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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Grace changes everything, period! If this is true, then why do we see Christians struggling with things the Bible clearly states we are freed from? For many, the ""abundant life"" promised by Jesus seems to be just out of reach. If we believe that God can do all things, then shouldn't our lives reflect this belief?

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According to the Bible, we are saved by grace through fait Grace changes everything, period! According to the Bible, we are saved by grace through faith, and the gift is from God. This Scripture is talked about in many Christian settings, but do we really understand the implications of this passage? In Grace Changes Everything, discover the simple yet profound truths contained in Scripture that can lead us to the abundant life of freedom promised by Jesus.

This life doesn't require a person to be a super-Christian or ultra-spiritual. In fact, the answers provided by Scripture may surprise you in their simplicity. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details I'd Like a Grace Book! What People Are Saying. Michelle A. Rahn Ms. Senior America DeLonda Adams leader of W. Official Release: September 21, Post It. Pin It. Tweet It. Accusing thoughts like, What a great witness you are!

We can't know the peace of God until we experience the grace of God. It is so hard to disassociate the concept of works and law from the idea of righteous- ness! My conduct and my standing before God seem to be inseparably related, and yet they are totally unrelated. If keeping a list of rules such as "never get angry when driving" or "never lose your temper with your children" could have brought us into a right relationship with God, then my conduct and my standing with God would be related.

But there are no rules that give life, because sin has brought aliena- tion and death. In OTder for us to have life, God had to establish a New Covenant based on better promises than works-righteousness. That New Covenant is the gospel of grace. You know that all you deserve is the back side of God's hand in judgment. Then suddenly out of the blue, God gives you some glorious blessing.

This is the kind of praise that says, "God is so very good to me, 1 don't deserve a bit of it. On the other 39 T7 ie TJoor Is JVever Closed hand, if I am expecting God's intervention on my behalf on the basis of my goodness or my deeds, I am cut off much of the time, I have discovered that the lack of God's blessings on my life has nothing to do with my outward per- formance, but rather stems from my lack of faith in God's grace, I have learned that God's blessing is unconditional The more I see His blessing in my life, the more I realize how totally undeserving I am.

Because of this truth, 1 can have glorious peace. L have no need to worry. If we are trusting in our righteousness as the basis for our relationship with God, we will never experience consistent peace. Trying to relate to God on the basis of effort and works is always a struggle, always a strain, always pressured. If we are ever to come to know the peace of God, we must realize that this amazing grace of God first flows toward us even though we re rotten and undeserving of it.

Then, after accepting this glorious grace of God, the peace of God fills our hearts and lives. We know that He loves us — even though we are far from per- fect, even though we have tailed. Even when it seems as if nobody else loves us and we don't blame them, because we don't even love ourselves , still God loves Have you ever heard of the Siamese twins of the New Testament? We might say that the elder of the twins is grace. It is always grace and peace; we never read a salutation of peace and grace.

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Grace changes everything, period! If this is true, then why do we see Christians struggling with things the Bible clearly states we are freed from? For many, the. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. After years of active ministry, Pastor Kevin Derby became Grace Changes Everything: The Truth That Sets Us Free.: The .

Because that would be putting the cart before the horse. The proper order is always grace and peace, because we cannot know the peace of God in our own hearts until we have first experienced the grace of God in our lives. It means that God has granted us a standing before Him just as if we had never sinned. This was no small feat for God to accomplish! For if we have all sinned and missed the mark, how can God look at us as if we had never sinned and still be just?

If He sees our lives as they truly are and must act according to His attribute of justice, how can He treat us as though we were perfect? This is where the power of the gospel comes in, God made the sinless Jesus to be sin for us. We can have a standing of righteousness before God far superior to anything we could achieve under the law. There is nothing that can be added to it. In Christ, I have an absolutely perfect, righteous standing before God. There are no charges against me. In His eyes, I am perfect. That doesn't mean that I am a perfect man — not by a long shot!

