2011-10 Grace Abounds to You

VN520288 – Doyle Williams 11/10 His Grace Abounds to You

Sometimes I think people forget about Jesus actually touching them, that He forgives sin, that no matter what you’ve done He still cares about you and while you were yet a sinner He loved you and He came for you and He willingly took your place and He took your punishment so that if you would just ask Him and trust Him, He would give you a new life and a life that is worth living. Yes. Some people kind of take it for granted and some people don’t really appreciate it, but I do. I say thank you because my past is gone. Everything that I ever did wrong, everything that God could hold me accountable for is gone. It’s just gone and He cares for me so much.

A lot of Christians and a lot of churches basically teach this idea that well, once you’re saved, one time you get saved and yeah, He touched me and it’s great and then after that you just grind it out and you’re on your own buddy, but that is not what the scriptures teach us. That’s not what the Bible says. I read in 2 Corinthians 9:8, and I’ll repeat that, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” Now, to put it in proper context he is talking about people making a collection to help out another church group that was having some hard times and he was pointing out that these people should be glad and are glad to be willing to give to help other people and other Christians, but what the scripture says right there has a broader application. He is trying to say Christians, you are more than just saved. You are more than that. You have got a life that’s worth living and He will make it worth living.

God is able to make all grace abound to you. God is able and what some people don’t realize is God is willing to abound all grace toward you and grace means favor. God is willing, God is able, God desires it within Himself to cause His favor to shine down upon you just like a little ray of sunshine always shining on you. The love of God is hovering over you. It’s right there and He is able to cause that to happen in your life. Then a lot of people say but Doyle, that’s not the way it’s happening in my life. What is hindering that kind of blessing?

A lot of people are saved and they know they are saved. They know that if they died right now before their knees hit the ground they would be in heaven and that’s the way it should be, but there is more to Christianity than that one little fire insurance clause. There is the day-to-day living that He wants us to understand that He is there causing that grace, that favor of His to come down upon us. What is the thing that is hindering? What is the one thing that I could see that is hindering, and it’s this. We aren’t hearing the Word of God properly. We hear it physically because I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you! That’s what my dad always said just before I got… let’s not go there. I’m talking to you! Many people just have a physical hearing of it, but when the Bible says, as in the Book of Revelation, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear,” it’s not just having physical ears, it’s saying pay attention and hear what’s being said. Understand it and accept it as truth.

What God is telling us through His scripture is the Word of God is something that we really need to focus on and really try to understand, not just little particular nuances, but what is He actually saying to us and here He is saying to us God is able to make all grace, all His favor to come to you. That’s not what it says. It didn’t say all grace to come to you, it said for all grace to abound to you. Abound. Big gobs of grace coming down upon you and not just squeaking it out. You see, when nobody was around, and I mean nobody but God, He just said let there be light. Actually, if you read it in Hebrew all He said was this, “Light” and there it was. He didn’t say let there be. He just said “Light” and there it was.

Now, God talks to us and He gives us these great promises. Actually in the scripture it says, “Great and precious promises.” God speaks to us, but the question is do we agree with what He has to say? I have read scripture to people and said the Bible says this and I had a Sunday school teacher look at me one time, not in this church, but look at me one time and say I know what the Bible says, but we ain’t going to do that in this church and I’m like whoa, I thought this was supposed to be a church that was dedicated to understanding what the Word of God had to say and then using it so that we could live this life and the life would be more blessed, more favored, and the grace of God would abound in our life, but that person was so against this idea that he actually would stand in the way and block that church’s particular growth.

God speaks to us. I’ve had people read it and then they’ll say yes, but don’t you think that God intends for us to use our brain and I’m going yes, He does, if you’re using that brain to say God’s word is truth and I agree with that, but there are so many people that say God gave me a brain and then they contradict what He flatly told them as the truth and then they’ll say well, that can’t be because I know better. Oh, you’re smarter than God now? They know better and they’ll say but, if, and they try to argue some way out of what the Word of God says. The Bible says, “There is a way which seems right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death.” There are a lot of people that are trying to overrule what the Bible clearly states to us and say well, we live in a more enlightened time. That was 2000 years ago. God surely didn’t mean that. God meant this because we understand… and I’m going how can you speak for God? Did He come down and talk to you? Are you making that kind of a claim that you have a new and direct revelation from God? I don’t think so, but there are people out there doing ifs and buts and raising up all these problems and they’re trying to hinder the Word of God just going out straight forward and coming out.

