Howard Mooney - The Grace of God - Chelan Convention - June 13, 1971

2 Timonthy1:9:  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

This verse reminds us that before the world began God had a definite purpose for every life. This verse also reminds us that before the world began God provided the necessary grace that would enable us to fit into that purpose. He said that it was according to His own purpose and grace. The two go together, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. I do not think that it is necessary this afternoon to mention very much about God's purpose for our lives. I believe we all know the Bible enough to know that Romans 8: 29-30 tells us that God's eternal purpose for every life is that we might be made like Jesus.

 

We often tell people in Gospel meetings that God's purpose is not to make His people good, the devil can do that, too. To some of the most religious people that ever walked the face of the earth, and they were people who believed in the True God and the True Bible, Jesus had to say to them, "Ye are of your father the devil and his works will ye do." But the eternal purpose of God for your life and mine, for every life, is that we might be made like Jesus. That we might have the same spirit and nature and love and understanding that Jesus had so that we can have fellowship with Jesus and sit down and enjoy fellowship with others who are also like Jesus.

 

The part about this verse that I wanted to comment most on this afternoon is this grace - the full provision of grace that God has provided for His people. This is the provision made before the foundation of the world, the provision that He made through His grace that we might become like Him. This word GRACE, which means unmerited favor...something we don't deserve, takes in everything that comes to us from God. Its a channel through which God's blessing flows into the lives of His people. Paul said that by grace are ye saved” (Ephesians 2:8). He said again, the grace of God bringeth salvation also teaches us. He says again that we have received forgiveness of sin through His blood according to the riches of His grace. He said again, and this is from his own testimony, that by the grace of God I am what I am.

 

In other words, all that I am and all that I have and all that makes my life worthwhile comes to me through the avenue of God's grace. That is why it is such a thrill to us as we go from place to place presenting the Gospel story to know that this grace of God which bringeth salvation and that makes the lives of God's people whole and complete is some­thing that is in the reach of everyone. It is to us through Christ Jesus.


I would like to remind you this afternoon of the abundance of His grace. The unlimited surely. You will find these terms in the Bible = abounding grace, His abundant grace, and according to the riches of His grace. It reminds us that in the Father's house there is grace to spare. The prodigal son said when he was returning to his father, "In the father's house there is bread and to spare," and you can carry that thought over into this category and say, that in the Father's house there is also grace and to spare. I don't care from which­ever angle you look at it, in the Father's house is plenty and to spare of everything that God's people need to make them like Jesus and to prepare them for an eternal home with Him.


I was speaking along this line, not on this subject but along this line, down in Arizona a few years ago and I mentioned that in the Father's house there is power and to spare, and I men­tioned a number of other things that were abundant in the Father's house, and a mother came up to me after the meeting and showed me the notes that her little 12-year old boy had taken and these notes read that in the Father's house is bread and "despair," and in the Father's house there is power and "despair," and I was kind of despairing myself for fear it might have discouraged the little fellow, but we were glad to see him stand up in the meeting that night and give his life to the Lord anyway.


There are two verses I'd like to give along this line. I'll quote them first and then give you the references later on to jot down. The first one reads like this, "and God is able to make all grace abound towards you that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work." Did you ever notice how that verse reads, it begins with abounding grace and it ends up with abounding work. Now this reminds me of the fact that God never intended that I would just barely make it. God never intended that I would get in only by the skin of my teeth, that I might just limp along. God has made all grace abound towards us so that we might be abounding Christians. I'll quote that verse again, "and God has made all grace abound towards you that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work." You'll find that in 2 Corinthians 9:8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

It is a reminder to us that in the Father's house there's grace and to spare, and that if you and I will avail ourselves of the full provision of this grace, it won't be a matter of us just barely making it or limping along. God has made all grace abound so that you and I might abound unto every good work. The other verse reads like this, in part, "and where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."


I don't know of any verse that should be more encouraging to us this afternoon than that verse because we're leaving here soon to go back into a world where sin is abounding, and we know that it is abounding more and more with the passing of the years. But isn't it nice to know that God is able to offset that by just giving a little more grace -- He just gives a little more grace. "Where sin abounded grace did much more abound."


