A Smile

 

A smile cost nothing, but gives so much. It enriches those who receive it, without making poorer those who give.

It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.

A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the countersign of friendship.

It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

- BJ.Morbitzer

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Grace Abused

 

In the book “Speechless, “written by Steven Curtis and Scotty Smith”, there is a chapter on grace.

Curtis writes: In 30 years I have learned that God’s grace can be misused and abused; and there seems to be four main aberrations of this grace.

1: Greasy Grace: The Freedom not to take Him (God) seriously.

Christians sometimes use grace as an excuse not to obey God. Many say, “Don’t put me under the law; I’m under grace!” While these sentiments are true, they are seldom applied correctly. Living by grace and being obedient are not mutually exclusive. In fact; Salvation by grace and salvation by obedience are mutually exclusive antithetical. But God’s grace gives me a new motivation and power to obey him. We are called to the obedience of faith and love.

2: Sleazy Grace: Whoopee! This perversion of grace which is one of the oldest abuses of grace, makes grace into a carte blanche to indulge in anything one desires. There are those who have so distorted the notion of God’s grace as to render it utterly meaningless. Paul anticipated this distortion when he wrote, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Rom.6:1-2:  Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ:  1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

3: Cheesy Grace: A Warm Fuzzy. It is dangerous to equate God’s grace with sentimentality. Grace becomes a synonym for a nice safe god who wouldn’t think of sending anyone to hell. This version is proffered by those who have what I call a “Gumby-god”; A god that can be shaped into any form desired. Cheesy grace is at the heart of universalism, the belief that all humanity will be reconciled to God.

4: Measly Grace: My hard work will lead to salvation, “I Hope!”

This popular corruption reduces God’s grace to his benevolent assistance in helping me earn my salvation. Measly grace is expressed through the unbiblical notion that “grace is for sinners and the duties of discipleship are for the saints.”In this popular heresy, it is assumed that you are either a sinner or a saint, that is, either a non-Christian or a Christian. It also assumes that the main thing a non-Christian needs is the gospel of God’s grace and that the main thing a Christian needs is more instruction and exhortation in discipleship. These destructive dichotomies are not rooted in Scripture.

A Christian is a “sinner saint,” that is, someone who has been saved by God’s grace and who will continue to sin until they are made perfect by God in heaven. Paul uses a startling and shocking image when he describes Christians as wicked people who have been justified by God (Rom.4:3-5). We need God’s grace throughout the entirety of our lives, not just at the beginning and not just in small increments along the way to get us “over the hump.”

 

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