August 18, 2022

UNLIMITED (August 19, 2022)

There is no grudging in God’s grace—no “Alright, this one time” or “Even though you don’t deserve it.” He never makes forgiveness hang on promises to not sin again.
“He knows our frame,” the Scriptures say: “He remembers we are dust.” And all our promises—like those who made them—are dusty, broken, unreliable. God forgives as only a Father can—more eager to restore the relationship than recall the rebellion; more focused on what we may become than what we did to wound Him.
Grace flows to us because God’s heart is always love—unstoppable, without a limit. If you could quantify such love, then you, dear friend, would be much greater than He is—and that is rank absurdity.
Receive this love. And stay in grace. -Bill Knott

On our best days, we fall far short of our inspiring goals. We say the angry words, repeat the wicked gossip, upset the ones we’re pledged to love. And were it not for grace, our story is an endlessly repeating tale of good intentions and bad performances.

But grace upends what keeps us mired in our sins, for grace proclaims release from guilt, redemption from our foolishness. We get a new and wonderful reset each time we come to Jesus. The slate is cleaned; the record washed; the sins removed as far as east can ever be from west.

This is the genius of the gospel: We need not stay what we once were. We need not be what we are now. Grace pulls us toward the joy for which we were created, and puts the hope back in our story. So move toward joy. And stay in grace. - Bill Knott

When grace has lived a while in us, we wake one day to learn how much we’ve changed, how everything is different.
We speak new kindness to the ones who mock us, or who irritate our peace. We listen well to those who never seemed worth hearing. We find our hearts have been enlarged, with room for those we feared or scorned.
This is the sign of Jesus living in us, and yes, we never saw it coming. Christ changes every heart He owns, replacing stoniness with love.
We get the double blessing of eternity and now—of seeing life renewed in us and all with whom we’re planted. His seed that grows in secret still does yield the sweetest fruit.
So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

There’s no indictment in the legal system that cuts as deeply as the accusations of a conscience.

Others will misread our motives; some will actively distort our record. Civil justice sometimes proves that it is blind when it won’t see the truth. But the voice within that calls us to account can’t be ignored, and doesn’t wait on jury verdicts. The moral sense God plants within each life “re-minds” us what the courts may never know: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). No one—not you; not even the nicest person you know—has ever met this standard.

But there is One who makes us now and eternally right with God: “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1). “He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (Heb 7:24).

Because of grace, your conscience can be clear. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe” (Psa 4:8).

So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

The bullhorn at the city corner blasts a warning to distracted thousands. Television ads amp up the volume to plant dish soap in our minds. The neighborhood reverberates with raucous party music far into the night.
Does no one understand that quiet also wins our hearts?
God does. To every sound-bombarded soul, He speaks with “the sound of quiet stillness” (1 Kings 19:12). When all the world is noisily demanding action—“Buy this!” “Choose that!” “Vote for X!”—His words are gracefully inviting: “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa 1:18). “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).
Grace is God’s whispered invitation to the peace we so much need. Prepare to be quiet—and happier than you have ever been.
And stay in grace. -Bill Knott
We wince when we see arrogance up close: an air of unreality surrounds the child or adult who thinks the world revolves ‘round him. And secretly, we wish for some unscheduled “life event” to teach the lesson in humility they clearly missed. We mutter favorite proverbs: Pride always goes before a fall.
That’s why the gospel teaches us to see ourselves with candor. Lest we think we are so different from our peers, God’s Word declares, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Isaiah long ago affirmed, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:6). Even when we cherish our illusions, “There is none righteous: no not one” (Rom 3:10).
Talent, skills, obedience—none can make us right with God. Only grace revealed in Jesus can tell the truth about our muddled, bungled lives—and also bring our healing. “God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Grace humbles us so that we glory in God’s goodness.
Now stay in grace. -Bill Knott
How much are you worth?
The question seems urgent. Brochures in each week’s mail promote new models to calculate personal wealth. Add your savings, retirement account, the value of your home, and any salable assets—and you have a number that approximates your market worth.
But the gospel fixes your worth to a different metric—the value an infinite God places on you. Whatever the asset sheet suggests, “Do not fear,” the Father says, “for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine” (Isa 43:1). “Do not forget all His benefits—who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy” (Ps 103:2-4).
You are worth what a loving God paid to rescue you. Which is to say—everything. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Believe in the gift of grace. And stay in it. -Bill Knott
For every “rock the road” conversion on the highway to Damascus, there are a dozen quiet stories where grace gently, slowly lights our lives—like sunrise.
Don’t pine for big-time drama, voices thundering at noon, or temporary blindness. Your grace may simply be ascendant hope because you learn that you are loved: what joy to know that darkness grips your life no more!
As day comes on and shadows flee, we learn by hours how to live free. Christ gives His light uniquely for our moments in the Son: there’s not a standard formula for how He wins our darkened hearts. We travel different roads and learn from many teachers the amazing ways He saves us.
So stay in grace. -Bill Knott
Go ahead. Pick any kind of life you want. Survey all faiths, all creeds: examine each philosophy. Take as long as you need to choose the life that’s best for you.
But pick something that brings you peace when all the world’s on fire. Choose a life that’s free of guilt and shame. Select a creed that heals what’s broken in you.
Find something that teaches forgiveness and restoration so you can live in harmony with others. Focus on the kind of life that builds strong marriages and happy children. Identify a faith that gives you hope beyond this earthly life—that promises you an everlasting joy.
And you will choose the gospel—the amazing good news that in Jesus, your life is freed, forgiven, full—forever. Believers for 2000 years are witnesses to the best life human beings can know. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Purpose. Meaning. Freedom. Joy. All can be yours when you choose life—and stay in grace. -Bill Knott
On our worst days, we desperately imagine God is but a stern accountant, tallying our sins with unerring accuracy. Because we can’t forget our sins, we assume that an all-knowing God can’t forget them either. “Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?” ( Psa 130:3).
“But the love of God is broader than the measure of man’s mind.
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.”
Hear what a loving Father actually says to those who put their trust in Jesus: “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Heb 8:12). The joyous promise of the gospel is the Father’s pledge to both forgive and forget our sins when we trust Jesus as our Saviour. Because of Jesus, heaven’s ledger reads “Paid in Full.”
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10). God’s love for us is always greater, wider, fuller, deeper than we know.
Receive that always-amazing love. And stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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