Someone was talking to me awhile back and they said that our young people have so much to cope with today than we had when we were young people. And I said, "That's true." And I would just like to say to you young people in this meeting this after­noon that we want you to know that we appreciate the fact, that we realize the fact, that you do have things to cope with that we didn't have as young people--and I wish that you young people knew how often the Lord's servants go into their room and get down on their knees and pray for you because we realize that you young folks have a lot to put up with.
 

And when this man said to me that the young people have much more to cope with today than we had when we were young people I said to him, "That's true;" but I said, "Do you realize that our young people have a lot more to help them today than we had when we were young people?" We got to one convention each year when I was a boy. Our folks always saw that we got to that one con­vention, but that is all we ever got. At special meeting, we got one special meeting. I never sat through a complete mission until after I was in the Work.


I just marvel at how much some of my younger companions know, these young boys that are growing up under the in­fluence of God today, how much more they know than I knew when I started in the Work. In fact, I've had young companions that were more developed to start with than I was at the end of my first year in the Work. Now there are some of you young people, I suppose all of you young people in the meeting, today who are within reach of Gospel meetings -- and we thank God that you avail yourselves of the help that God gives you in these Gospel meetings -- it's so vital.
 

I suppose same of you young people will be getting to more conventions than this convention this year. I don't mind if you doI just like to see our young folks availing themselves of all the help they can because this is the provision of God's grace. God is giving you a little more help to offset the increasing pressure that is on the outside. I don't think that we as God's people should be the least bit panicky or apprehensive as we look into the future.


In fact, Jesus told us not to be in the chapters some of you were studying a week ago in the book of Mark. He spoke of the hearts of men failing them in the world for fear of the things that were coming to pass, realizing that as far as the conditions in the world are concerned, things are out of control, but he said when you see these things come to pass be not troubled. And I don't think that we as God's people need to be too apprehensive or panicky as we look into the future because we know this, that as sin abounds, and it will abound more and more according to the scriptures we have this wonderful assurance that where sin abounds grace will much more abound. You may be sure of that.


In other words, you'll always find, regardless of the surrounding conditions that in the Father's house, there's grace and to spare. Some of you older people in this tent this afternoon will remember our old brother, John Vint, had a little poem that he used to quote along this line. Maybe I could refresh your memory by re-quoting it. It's not very long so it won't interfere with the meeting too much, and it goes:


"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,

He sendeth more strength when the labors increase,

To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,

To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.


When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,

The Father's full giving has only begun.


His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,

His power no boundaries known unto man,

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,

He giveth and He giveth and He giveth again."


I would just like to say again in passing, folks, that you need not be panicky as you look into the future even though sin is abounding, and it will abound more and more.  You just remember that where sin did abound, grace did much more abound.  That has been proven in the past and it will be equally true in the future. Regardless of what surrounding conditions may be, we will always prove that in the Father's house there is grace to spare.

Would you like to read of an extreme case of where this grace worked? If you would, you'll find it in the example of Jesus. I'm glad that in all the avenues of Truth that we might pursue, we can turn to Jesus and we can see Him a perfect example. We often say that Jesus was the Grace of God, personified. The grace of God in all its glory was manifested in the life of Jesus, and I am going to give you a few verses along that line.

 

The one verse reads, "and ye know the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that though He were rich and yet for our sake He became poor that ye through His poverty might be rich." I read that verse over his morning and I thought, well, if the grace of God would enable Jesus to give up all that He gave up in Heaven and earth for your sake and mine, if the Grace of God would enable Jesus to give up al1 of that, well, surely that same grace at our disposal will enable you and me to give up what little God asks us to give up along the way. That's found in 2 Corinthians 8:9.


There's another verse that tells us that Jesus, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man. You read that in Hebrews 2:9. And again I say, if the grace of God was sufficient to enable Jesus to go even to the death of Calvary after living a life of death, dying to himself, terminating upon the cross of Calvary; if the grace of God would enable Jesus to do that, then should that same grace at our disposal not enable us to face the little daily dying that might come into our experience.