It doesn't alter. It is a flowing relationship that is steady and always present. He loves me when I am sweet and He loves me when I am mean. How good it is to know the grace of God and the gospel according to grace! It's not uncommon at Calvary Chapel for long- lost friends to meet unexpectedly in a hallway, look quizzically at each other, and say in unison, "What are you doing here?

Neither thought the other could be saved. I don't suppose very many people in the early church were praying for Saul's salvation. They were probably saying, "Lord, wipe that guy out. He is going to kilt the church. Stop him. God brought Saul's life to a halt as he was on the road to Damascus and there turned him around degrees.

Saul was reborn as Paul and became the greatest proclaimer in history of the gospel of grace, God is a specialist at taking the unlikeliest of candidates and turning them into trophies of His grace. He is able to make a beautiful change in each of us. He can change our value systems and make us new creatures in Christ. He calls us to be examples of what His grace can do. We don't think He has a place for the rest of us. We are so wrong! God doesn't have "important" people.

God uses ordinary people and works through plain people.

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That is why Ihul wrote, "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty" 1 Corinthians , God loves us ordinary folk and endows us with gifts so that we might fill our place in the body of Christ, Any ability we have is a gift from His hand.

Everything we have was given to us. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians , "What do you have that you did not receive? Apart from Him, I am nothing. But the truth is, God doesn't need any of us. Tm sorry if that makes you feel unim- portant, but it's true. He has chosen to use us, but He doesn't have to.

He could just as easily use some- one else. To me, that is thrilling, I haven't been chosen to serve because I am so wonderful. God doesn't choose us because of our greatness or abilities or potential. He chooses us because He decides to choose us. Important, proud people do not like that. They are "above" being chosen God chooses by His grace. He chose me. He chose you. Heaven is going to be full of surprises. As we look around, the first surprise will be all the people who we thought would never make it.

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Hie next surprise will be those sitting in the front row in the places of honor. We will say, ''Who are these people? Thank God, through His grace, I made it.

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You get a flavor for who they were by considering their prayers, a few of which have been preserved for us. Every morning the rabbis prayed, "I thank you. Father, that I was not bom a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. How interesting it is, then, that in Galatians the apostle turns all three components of this tra- ditional prayer on their heads. He writes, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

God receives us as His dearly loved children — this is the beauty of the gospel. Jesus is the great equalizer. His grace refuses to elevate one person over another. We all are one be- cause in Christ, God accepts one sinner just as readily as He accepts another God places tremendous value on each individual. Prior to the arrival of Christianity in New Guinea, women were considered unworthy to wor- ship God, A woman had only to touch a place of 48 Jio 'Tavorites in iRe Kingdom worship to be put to death. Such second-class citizen- ship created a climate of fear and shame and led to an extremely high suicide rate among women.

They had very little to live for and oppression was heavy. Imagine the impact on this culture when the gospel of grace appeared on the scene. Suddenly men and women discovered that in Christ there is no distinc- tion between male and female. Jesus has made equal access to God available to all people regardless of their demographic group. God does not receive us as justified strangers or dis- tant acquaintances, but as His dearly loved chil- dren.

John tells us that "as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" John , This is the beauty of the gospel. No matter what we have been like or what wrong we have done, if we will place our faith in Christ, we will be pardoned for all our sins. Even beyond this almost incomprehensible blessing, God also receives us as His sons. The word "children" in this passage literally means "placed as a son. The objects of His grace are not only the strong, or the beautiful, or the intelligent He calls us ordinary folk to His side and wraps His strong arms around us In a gentle embrace of love.

This is the gospel of grace. Chosen by grace Paul saw his whole life as the result of God's gra- cious choice. As he put it, "It pleased God That is what God wants to do in every one of our lives. God desires to reveal His Son to the world through you. In fact, God has been working in your life since the moment you were conceived to make you the per- fect instrument to reveal His Son. That is why Paul wrote, "God , -. In fact, when a Phar- isee walked down the street, he would hold his robes very tightly around him for fear that his garment might touch a Gentile.