Salvation is a good example. I’ve had people say oh yeah, you’ve got to believe in Christ, but you’ve got to work, you’ve got to demonstrate to Him with all your heart and mind and body and soul and from the time that you say Jesus, please forgive me of my sins, from that point on you can never commit a sin. I’m like whoa, dude, you’re in trouble. There is no hope because we are not perfect and the whole point of Christ coming was that fact that we are not perfect and we cannot produce those perfect 100% immaculate works that would be required of us, but yet this guy continues to say once you make a profession of faith you cannot sin ever again or you’ll not make it. That’s not what the scriptures teach us. The scriptures teach us that He forgives us of all of our sins and even now as we stumble and we make mistakes, He is willing to forgive us of our sins and still call us His children and still hug us and sweep us up and still cause His blessings to fall upon us even when we’re imperfect.

You see, what He gave to us is called a free will and sometimes I use my free will well and sometimes I use that free will in a negative way, but I still have that gift of free will which He gave me and He is never taking that away and that’s where the hindrance comes in because we hear the Words of God but maybe we don’t understand them, maybe we don’t accept them, or maybe we just don’t like what it says and so we hinder God by denying what His word either flat out or subtly says. Somehow we are denying the Word of God either by straight out doing it or by choosing to ignore it, but it’s not accomplishing what it should and yet we read it in the scripture this is what the Bible teaches us, that He can cause His favor to abound upon us, but we have that free will to accept it or reject it.

When He said “light” light happened. When He gave us the promise and says I can cause all that grace to abound to you, do we say yeah? Just like light went light, do we just go yeah, I accept that, that’s true. Or, do we question how He does that? Am I going to block it? What if I’m not good enough? Is He going… no, He is able to make all that grace come to you because as it says in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and again in 2 Corinthians chapter 6. Remember Paul is talking and the scriptures teach us that he was getting his revelation straight from Jesus Himself so let me read to you what it says. 2 Corinthians 6:1. “And working together with him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”

So you just don’t save it and store it away and ignore it. You’re supposed to take this grace that is given to you and use it or invest that grace into the future, but it’s that grace working together with Him. In 1 Corinthians 3 we have that idea also. We are coworkers with Jesus Christ. We are coworkers with God. If God makes these proclamations of here is My promise, here is the word and the word records it for us and we say this is what the Bible says He says that is true, now you’re my coworker. How are you going to accept it? Are you going to in faith say yes, this is true and believe what I say? Or, are you going to say I just don’t understand it so I’m not going to deal with that right now? It says He is able to cause His grace to abound you, and when it’s abounding to us it also says that always having all sufficiency in everything. Our hindrance is not hearing, understanding or accepting the Word of God as absolute truth and saying that truth is more important and more real than what we see in the physical world because the physical world will eventually catch up with what God says is true.

He also says always having sufficiency in everything for you. That means that when His grace is upon you which He says He can make abound to you, big supply of it, that you will have enough. No, it didn’t say that. Abound is the word. You will have more than enough. More than enough of the favor of God and you will have more than enough in everything that you need. An abundance will be there. A lot of people have this idea that God will just give you just enough to scrape by and you can just barely make it, and if you want anything more than just scraping and scrimping by in your life then you’ve got to work for it. Work, work, work, work, and you’ve got to prove that you’re worthy of it and He may or may not help you, but if not you’ve got to go out there and get a job and you’ve got to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. You don’t have to depend on Him.

Get a job, pull yourself, and I’m not ripping getting jobs and pulling yourself up, doing the things that are necessary to live in this life, but there is more to it in that when He does provide us a job along with the physical work that we do to earn, He will also give us an abundance. There is going to be more than what we need coming toward us in our life in everything so we’re not just going to be scraping by because He says it will be sufficient. It will be sufficient and we’re supposed to be having this grace that is abounding toward us, sufficient, and we have it in abundance, that’s the last phrase, you may have an abundance for, and this is the reason, for every good deed. So, we’ve got an abundance of grace coming toward us which He is able to cause to come our way if we hear and really understand that God favors us. God favors me.