Does it dawn on you folks that God has actually placed at your disposal the same grace that He gave to His Son, Jesus? You're told that in John 1:16, "of His fullness have all we received and grace for grace." There's a verse in Paul's letter to the Romans chapter 8, verse 17 that has electrified me a great deal the past while, in fact every time I think of it, it makes me tingle right down to the toes! It tells us there that if we're children, if we've been born into God's family, if we have received His spirit of adoption, He said if we're children then we're heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

How wonderful folks, if we can take that in this afternoon--that God has actually made you and me joint-heirs with Christ. That means that we share and share alike. That means that God has placed at your disposal everything that He placed at the disposal of His Son, Jesus. That means that you and I have access to the same mind that Christ had and that's why Paul wrote to the Christians don't be satisfied with anything less. Don't you accept anything less. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

That also means that you and I have access to the same spirit. That same loving, tender, compassionate spirit that fills the bosom of Christ. Because Paul said again, "If any man have not this spirit of Christ he is none of His." And that also means that you and I have access to the same grace that was given to Christ--for of His fullness have all we received and grace for grace. I would like to say again, folks, if you don't mind a little repetition--I would like to say again, if that grace placed at the disposal of Jesus and enabled Him to give up all that He gave up and even face the cross of Calvary so that you and I could avail ourselves of that same grace, then shouldn't that be sufficient for us?

 

Do you expect to find any experience as you face the future - any experience but what God could say to you my grace is sufficient for you, as you go through this experience? God never asks us to take a single step but what He will give us the grace to do it, God will never ask you to make a single separation but what He will give you the grace to do it. And God will never ask you to put forth a single effort but what He will give you the grace to do it. And there is not en experience that you and I will find ourselves facing this coming year but what we can look up into the face of the Father and hear Him say, "Now don't worry, my grace is sufficient for you."


I would like to give another extreme case in which the grace of God was manifested. And this is found in the 11th chapter of Acts. The Greeks know nothing of the Bible, were ungodly people and came from a base background. A great number believed and the Hand of the Lord was with them. When the church at Jerusalem heard of it they sent Barnabas down. When he came and saw the "Grace of God" in their lives, he marveled at what God worked there and he was glad. God's grace was sufficient for them, just as it had been for the Jews.

When the brethren up at Jerusalem heard about it, they could hardly take it in, that these ungodly Greeks had actually received this. In one sense, it is a marvelous thing. And in one sense, it is mar­velous to see the grace of God working in any life. That's a miracle! It is a marvelous thing. And in one sense, it was even marvelous in the case of the Jews, although they knew the true Bible and the true God, and they had been prepared by their prophets for the coming of the Gospel.


And so, in one sense, it was not too astounding that these people had faith enough to accept this because they were prepared for it. But not those Greeks! Those people had never heard of the true God--most of them--they knew nothing about the true Bible. They had no true prophets to prepare the way for them. They knew nothing of these things. They came from a base background and yet the grace of God worked just as effectively in their lives of those poor Greeks, as it did in the life of the religious Jews.

Can you understand then, what Paul meant when he said, "I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation — to the Jew first and also to the Greek." It works just as well in the life of those ungodly Greeks as it worked in the life of the God fearing Jew. And this is an­other wonderful reminder to us as God's servants, that there is nobody in whose case this will not work if they will just open their hearts and receive the grace of God. One of the fears that I had when I first started out into the Work was that we might find somebody in whose case this wouldn't work and I knew that if we found one exception to the rule that my faith henceforth would be shattered.

And my faith was tested in our first mission. Our older brother, Jim Jennings, that some of you in this meeting remember was my first companion and we were laboring among some of the most ungodly, uncivilized people that I'd ever been among. We would be visiting in the homes and Jim, in his enthusiasm, would sit on the edge of the chair and look into the faces of those people and tell some of the wonderful things that God would do for them if they would give Him the chance. I would actually hold my breath and wish he would go a little easy because I just couldn't feature God doing this in the lives of those people. But I think that God knew that my faith needed strengthening and He moved upon some of those to profess.


And those ungodly people became new creatures in Christ Jesus because of the grace of God. Some of them are grandparents now and they are still professing and they are rejoicing more today than they ever did before over this wonderful something that was brought into their lives. Some of them have children and grandchildren now professing. And to me it is a wonderful evidence to the fact that there is no one beyond the love of God and there is no one beyond the hope of the Gospel.