Should a Pharisee accidentally touch a non-Jew, he would go home, take a bath, wash his robes, and stay away from the temple that day. He considered himself unclean. Yet the man God needed to proclaim the good news would have to go out and live with the Gentiles and become one with them. How interesting it is that God chose for this spe- cial task the Jew who was most zealous for the traditions of his fathers! As Paul looked back, he could see how God's hand had been on his life from the very beginning. Since Greek culture had saturated the world, the man God chose had to be steeped in its customs and phi- losophy.

Because he was going to be traveling exten- sively throughout the Roman empire and facing all kinds of perils, he needed to have Roman citizenship. Therefore God arranged that Saul should be born a Roman citizen. Tarsus also enjoyed a strong Greek culture. Paul had more than just a small exposure to Hellenistic custom and thought; he was part of it. This made it possible for him to deal effectively with the Gentiles and to know the nuances of Greek thought.

His back- ground allowed him to communicate the truths of Jesus Christ to the Greeks. At the same time, God needed a person who was thoroughly Jewish. When Paul was about 12 years old, his parents sent him to Jerusalem to study at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the great Jewish scholars of the day.

There Paul became absorbed in Hebrew culture and tradition, mastering the Talmud and the Hebrew Scriptures, Paul grew extremely zealous for the law and sought to become righteous by keeping it to the best of his ability. He excelled among his contemporaries. To the Philippians he wrote, "If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, 1 more" Phi- lippians Peter and the other disciples, with their backgrounds as fishermen or tax collectors, weren't prepared to understand the law as thoroughly as did Paul.

When the day finally came for God to reveal His grace to Paul on the Damascus Road, the apostle could instantly fit together the Scriptures of the Old Testament with the recent appearance of Jesus Christ, He began to look at the Messiah from a new point of view. Paul was the perfect choice to preach the gospel of grace, for if anyone had sought to be righteous by the law, it was Paul.

Here was a man who could say, "Concerning ,. I can examine my own life, for example, and see that God separated me from my mother's womb for the work He had for me to do. I look back and see momentous events that didn't seem so momentous at the time. Now I realize these incidents were the crossroads in my life that helped to shape and determine my destiny. Looking back, I can see the hand of God in each of these situations, although at those times I didn't realize God's hand was anywhere nearby.

I thought God had deserted me. But now I see how God was working in every difficult circumstance of my life to prepare me for the work He had ordained for me. It is an exciting thing to recall some of the decisions I made at critical moments and realize that God's hand was leading me all along. Sometimes God super- naturally intervened to protect me.

He had a special work for me to do and He was fitting me for that work. A few weeks before I was bom my cousin died of spinal meningitis. My sister also was infected with this terrible disease. One day she went into convul- sions so severe that my family thought she was dead. My mother rushed out of our apartment and up the street to the parsonage of a local church, where she laid my sister's lifeless body on the carpet. When my dad returned home from the pool hall a while later, a nurse was waiting for him. He thought it was ridiculous to pray when you needed a doctor.

But when he entered the home and saw my sister's condition, he realized it was too late. He fell on his knees, broken before God. The minister told my mother, "Now, get youi eyes off of your little girl. She began to cry, sat up, looked around, and wanted to go home. They took her home, completely healed, A few weeks later I was born and the doctor announced, "You have a baby boy.

As I was swinging out in the yard, she would help me memorize Scripture verses. When I was four years old she taught me how to read using the Bible. I spelled out the words I couldn't pronounce. She would later recount times when I didn't know all the letters and would do my 53 D Vo lawites in die Kingdom best to describe them. She laughed as she remem- bered how I would call a "v" a "tent upside down. By the time I was seven years old I could name all of the books of the Bible and spell them. At bedtime, 1 never heard fairy tales, only Bible stories.

What if God’s true story of you is more beautiful than you thought?

Rather than Goldilocks and the three bears, I grew up with David and Moses. My mother taught me that when God was with you, you didn't have to fear any- thing or anybody. No giant could stand against you when God is with you. I can't remember a time when I didn't know and love God. I have no kind of conversion testimony. There was a time when I made my public profession of faith and was baptized, but it seems that from my mother's womb I was separated unto God and unto the Word of God. As I grew older, I decided on a career as a neuro- surgeon and so began taking courses that would prepare me for that profession.

