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Grace Weekly | Sept. 17, 2012

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Scripture for the day: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

Grace Received: What a fantastic day yesterday with our guests Christopher Yuan and his parents Leon and Angela. We got to see a beautiful portrait of what the grace of God can accomplish. The Yuan’s shared about redemption, a restored marriage, deliverance from addiction, and a transformation from homosexuality to holy sexuality. (One of my favorite lines from Christopher was: “The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. The opposite of homosexuality is holiness.”)  The same gracious God who did all of that (and more) for the Yuan’s was at work among us.  Many received the grace of forgiveness, others committed themselves to move beyond being “good Christians” and begin to live with a greater sense of urgency and mission.  Several embraced a renewed passion to pray for the lost, and a few couples submitted their marriages to God.  Hearts and minds were opened, compassion replaced complacency, and we were all reminded of how much we need the grace of God.
After the evening service Dan Meyer  knelt at the altar. He said to me afterwards, “I”m not an altar person, but I needed to respond tonight to what God was showing me, and what He was doing in me.” He was referring primarily to a heart-set that God was working on. God was filling his heart with a greater love for lost and and broken people, replacing disdain with a genuine compassion for those who have been broken and battered by sin. Reminded of how gracious God has been to him, Dan’s heart was more fully aligned with God’s heart. I’m sure that happened for many more people than Dan but am grateful for his allowing me to share this with you.
Our ENGAGE THE WORD emphasis begins Oct. 1. If you haven’t already done so, please sign up online at www.engagetheword.nazarene.org
Grace Shared: Sunday afternoon your church board met and it was a holy time of praise, prayer (and a little bit of business). Once a month your leaders get together but it not just to deal with finances, facilities, or even vision and structure. Every time we are together it becomes a time of sharing the grace of God and our constant prayer is that we will be great followers of God so that we can be great leaders of God’s people.  Grace Nazarene has been been truly blessed with an amazing group of spiritual leaders. We had the privilege of hearing about God’s call to ministry for Scott & Cristy Thomas, about how God is breathing life in to the brand new Grace Riders Motorcycle Ministry led by Russ Russell, and Pastor Patrick shared about how our teenagers are practicing hospitality, growing in their relationships with God and each other. Terry Hartsock shared about the ways God is at work among our teen Bible Quiz team which is growing in number.  Words of affirmation were given and prayers of thanksgiving and intercession were offered for each other and for you.
FYI – the following people at Grace are pursuing a call to ministry:
District Licensed ministers: Rachelle Clark, Elissa Shattuck, Patrick Taylor, Charlotte Moore
Local licensed ministers: Mike Borgman, Brandon Estep, Sean Colley, Scott Thomas, Cristy Thomas, Joe Voight

Grace Extended: People are people. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, height, weight, socio-economic status, age, accent, or nationality the truth is that Jesus died for all of us and the Gospel is good news that is meant for every person on the planet. At Grace we strive to share Jesus, but also to show Jesus to our world. We do that primarily through serving others which is why our symbol for grace extended is a basin and towel (from John 13). Our faith calls us not only to avoid certain practices, but to embrace a way of living where we are used by God to extend His grace to others. Our expectation is that every person at Grace Nazarene will embody this way of life – at home, at 3135 Trenton Road, in the community, and beyond even the borders of our country. It’s why we have ministries like Grace House, Room in the Inn, FUEL, Celebrate Recovery, our relationship with NEHS as a partner in education, and why we give and go for missions. But extending grace isn’t a program. It’s a way of life.  I’m certain that before today is over you will have an opportunity to extend God’s grace to another person by serving them, giving them the benefit of the doubt, forgiving even if they don’t ask for it, lending a helping hand in Jesus’ name, or just by showing them the same kindness that God has shown us. It was great to be together yesterday but today is where it gets lived out in the arena of every-day life. Let’s live it!

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