When you accept Christ as Lord, you assure your eternity in heaven. However, God has much more in mind for you during your time here in this world. He wants you to live in grace and reach your God-given potential, experience abundant life, joy and peace. His grace keeps you moving forward. God’s grace is available in times of temptation. We will all be tempted, and temptation is not a sin. It is when you allow the temptation to develop into a full-blown movie in your mind that it becomes sin. God will give you the strength to entertain righteous thoughts, walk away from temptation and avoid the people and places that cause you to be tempted. God’s grace will also sustain you when you are exhausted. Paul says in Galatians 6:9, “Do not grow weary in doing what is right.” Trying to live above the world’s standards gets tiring. You often find yourself surrounded by those who so easily do wrong. It’s not easy to do right, but by God’s grace you can prevail and avoid being dragged into the world’s moral degradation. God’s grace will sustain you when you are in trouble. Remember the song, “I didn’t promise you a rose garden”? You will have trouble in this life. But God’s grace will strengthen, encourage, and help you move along even in the midst of trouble. It’s difficult when you suffer the consequences of your own actions, but even harder when you are hurt by someone else’s terrible choices. Recognizing your total dependence on God brings peace and comfort when there’s nothing you can do to change your situation. His grace will bring you through.

Scriptures – Ps 46:1, 119:25; Is 40:30-31, 41:10; Jn 16:33; 1 Co 10:13; 2 Co 1:21-22, 4:18, 12:8-9; Ga 6:2, 9; Ph 1:6, 2:13; Js 4:6, 8; 1 Pt 5:8-9, 12

Verses
I am certain that God, who began a good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Ph 1:6) The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1Co 10:13) So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. (Ga 6:9) “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)

Thought
To live in grace you must call out to God. As long as you pretend to be self-sufficient you short-circuit God’s power in your life. In James 4:6 we learn that God gives grace to the humble. God knows your heart. He wants you to pray passionately and fervently. Grace also comes when you take in God’s Word. In Psalm 119:25, David is in despair and asks God to revive him by the Word. Trying to live in grace without taking in God’s Word is like hoping to lose weight without a diet or exercise plan. The Bible contains over 7000 promises. God is the only one who can fulfill your heart. Filling up on God’s Word is the best thing you can do to live in grace. You must also reach out to your community of faith. We are called to love, support and encourage one another. A family of faith is essential. Don’t try to go it alone!

Questions
What is your best defense when you are tempted? Why do we entertain temptation, when we know where it leads? Do you get tired of trying to live a righteous life? What encourages you to continue? What is the greatest trouble you have gone through? Was it a consequence of your own actions or of someone else’s? How do we learn to be humble before God? Describe a humbling experience in your life. Are you taking in God’s Word every day? Are you involved in a faith community for encouragement and support?

Response
Develop a plan to take in more of God’s Word. Get involved in a community of faith, small group, or with Christian friends who regularly share together and support each other.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for the eternal assurance of my salvation in Christ, and thank you for the power of your grace to sustain and strengthen me each day as I follow you. Help me to continue to grow in grace. Teach me as I read your Word and help me to live in victory over my circumstances. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Modern dance in jeans and sneakers with splashes, splatters