Whenever I described my ambitions, my mother would just smile and encour- age me. She never told me of the commitment she made for my life at the time of my birth. During my teen years God changed my life at a summer camp where I made a commitment to the lordship of Jesus Christ. God impressed upon my heart that men had needs far greater than the physi- cal. Ministering to physical needs provides temporary help, but ministering to spiritual needs helps people eternally.

God called me to minister His healing to the spirit of man. I thought my mom would be greatly disap- pointed when she learned her son was not going to be a doctor. I expected slumped shoulders and long faces when I announced to my family the change of direction for my life. I went to Bible college, received my training, married Kay, and together we began our ministry.

A short while before my mother died, she told me the story of my sister's apparent death and her promise to God which she vowed to keep through me. She was one of the most beautiful, godly persons I have ever known, a deeply spiritual woman and a tremen- dous example. I can now look back and see that even from my mother s womb I was separated unto God for the ministry He had in mind for me.

Did you know the same is true of you? If through faith you have placed your eternal destiny in the loving hands of Jesus Christ, you can be sure that God is at work shaping the events and circum- stances of your life into a beautiful mosaic that will reveal His Son to the men and women around you. His hand is on you, as it has been since before you were born. All of us were called by grace.

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They seem not to understand that the law is only a reflection of His holiness and righteousness. The court was tense. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. How did I know that? I told you love gets better with age.

As Paul said, "It pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace" Galatians , emphasis added. I don't deserve to be called to serve God. I don't deserve to be saved. I don't de- serve to be in heaven. I deserve the hottest spot in hell. Yet that is not what God has given me or the rest of us. God has graciously planned our lives and given each of us a special work to do. God has a special work for each of us to do and it is necessary that all of us be prepared for that work. Remember Moidecai's question to Esther: "How do you know but that God brought you to the king- dom for such an hour as this?

The major purpose of God for Esther's existence was fulfilled in just a few days. God raised her up, brought her into the Persian court, and made her the wife of King Ahasuems in order that He, through her intercession, might spare the Jews. Many of us will spend the majority of our lives in preparation before our day will come. We will ful- fill the purpose of God for our life and then we will pass on. God's purposes for us will have been accom- plished.

Wherever we find ourselves, God has a reason for placing us there. He has His hand upon our lives and upon each circumstance in our lives. We may be going through difficult trials, but hardships are nec- essary. God wants to develop in us the characteristics that will enable us to fulfill His plan for us. God is working in each of us. We are His work- manship, His poiema or masterpiece see Ephesians God will work in each of us according to His grace so that we might accomplish the work He 56 Dio favorites in tHe JGngdom has ordained for us in His kingdom and for His glory.

The devil often puts unreasonable demands upon us, making us think God is behind them and prompting us to strive and struggle to achieve a level of perfection beyond our capacity. As Satan harasses and burdens us, many times we fall into despair We become extremely dis- couraged and we want to quit. But whenever we try to fulfill a standard that God has not set for us, our hearts grow heavy.

And the results can be tragic, A young boy with a physical handicap had been attending oui church. After every service he made an effort to come up and talk to me. He had great dif- ficulty speaking, yet I always admired his ability to express himself. I also admired his intelligence; his questions were good and insightful.

He was also extremely troubled, however, and one day he tried to throw himself in front of a car on a busy road in front of the church. He was brought into the office and we prayed with him and called the authorities. We felt for his own safety he needed to be examined by doctors. He was taken to a hospital, where he was examined and released. It was clear he was suffering under a load of con- demnation, "Chuck," he cried, "1 just can't quit smoking," I tried to tell him not to worry about it — that his smoking did not make him a second-class Christian.

The following Sunday he was back at church and told me God had dealt with him. Clearly, Satan was accus- ing him about a weakness in his flesh and tormenting him about his physical handicap. One day this burden of discouragement and con- demnation cost this young man his life. He jumped to his death off a balcony at a local high-rise hotel — all because he allowed the enemy to use his weak- nesses to discourage him. If only that young man had learned that we can't be more than the person God enables us to be!

