into Heaven. He was left to go on seemingly alone. As he turned to re-cross the Jordan River that God had just parted for Elijah, he cried out in anguish and sorrow, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” The rest of that verse says, “and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.” That was definitely a hard time for Elisha, but God was right there with him. And He will be there with you in your hard times. In financial setbacks, in relationship problems, even in tragedies, He will be found comforting His children. Listen to Paul as he speaks of the comfort of God in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

He is in our Hearts. This last thought thrills me to the core! Just think – God, Who created this universe, is able to live in our hearts. And He’s not just able, He is also willing! This is something that we can know. Paul wrote, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16).” Do you know that? I do. Someone must have asked Alfred Ackley that same question, and he penned the words to that great song, He Lives. The last stanza says (and I agree), “You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!”

I hope you know Him as your Savior. If so, He promised to never leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you through it all. If you do not know Him as your Savior, please invite Him into your heart today. He’s waiting for you.

Posted 134 weeks ago

So I Prayed


Nehemiah 2:4 “Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.”

I love Nehemiah’s reaction. It is the reaction of one who believes God can answer prayer, or else why should he pray? If that had been written about me, it might read, “So I tried to work it out myself.” Maybe you can identify with that mentality as well. This week, let’s center our thoughts around those three words, “So I prayed.”

Without getting too deep into the story, let me provide a little background. Nehemiah had heard how his people at home were in distress and it broke his heart. He began praying that God would help his people. Little did Nehemiah know God would use him to do it! He sensed such a burden for the city of Jerusalem that it began to show on his countenance, and since he was the king’s cupbearer, the king noticed and asked this pointed question, “For what dost thou make request?” Then Nehemiah records, “So I prayed…”

It was a timely prayer. In the midst of the moment Nehemiah called on his God. Aren’t you glad you can call on Him anytime? Whether it’s in the dark of night, or the wee hours of the morning, we don’t have to wake God, but we can freely called upon Him then as we would in the noon time hour. He is always just a breath away!

 

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1).”

It was a truthful prayer. Nehemiah didn’t pray to a god of stone that could not see, hear or help. But he prayed to “the God of heaven.” He prayed to One who was higher and more powerful than the king before whom he stood to answer. Before Nehemiah spoke to the king, he wanted to speak to the King!

“And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments (Nehemiah 1:5).”

It was a trusting prayer. The words “so I prayed” paint for us a picture of Nehemiah casting himself upon the mercy and grace of the Almighty. He resigned himself to the will of God. Nehemiah trusted that God would do what was right with Nehemiah, His people and according to His promises. With such trust, it is no wonder we read, “So it pleased the king to send me (Nehemiah 2:6).”

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20).”

What could God do if we had a few godly men who would pray for our country as Nehemiah prayed for his? He could send an awakening. He could alter the course of our future, if we would just pray. No matter the situation we face this week, may we say as Nehemiah, “So I prayed.”

Posted 136 weeks ago

Even There

In Psalms 137:7-10 David, the Sweet Psalmist of Israel, writes, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

With powerful confidence David includes two very important words: “even there.” Those words are music to my ears and comfort to my heart. I may feel alone, I may even deserve to be left alone, but as a child of God I am never utterly alone. These verses set forth some very important truths about God’s presence.

The Principle of God’s Presence – even there. He is omnipresent. He is everywhere. There is not a corner of the globe where He cannot be found. Missionaries have found Him already present on far away shores. From the frozen tundra of the arctic, to the steaming jungles of the tropics; from the burning sands of the deserts to the unfathomable depths of the oceans, God is there. There is not a corner of life where He cannot be found. No person has a monopoly on the presence of God. He can be here for me even while He is there for you. He is not entangled by time or distance. In the highest of the heavens or in the heart of the earth, we will find He is even there! 

The Place of God’s Presence – even there. Those two words leave no place unexplored by God’s presence. He begins to make His presence known to us from the place of salvation. Then He begins to walk with us through the places of tribulation. In the good times, He is there. In the midst of heart-breaking sorrows, He is there. When we ultimately triumph, and when we utterly fail, He is even there. When we experience the greatest joys, He is there. When we experience the darkest nights, He is even there. There is no depth too deep, no storm to harrowing, no fear to great, no heart too broken, no distress too disturbing, no burden too heavy to prevent Him from being present with us. And after this life is over, He will accompany us forever to the place of consummation. Even there, when the shadow of death passes over and we make our final descent to banks of Jordan’s rough waters, He will not leave us, but conduct us over to our final resting place forever in His presence. Even there, where the dearest on earth must leave off, He will be present.

The Promise of God’s Presence – even there. Here and in other parts of Scripture, He promises with clarity and confidence that He will always be with us. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus exhorts us, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Again in Hebrews 13:5 we read this promise, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  You may not always be able to feel Him, but you can always trust Him. Others may leave us. The dearest on earth may forsake us. Friends may decline to go with us in service or sacrifice, but even there in those difficult circumstances we will find He is still with us! These words from a song written by my good friend, Pete Neal, eloquently describe His presence:

For even there in the midst of my worst tragedy,
Even there when I can not find my way.
I’ve found Him in the middle of the darkest night,
When no one seemed to care
And when I haven’t got a prayer, I find He’s even there.

And when the time is come for me to cross the river,
And the lights of home come softly into view.
I won’t be left to make the journey on my own,
For like all the trials before,
I’ll find my Lord is even there.

Posted 137 weeks ago