I don’t know if you guys ever say that, but I tell people, brothers and sisters. I stand up and testify to people. I’ll walk in and say God favors me. God likes me. God gave this to me. God helped me. God, God, God, and people are saying I know, God likes you. Well, He does like me. We’re to make that kind of commitment, that kind of saying, and it’s not to heap upon ourselves, but all this abundance, all this goodness, all this sufficiency and absolutely everything is there so that we can do every good deed that we’re supposed to be doing in our life. We can accomplish everything that God wants us to accomplish not just by the skin of our teeth, not just by digging and scratching and clawing. We can accomplish the things that God wants to accomplish in our life because His grace will supply to us in ways that are miraculous, and if the whole world turns upside down because of this God says that He will still take care of you even if you’re doing your best and the world turns on you and you lose your job God will still provide in abounding grace toward you so that you will still have sufficiency to do the good deeds that you’re supposed to be doing.

If you come to me and say Doyle, I need, let’s pick a big number, $5.00. If I don’t have that $5.00 I have to say I’m sorry, I can’t help you out. Even though it would have been a good thing for me to do, I can’t help you out if I don’t have it. That is why the sufficiency and the abundant grace is there for us so that we can help and do the good deeds so if you come to me and say Doyle, I need $5.00 I can say I’ve got that. God has been sufficiently abundant toward me that I can spare you $5.00 with no problem. Oh, I feel generous, make it $6.00. Buy 2 gallons of gas maybe, almost 2 gallons of gas with that $6.00. That is the idea of the sufficiency of Christ that He will always give you more than enough so that you can help other people along the way, but we’ve got to be willing to say yes, our God is that great, our God is good to us and I can trust Him. Even though it looks like I’m going to always wind up short, I’m actually going to wind up ahead of this.

Now, I’m not saying today or tomorrow, I’m just saying that overall, and we’ve got to keep the big picture in hand and a lot of Christians make the mistake of focusing on our lack, on our need instead of focusing upon Christ’s word and what He promised us which is all sufficiency and that grace abounding to us. We need to get our eyes off the lack and put our eyes on the sufficiency, on that abounding toward us that He promised to us so when we see lack or without in our lives, or need in our life we say hmm, there that is, now I’m going to look to Jesus Christ who promised me all sufficiency. He promised me abounding grace. I’m going to be alright. I’m going to keep looking at that. Lack, you step back away because this is more important because as we look and understand the grace of God and the promises of Jesus Christ, the more real it becomes in this physical world in which we live which we seem to think is so real, but God lives in a spiritual world and He says that which is invisible is eternal.

How do we come to this idea? Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” Now, if you look at an older Bible like the King James it will probably say so faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, but if you go way, way back into the oldest known manuscripts consistently it says, “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ,” so our oldest closest documents to the original manuscripts that we know are the inspired Word of God handed down through the prophets Paul and Peter and James and John and all the others, that scripture which is the oldest text that we can find consistently says the Word of Christ, and that’s important because you see all the Bible is the Word of God. From Genesis to Revelation is the Word of God, but we’re to focus on hearing the Word of Christ and that our main focus is New Testament.

We don’t live under Old Testament. Fancy old terms for Old Testament, old contract. We don’t live under that old contract, we live under that new contract, and the scriptures teach us that the new contract is better than the old. If the old was so great God would have left it in place, but even He through Jeremiah said there is a new contract coming and one of these days it’s going to be set in motion, and the writer of Hebrews says if the old was so good He would have left it in place, but He said it has its flaws, I’m putting in a new one. What were the flaws of the old one? I can tell you some of them. The big one is this, it always comes out you do this, you do that, you do this, you, you, you, you, and if you don’t you won’t get My blessings. You are responsible, Old Testament.

Far better, God says I see your need. I will forgive you. I will help you. I will lead you. I will guide you. I will forgive you of all your sins past, present and future. I will guarantee you that if you trust Me I will get you to heaven. I will get you to heaven. I will call you to walk through those pearly gates. Now, I don’t know about you, but I like this new cause, the new contract a lot better than that old contract. There are a lot of things we can learn from The Old Testament, but we are far more blessed in The New Testament because He says I will, I will, I will. So many people are still trying to be Christians and live under The Old Testament where you’re required to meet perfection, you, you, you, when we need to read The New Testament and see He says that He will provide all sufficiency for me. He says that His grace will abound to me. He says that He will take care of me. He says that even if I mess up and it’s my fault He will not leave me nor forsake me. He said. He said!

