GOD’S GRACE

Luke 7:11-17; Mark 12:41-44

By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer  jerry@schmoyer.net 

  http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/

 

Ever go into someone’s office, important person, pictures on wall of all kinds of people they shook hands with?  Suppose invited into office of JESUS, whose picture He put up?

I bet among them would be two nameless widows He met

 

WIDOW  Alone, hard time financially, old, doesn’t fit in

        Many women dread thinking of widowhood

                Most end up being widows – hard life!

JESUS’ DAY: Much worse off, no government help

        Women then had very few options, depended on men

Relative want to, have means to help her

                If NONE: beggar, prostitute (career choices)

 

JESUS RAN INTO A WOMEN who just became widow

        no bro-in-law, son or father!

 

I. RECEIVING GOD’S GRACE

        WIDOW WITH DEAD SON

 

Luke 7:11      Jesus & disciples walking toward Nain

        Funeral Procession: paid mourners in front, etc

                Already dead: father, other children, husband

        Lost: son, companion, support

        Future: slowly starve unless others took pity on her

                no real reason to live anyway

Feel sorry for her?  Jesus did, too:

 

Lk 7:13   Ridiculous thing to tell her

insensitive thing to say!-unless had good reason to say it!

 

Lk 7:14aritually unclean — couldn’t go to temple, synagogue

Why touch it?  Not have to touch to do miracle

        Shows compassion, identification with her loss

        Shows uncleanness not in outer ritual but in heart

 

Lk 7:14b People thought Jesus crazy!

        1. Stops wedding procession

        2. Touches coffin

        3. Tells mother to not cry

        4. Tells dead boy to get up!

 

Lk 7:15People MORE astonished when boy really did sit up!

        What would you have thought had you been there?

 

WHY did Jesus do this?

        -Response to woman’s great faith? 

                Didn’t know Him / believe, He didn’t ask her to

        -Impress everyone around?

                Not that many people there, other better times

        -HIS HEART WENT OUT TO HER IN HER LOSS

 

GRACE GIFT  She did nothing to earn or deserve it

        He took away her hurt & loss

                gave her a life and a future     LOVE

200+ times in Bible

“Unmerited, undeserved favor”

 

Ps. l03:8-14

Grace and mercy are optional with God

        Holiness, justice, righteousness not optional

 

Goodness of God manifested toward the undeserving

Unlimited favor to the undeserving, all who by reason of transgression have forfeited every claim to divine favor and have lost all capacity for meritorious action.

 

Someone brutally murders your child, you get them freed, bring them into own home to live! = grace!!!

 

Power: OVER DEATH (son, self)

 

Luke 7:16-17GRACE: brought to God for salvation

        not guilt, judgment, fear

        but love, grace, mercy

 

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph. 2:4-9

 

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  Rom. 3:23-24

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5

 

What if Jesus NOT there, son buried, widow alone? Grace???

 

II. RESPONDING TO GOD’S GRACE

        WOMAN WITH 2 MITES

 

COURT OF WOMEN 13 “trumpets” to put offering in

Story starts with Jesus watching PEOPLE GIVE MONEY!

 

Mark 12:41God watches us worship: sing, pray, give!

Matt 6:21  where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

MOST GIVERS: play trumpets, slowly pour in coins (noise!)

 

Mk 12:42Smallest gift allowed – less too small to count

Jesus got all excited about her!!!

 

Mk 12:43-44  SHE GAVE:    couldn’t give any less (not allowed)

                couldn’t give any more (didn’t have it)

AMOUNT not what matters to Jesus

        PROPORTION matters

        Jesus looks at what is left

        Heart Attitude counts with Jesus

        Not really ‘give’ if it doesn’t hurt!

APPLIES TO:Time

                        Talent

                        Treasure

 

WHY DID SHE GIVE IT?

Not make any difference among temple $ (not even buy 1 wick)

Intimidated by great givers all around

Feel inferior, not worth anything

Did God really need/care about 1/2 cent?

She needed it badly, for life itself!

Religious rulers corrupt, kept $ for selves!

 

Mark 12:38    Took offerings for selves

                cheated, deceived widows, took advantage

 

WHY DID SHE GIVE?

        Gave as unto God, not unto temple (church) etc

        Show love and appreciation to God

WHAT DID SHE HAVE TO THANK GOD FOR?

        Widow: very tough in those days

        Poor: penniless, poverty level or worse

        Future: go home to starve to death!

 

   Must be something that caused her to give to God!

        NOT: fear, guilt, bribe to God, etc.

        BUT: love response to God’s grace in her life!

                Came to express love to God

                Gave in response to all God gave her

 

WHERE WAS GOD’S GRACE EVIDENT IN HER LIFE?

        NOT in outer circumstances

        BUT in inner contentment, peace, joy

 

Where do you look for God’s grace in your life?

        OUTER: like widow whose son back to life

        INNER: like this poor widow in Jerusalem

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9

 

One of God’s faithful missionaries, Allen Gardiner, experienced

many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service

to the Savior. Despite his troubles, he said, “While God gives

me strength, failure will not daunt me.” In 1851, at the age of

57, he died of disease and starvation while serving on Picton

Island at the southern tip of South America. When his body was

found, his diary lay nearby. It bore the record of hunger,

thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little

book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.”

 

NO END TO GOD’S GRACE

Small fish in ocean afraid to drink water, didn’t want to use it up!

 

Poor man, someone sent some money when needed it, “more to follow” – got more each time needed it!

 

C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
| ChristianTrainingOnline.org
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2019