None of us ever achieves any value apart from the work of God's Holy Spirit in our lives. Thus, we are not to fret.

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We are not to condemn ourselves. We are not to berate ourselves constantly for our failures. We are only to acknowledge and recognize our weakness, to humbly say, "Lord, I know that I am weak. I need Your help. Every part of the body is vital and important. What a help- less and weird body it would be if it were all a mouth! God has made me a mouth in the body, but surely the whole body isn't a mouth.

Many parts of the body are much more important than the mouth. How beautiful it is to see the body of Christ functioning as intended, with people from every walk of life and demographic group and background working together to serve God in unity! God wants to reveal His Son in you, wherever you came from and wherever you are and in whatever you are doing. Let Jesus Christ shine forth through your life, your attitudes, your reactions, and your responses.

Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. It should be the desire of each of our hearts: "Oh Lord, let Your beauty be seen in me. By the Spirit, all of us — the lovely and the plain, the strong and the weak, the brilliant and the slow — are being changed into the likeness of Jesus. Together we are the objects of His grace. And together we shall all be satisfied on that glorious day when we awake in His likeness. How could it be otherwise? Perhaps the best picture of grace in the entire Bible is provided by an Old Testament character cited by several writers in the New Testament.

Abraham is universally accepted as the father of those who be- lieve. He gives us a clear picture of what grace is and does. In both Romans and Galatians, the apostle Paul goes back to Abraham as the prime example of a man whom God accepted on the basis of his faith. In Romans , Paul wrote, "What saith the scriptures? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Yet God gave them a promise that through their seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed.

Despite the improbability of it all, Abraham trusted God.

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So one day Sarah took matters into her own hands and suggested that Abraham impregnate her hand- maid, Hagan They would then raise the child as if it were their own. How interesting that the idea of surrogate parenthood isn't as modern a development as we'd like to think! Hagar conceived and gave birth to a son, who they named Ishmael, Yet when this child was 13 years old, God repeated His promise to Abraham. Abraham still had a hard time believing that God would give him a son with Sarah, He told God that the idea was nice, but really, Ishmael was already there — why not just bless him?

How encouraging that Abraham, a man the Bible calls the "father of all those who believe" Romans , struggled to believe that the promise could be fulfilled through Sarah's seed! Years Later when the promise was fulfilled and Sarah gave birth, they named their son Isaac, which means "laughter. Abraham was to listen to Sarah and cast out the bondwoman and her son. It was dear that they could not inherit the promised blessing of God. Tainting tfie Picture When Paul wanted to bolster his case for righ- teousness by grace through faith, he pointed his readers back to Abraham.

He said the story of Abra- ham contained an allegory that could make his point clear. Traditionally, rabbis of Paul's time held that there were primarily two interpretations for every passage of Scripture. The first, called the peshnt , referred to the plain and obvious meaning of the text. They also held that there was a hidden meaning to each passage the reniez. Some rabbis held to two additional types of interpretation: the derash, which involved allegorical meanings and anything not literal; and the sod ''secret" , which yielded an alle- gorical meaning.

The drawback to these complex and often contradictory schools of thought is that they leave the average person confused and doubtful about the message of Scripture. I believe the best focus is the plain and obvious meaning of the text. God is entirely capable of saying exactly what He means to say. Think of the deep spiritual implications of this old woman who went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone. Why, we can picture her, trapped in the desola- tion, discouragement, and emptiness of life because the cupboard was bare.

What a tragic day when all our resources are gone! With a little imagination we can create doctrinal mountains out of the smallest molehill. The best rule of thumb, then, is to avoid allegorical interpretations unless Scripture itself gives us the basis for the alle- gory.

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In this case, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul draws an allegorical implication from the life of Abraham which can be trusted: For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free- woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was bom after the flesh; but he of the free- woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jeru- salem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written. Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. When Abraham and Sarah despaired of seeing the promise fulfilled, they turned to their own efforts, which brought only heartache and frustration.