We need to be listening to the Word of Christ, the New Testament scriptures, and as Paul says he met the Lord Himself and Jesus is the one that taught him all the New Testament, the majority of the New Testament. Peter and James and the rest of them that also write in the new scriptures also were taught by Jesus. Yes, it’s all the Word of God, but it’s the part that causes our faith to grow because the New Testament is a document of faith. The Old Testament is one of works. The New Testament is the document of faith. We hear the Words of Christ, and the more we hear those, not just physically, the more we hear those words and we sit there and try to understand them and keep mulling them over in our mind, the more they become reality and the more we have faith. We talked about this the other day. Faith is not just I believe like this, faith means I rely. I rely on those promises to be true and I have always, and I can testify to this, I have always found that what God says in His word is truth and it happens in my life, and if you will rely on it, it will happen in your life.

In Luke, Chapter 8 verse 12; in the parable of the ground, there are four types of ground and the sower went forth to sow seeds and some fell upon the hard rock, and some fell among thorns and fell among good ground. Oh, you guys know it and if not you should, and I’ll talk to you about it again real quick. Watch this. A sower went forth, Jesus is talking and He says the sower went forth sowing seed and the seed fell on the pathway, some of it fell on rocky soil, some of it fell on next to or into thorns and thistles, and the last fell on good ground. Now, this is His explanation of the word. “Those beside the road are those that have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. And the seed in the good ground, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”

“An honest and good heart.” The honest part is someone that really hears it. You know, it doesn’t matter if you’re a sinner, it doesn’t matter that you made mistakes because that’s what the point of the Word of God is. It will come to you and it will tell you hey, you made a mistake. Now, you’re being honest because you know you made that mistake, you know that you’re not perfect enough to get into heaven. Okay, the word says now I’m here to tell you what to do to take care of that situation. You confess that you’re a sinner, that you’ve made mistakes, and that Jesus Christ died and took your punishment. If you confess that and you agree that He died and took your place and you say He rose from the dead and I really believe that, He says I will forgive you of all your sin and I will call you My child from that point on. Notice it didn’t say you had to have a perfect heart, it says you had to have an honest good heart and there are a lot of people out there who have honest good hearts and they come to the time when they say I really need help here and God is willing to give it.

Now, I say that because most churches stop right there, but there are these other three soils and if you can’t come to the place where you say I need your help God, I need the forgiveness that Christ has provided, I need to trust in the fact that He took my punishment, a lot of them never get past that. That’s your first step, but after that it says if you don’t accept that you will not be saved, you will not make it into heaven. You will go to hell. You will go to hell! That’s just the way it is, but if you accept it and you trust Him, He says that He will start working on you at that point and He will continue to work on you and finally get you all the way to heaven and your life will change. But, we’re back to this hearing and accepting the Word of God because we’re hindering Christ.

A lot of us, a lot of Christians accept Christ and yeah, I’m so happy, things are great, then comes temptation, that’s a word for trials, but when problems get hard they go man, it’s just not working for me. Notice the last line of the people who have thirtyfold, sixtyfold or hundredfold. The one who actually produces a lot, that last group of people that he’s talking about, it says they hear and they hold fast and they persevere and there is much fruit in their life. They hear, they hold fast and they bear fruit because of their perseverance. That first group gives up and says well, it’s just not happening fast enough. They don’t hold fast. They don’t understand that the Word of God has to be rooted and grounded in their life, and the other group gets caught up and they say yeah, it’s true and I believe it, but they get caught up in all the stuff of this world, the thorns and thistles and trying to get rich or trying to have a good time. Notice it starts off with thorns and thistles and throws in the riches and the good times with those thorns and thistles.

Life is not all about good times. We’re taught that on commercials. We’re taught that at school levels. Oh, if it feels good do it. That’s what I was raised with when I was in school. If it feels good just do it. No. Life it not all about just if it feels good do it. Life is about your connection with Jesus Christ and your life will become so good that you’ll look back on what you thought made you feel good and you’ll say how could I have ever been so stupid to get involved in that? Yeah, it was a thrill but this over here is so much better and such a higher quality I don’t want that, and that’s the group that actually hangs in there and they say I’m going to trust this Word of God because I hear what He says, and I understand that He does not lie, and I’m going to hang everything I’ve got, my entire life on that Word of God and I’m going to hold fast to that, and when you get to that point and you throw yourself onto that and say I am going to hold onto His word no matter what, no matter what!

