BURDENED BY GRACE…

At first glance, tonight’s theme since paradoxical. I will explain that in a little bit. It was another well-attended service. We even had a few visitors who were invited by our members as a result of their increased burden. Praise the Lord!

Our choir has labored tirelessly this week providing special music for the conference. They sang two songs tonight, The Value of One and We Must Reach Them While We Can. A ladies’ ensemble sang the song As Bread That Is Broken. Each song seamlessly went with the message that was preached. Brother Dioses, missionary to the Philippines, was shceduled to preach tonight. However, had to go back home because of a typhoon that hit the village that where his family lived. Please continue to pray for him, his family, and his ministry. In his stead, Brother Joey Weaver preached once again.

Brother Weaver preached from 1 Corinthians 15 about being “Burdened by Grace.” He taught us about the products of grace- Christians, the purpose of grace- to labor for God, and the promises of grace- incorruption, immortality, and vainless labor. If you would like to hear the message, click on www.desertgatewaybaptist.org.

As I mentioned, the theme seems paradoxical at first glance. But if you really think about it, as well as study what the Bible says, it makes total sense. The grace of God, which we do not deserve, has been freely given to us bringing us salvation according to Titus 2. If you have experienced this very same grace we speak of, then you would agree that we are, and should be, overwhelmed with feelings of unworthiness. If you are walking around, thinking that you deserve salvation- you’re wrong! We deserve eternal punishment in Hell but yet God, in His mercy and by His grace, saved us. And once you feel overwhlemed about your undeserving status, soon it turns to thankfulness. As the Bible says, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” We then are not overwhelmed with the thoughts now of being undeserving, but rather we are overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude feeling the need (or if I may use the word, “burdened”) to do something about it. The feelings of gratitude then turn into a burden to share this wonderful grace of Jesus. That is what it means to be burdened by grace!

Are you burdened by grace today? I know that the word “burdened” and “grace” seem so opposite when it comes to the vocabulary spectrum. But grace does burden us to do something. Jesus, the Bible records, was moved with compassion. You see, a burden is something that causes you to move. And not only to move, but to move into action. If you are burdened with a burning house, you don’t just sit in your living room and do nothing about it (unless you are just don’t care, which is the problem with a lot of Christians today). If you are in your right mind, you would get off your couch and run as fast as you can out of the house. Likewise, if we truly realize what God has given us (grace) it would move us to do something about it. It would move us to serve Christ and share Him with others. How can we sit idly by, gifted with grace and on the way to Heaven, and not share Christ with others? We know the terror of Hell and the sweetness of Heaven. Armed with that knoweldge, we should be burdened to “go and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

Will you allow the grace of God to burden you for the lost souls of men today?

“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” ~ Hudson Taylor
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