Since Ishmael was a product of the flesh, he serves as a type of those who are seeking to be blessed by human works. Paul suggests that the pressure tactics of the Judaizers were prefigured in the conflict between these brothers. In like man- ner, those in his day who insisted on adherence to the law for righteousness were to be cast out. Those who persecuted men and women of faith were lit- erally sent into exile. Quoting Isaiah, he writes, "Rejoice, thou barren thatbearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband" verse Just here the allegory comes into focus: "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond- woman, but of the free" verse All those who belong to Christ will inherit the blessings of God and axe the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

We have been blessed through the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ. The freedom, the promise, and the blessings of God belong to all those who seek right standing with God through faith in Jesus Christ. As children of the promise and recipients of the unconditional love of God, we can now enjoy a won- derful consistency in our walk with Christ.

As the hymn so eloquently puts it, "Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. As we see the power of the promises of God, none of us will say, "Through my own faith- ful and determined efforts, I have attained this glory.

I knew that by my good works I could never save myself.

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Was it before or after he had received the rite of circumcision? It was before, not after! Abraham was accounted righteous before he knew a thing about this ritual. The declaration of his imputed righteousness is found in Genesis 15, while the rite of circumdsion is not introduced until two chapters later Righteousness was imputed to Abraham the moment he believed and trusted in God.

The same is true for you and me. At the moment we believe and trust in Jesus Christ, God imputes to our account righteousness — not on the basis of what we have clone or what we are going to do, but simply on the basis of our belief in Jesus Christ. When I do, God says of me, "Righteous! That is the work of God, That is what God requires of you. James says that Abraham's faith led him to do certain things, and therefore God recognized his faith: "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righ- teousness: and he was called the Friend of God" James , Out actions must be in harmony with what we believe.

Belief isn't merely what we say; belief is demonstrated by what we do. In other words, true faith is more than a verbal- ization. True faith leads to appropriate actions. If I truly believe a certain thing, then my actions will be in keeping with what I believe. I may vehemently protest a belief in something, but if my actions are 70 SL c Torinnt of Cjmce inconsistent with my professed belief then my belief must be called into question. For example, I may say that I believe there is going to be a great stock market crash on Monday and that money is no longer going to be any good.

The banks are all going to be closed, the savings and loans are going to shut their doors, and you will not be able to get your money out. Yet if 1 don't go down to the bank immediately and withdraw all of my deposits, you could rightfully say that I really didn't believe what I had said. Our actions must be in harmony with what we believe or our belief can be called into question.

Because Abraham truly believed that through Isaac his seed would be called, he was able to take his son up to the mountain, place him on the altar, and raise the knife. He was ready to bring the knife down because he believed that God had promised that through Isaac his seed would be called Isaac did not at that point have any children and he was will- ing to obey God in offering Isaac as a sacrifice. How much do we believe the promises of God? Many years ago I heard of a fellow who ran out of fuel in the middle of a blizzard and needed to ask a neighbor for some oil- The river that separated his house from his neighbor's was frozen over, so he got down on his hands and knees and reached out as far as he could on the ice, rapping with his knuckles to determine the ice's thickness.

In this way he inched his way across the river, reaching out and tapping. Soon his knuckles were bloody Just about the time he reached the far bank of the river, he heard a rum- bling behind him. We inch out so carefully. That bill is due — and I am knocking to see if He is going to hold me. I sure hope His promise holds up! They have learned that God always keeps His promises, no matter how bad the circumstances appear.

At one time, they may have been ice-tappers, too — bul time after time they discovered that God is faithful. Eventually their belief was strengthened, and they began to act on their belief. All of us act out our true beliefs; they are demonstrated in our life. Abraham's belief was demonstrated by his actions. Had he sat there and argued with God, he would not have truly believed. Imagine if he had said, "God, I can't offer Isaac.

What do you mean. He is my son. You have promised that through him the nations of the world will be blessed. Lord, I can't do that. But belief isn't merely what you say; belief takes action. It is demon- strated by what you do.