You know, the night I got saved which was midnight, oh well, it doesn’t matter, November, I got saved and the minister gave me a little bitty cross, you see them still. They are little aluminum crosses that say God Loves You, and he gave me that and they explained to me if you want to go to heaven, if you want to have all your sin, everything you’ve ever done wrong in your life forgiven, you ask Jesus and then you trust Him and your sins will be washed away. I did and I went home that night and mom said how come you’re so late? I said I got saved and she said you needed it. Now, that’s love right there, you know. You needed it. I said yeah, and I went to bed and I held that cross in my hand and it seemed like every 15 minutes I woke up and I was saying out loud He said all I have to do is trust Jesus and it will be okay, it will be okay, and I’d go back to sleep. Honestly when I got up the next morning you could have probably took the sheets and just wrung them out. It was awful, but all night long I kept waking up saying they said trust Jesus, I trusted Him, I’m going to be alright, and I would go back to sleep again.

I want you to know it was a very creepy night for me that night and I honestly believe, this is the first time I’ve ever admitted all this in public, I honestly believe that the powers of darkness did not want me to trust in Jesus Christ and that’s what that was all about. It was dark, it was late, I was alone and all the doubts kept playing back in my mind and all I had to hold onto was physically hold onto that cross and say over and over again He didn’t lie, it’s the truth. If I trust Jesus I will be saved, and I would look at that cross and I’d go back to sleep and I held it in my hand all night long. That is what He says we’re to do. We are to trust that even though you have all these struggles you keep holding onto that word saying that is what He said, that is what the scripture teaches us. I am going to hold onto that no matter what because it is my only hope. I have no other hope except to hold onto that truth in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” He said that and I’m holding onto that, and that went on all night long.

There is a lot more to it because He causes His abundant grace to come to us. My life and all Christianity did not just hinge on that moment. Ever since then He has been blessing me in so many different ways. I’m not saying it’s been an easy walk, but it’s sure been an interesting walk and I have seen God do things that rate right up there with the miraculous. Just oh my gosh, look what happened, and I’ve heard stories from people in this church saying God has intervened in their life, they came to that point where they said this is what God says and no matter what I am going to hold onto it. That’s what I’m trying to get at through this. We need to hear that Word of God, not just John 3:16. It is John 3:16, but our salvation isn’t the only thing that comes with believing in Christ. Once we do that He causes His abundant grace to come toward us and He is willing to bless us in all sorts of ways if we don’t hinder Him with our doubts. If we just keep on hanging onto those promises and say this is what He says, I am going to hold onto it, and when we get to that point and we’re holding onto that this physical world will start changing into the reality that God promised us it would be.

We’ve got to hear that word of God, and when we hear it and we hold onto it and we persevere in it God will use us and He will bless us so that our lives will increase thirty, sixty and some, even hundredfold and it will be miraculous. People will stand there and scratch their head. A lot of people say well I pray, but you see prayer without faith is just talk. There are thousands of people out there talking to God but they really don’t hold on. They don’t believe. They don’t trust in God that He is really hearing them and it says if you want to come to God you first have to believe that He exists. You’ve got to believe that He blesses those people who truly go seeking after Him. You will be found by Him when you truly seek after Him. He is a being of faith and He responds to that. You said it and I’m holding onto this and He will cause that grace to start abounding in our lives in ways that are phenomenal.

If you have a lack in your life it’s because you need to grasp that Word of God. Find a promise in God’s word and hold onto it and say it and say it and say it and say it again because His word is our reality. Not this world. His word is our reality and if He can just say light and it is, when we are working with this God and we are His coworkers and we are saying I agree with what you say, this physical world will change. Light, and there will be light. Planet, and there will be a planet. Animals, there are animals. We agree with what He says and He will change the reality to fit what He says. That includes salvation and that includes the blessings of day-to-day life.

Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus I ask that you cause us as Christians to grab some of Your promises and hold onto them no matter what the world says and no matter what our little black doubting heart may tell us, no matter what our conscious may tell us. Grab those promises and say Jesus said this and keep repeating those promises until we see a physical reality of the spiritual truth that He proclaimed. Father, we ask that you open our hearts and our ears up so we can grasp those words and if there is anybody here who has never confessed their sins and asked Jesus to forgive them, I ask that they do that at this time. All they have to do is ask Him, trust in Him and then hold to that. Help us all to hold to the word of God and persevere so that we will be people who produce thirty, sixty or hundredfold increase. We ask it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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