Building Up A Culture Of Encouragement

“So then we pursue the things which make for
peace and the building
      up of one another.”    

 PRAYER GUIDE September 2023

Praying this month for: Grace in this Place.

Grace: Is undeserved favor. It cannot be earned.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God -
not by works, so that no one can boast.
Eph. 2: 8 & 9

Gift:  The act or power of giving.  Something voluntarily transferred by one party to another without compensation.
 Free, without cost/price. The giver bears the expense of the gift, not the recipient.

The gospel message is the “Good News” of God’s grace.  Grace is a part of who God is, His love and mercy.  In His grace, God is
wiling to forgive us and bless us beyond measure, in spite of the fact that we don’t deserve to be treated so well.

To understand grace, we need to consider who we were without Christ and who we become with Christ.  
We were born in sin (Psalm 51:15) and were guilty of breaking God’s holy laws (Romans 3:9-20) .  We were enemies of God (Romans 5:6-10),
and deserving of death (Romans 6:23a).  We were unrighteous and without means of justifying ourselves before God (Romans 3:20).  
Spiritually we were dead.  Our souls headed for everlasting separation from God.

But then came grace.  God extended His favor to us.  Grace is what saves us (Eph. 2:8).  In Jesus Christ, grace gives us victory
over sin (James 4:6).  Grace gives us encouragement and hope (2 Thess. 2:16).  Jesus Christ is the embodiment of grace, coupled with truth.

Do we see and realize the gift we have been given?  Once a gift has been given, ownership of the gift has been transferred and it is now ours to keep.  
It is permanent.  God’s grace is ours forever.  Grace does not stop once we are saved; God is gracious to us for the rest of our lives.

Foundation of LIFTcov (Your Ministry) is:

“Building up a culture of encouragement”

“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and building up of one another.”

As the recipients of God’s grace, Christians are to pursue being gracious to others.  Grace is given to us to serve others and to use our
gifts for the building up of the church.  As recipients of God’s grace, Christians should “stand at the ready” to be known as different than the
rest of the world.  Being an assembly of believers that may have faults, but always strives not to judge, but to love others.  We may not always agree with
one another but we should still offer grace.  (Please know that this does not apply to those that might be in an abusive or dangerous environment.)

“And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will overflow in every good work.”
2 Cor. 4:8
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”  2 Cor. 9:15

Prayer for Grace

Father God,  I come before You as a sinner.  I humbly pray that being forgiven of my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ and with the presence
of Your Holy Spirit, my faith and Your grace may be increased.  I am so thankful God that You have given the gift of grace and peace.
May these gifts multiply in me that I may be more prepared each day, every hour, to serve and understand my path forward.  
Lord, I know that You answer prayer, I know that You hear.  May Church of the Valley be a place of grace, faithful to God,
and taking the truth and grace of the gospel to our neighbors.  Humbly, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.