I’m glad that in the beginning God planned both His pur­pose and His grace. He planned something that would work in any life, in any age, and under any condition. Can you understand then why, when Barnabas saw the grace of God among these Greeks, he was glad? This helps me to understand also, as a connecting thought, of what Paul meant when He wrote about Titus. And he said, "Thanks be to God." This is another essence of thanksgiving like our sister was just talking to us about.  He said, "Thanks be to God who had put this same earnest care in the heart of Titus for you." I don't know if Paul had Timothy in mind, but I believe he did when he wrote that verse.

Now it was wonderful to see this earnest care that God has put into the heart of Timothy. But in one sense, you would rather expect it, because that man had grown up--that boy had grown up under the influence of a grandmother and mother who had an unfeigned faith like our brother was telling us about yes­terday. And this boy, Timothy, was brought up to know the Holy Scripture from his youth. And so, in one sense, it wasn't too unusual for that young boy to go out into the Work. And God could put into his heart the care that He did for his fellowmen. But here was a Greek boy--Titus. He couldn't boast of the fact that he had a grandmother and a mother who had unfeigned faith. Or that he had known the Holy Scripture from his youth.


I don't know just when Titus professed, but it was very evident that he didn't have the background that Timothy had, and yet when Paul talked of the place that young Greek boy was filling in the ministry, he said, "Thanks be to God who had put the same earnest care in the heart of Titus for you." Did you ever stop to realize, friends, that is what God does when He ordains His ministers? Instead of putting a diploma in their pockets, He puts something in their hearts. He puts in their heart a care for dying men and women — a love for a perishing humanity that will cause them to leave their homes and often their land, and blight every other prospect in life, to go out gladly and freely giving their lives in the preaching of the Gospel. That's because when God ordains His ministers, His servants, He doesn't put a diploma in their pocket. He puts some­thing in their heart. A something that makes them feel, woe is to me, if I preach not the Gospel. Well, now isn't this wonderful, friends, that the grace of God put that in the heart of that young Greek, Titus, just as He put it in the heart of that boy, Timothy.


The book of Hebrews is an interesting study of grace. There are a number of times that grace is referred to in this book of Hebrews. In the 12th chapter, verse 28, Paul sums up a lot of the things that he had been writing by saying, "Wherefore we received of this kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace — let us have grace — whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and with Godly fear." He had been emphasizing the fact in this book that we have a Kingdom that cannot be moved. He said to begin with, "Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is a sceptre of Thy kingdom." He emphasized the fact that the High Priest of this kingdom is one that could save to the uttermost because He ever liveth to make intercession for us. He mentioned the fact that we had access to the cleansing of the blood of the everlasting covenant.

And in this whole book of Hebrews he was emphasizing the fact that this is something that is eternal and secure. And then he terminates this all by saying, "Wherefore we receiving this Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace." In other words, we don't need to worry about the future of God's workmanship on the earth. But what we do need is that something would separate us from it. And that's why we do need to worry about it that something would separate us from it. And that's why he encourages this people--you avail yourself of the grace of God so that you might be secure in this thing, which is eternally secure.

 

Chapter 12, verse 15 is something that has removed more people from the Kingdom of God than anything else. He spoke of the root of bitterness. And I would just like to say in passing, folks, that there is none of us in this tent but who would have had to struggle from time to time with a feeling of bitterness. It's a common perplexity and one that baffles the Lord's people from time to time. I know that I have fought it often. I know my tendency has always been when I got a little bitter over something to blame the other person, "Well, so and so said this;" or "so and so did this" or "they despise me and my life" and so on, and other things makes us bitter.

Like one man said to me, " I am bitter, I know I'm bitter," but he said, "I have a right to be bitter," and I said, "No, you don't have a right to be bitter, you have a reason alright," because he had been mistreated. There was no question about that, but I said, "You don't have a right to be bitter," and I quoted this verse to him, this 15th verse of Hebrews 12 where Paul tells us that bitterness comes when we fail to make use of the grace of God. In other words, if I allow bitterness to come into my soul, its not because of what the other person has said or done its just because I haven't availed myself of the grace of God to offset it.

I can understand in the light of this, why Paul at the termination of many of his Epistles prayed that grace of the Lord Jesus would be with his people. I can understand especially why at the end of some of these Epistles he wrote "the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ be with your spirit." Sometimes there are things like that can distress us, but folks if you and I would just avail ourselves of the grace of God and the full provision that comes to us through that grace then nothing is going to remove us from His ever­lasting and eternal and heavenly Kingdom.

Now it's in the 4th chapter and 16th verse that he encourages us to come boldly unto the Throne of Grace. Do you know why this Throne is called the Throne of Grace? Because upon this Throne sits the God of all grace. There are certain things that God holds the monopoly over--there are certain things that God holds in the hollow of His own hand--and He only gives it to His own people. You read in one place that He is the God of all comfort. And that means that every ounce of comfort that comes into the souls of God's people comes from God, because He is the God of all comfort.

Peter also mentioned that He is the God of all grace, and that means that every bit of grace that is placed at your disposal and mine comes from God and it comes through the avenue of this Throne. That's the reason why it's referred to as the Throne of Grace, because upon that Throne sits the God of all grace, and I thank God for that this afternoon. He said that there are two things waiting for us at the Throne of Grace, mercy and grace. In other words, every time you and I approach the Throne of Grace, if we come there in the right spirit, we'll find there mercy to cover the past and grace to do better in the future. Isn't that a wonderful combination? Now he said in this verse, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace.

There is another verse in this Book of Hebrews where he said that word "boldly." It's in the 13th chapter and the 6th verse where he said "so that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper and I'll not fear what man can do unto me." Some people are afraid of what others will say about them but Paul went beyond that even and he said, "so that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what men shall do unto me." In other words, if I come boldly unto the Throne of Grace and avail myself of the help that God gives me there, then I can turn around and face the world and boldly say now the Lord is my helper, I've been to the Throne of Grace, and I have availed myself of that help and now I'm equipped to face the foe; and I can look into the face of the enemy and boldly say, "Now the Lord is my helper and I don't care what you say or do about it."
 

I believe this is the same thought that Solomon had in the book of Proverbs when he said, "The righteous are as bold as a lion---The righteous are as bold as a lion." What is it that makes a lion bold? Is it not the realization of the fact that God has endowed him with power that is greater than anything that can arise against him? That lion has no know­ledge of what he is going to meet around the next bend of the jungle trail and at the same time he doesn't care, because he knows that come what may, God has endowed me with a power that is greater than anything that can rise up against me. That is why he lifts his head and roars in defiance and walks boldly down the trail.
 

Well, you understand in the light of that, then, can you not, what Solomon meant when he said the righteous are as bold as a lion? That when you and I come boldly to the Throne of Grace and avail ourselves of the full provision that He has given us through His grace, then we can look into the future, not knowing what we might meet around the next bend of the jungle trail but with the assurance in our hearts that, come what may, God has endowed me now with a power that is greater than anything that can rise up against me. And, that power is also greater than the last enemy which is death. It enables a child of God to not only boldly face every enemy and experience along the way, but when it comes to the last enemy which is death, they can boldly and triumphantly face it also with the full assurance of faith in their hearts that God has endowed me with a power that is stronger than death itself. When he said, "Let us come boldly unto the Throne of Grace," he didn't mean come presumptuously or arrogantly or anything like that.

I think that you folks are familiar enough with the Old Testament stories and the history we have of the ungodly kings to know that if a person came into the presence of their king uninvited, they went in fear and trembling because they knew they took their life in their hands. If you want an example of that, you'll find it in the book of Esther where Queen Esther went in this day into the presence of the king to make intercession for her people. Now she was the Queen and the King loved her and she knew that, but at the same time she knew that King and she knew that his pride was very sensitive and that if anyone presumed to walk into his presence uninvited, if it met with his displeasure, he would have them beheaded right on the scene. Even though she was Queen and even though she knew the King loved her, she knew she was taking her life in her hands when she went before that Throne to make a petition that was so desperately needed, and she said, "Well, if I perish, I perish."  If  I don't do something about it I'm going to perish, if  I do perish, well, what's the difference--I'm going to perish one way or the other. But she saw one ray of hope, of going in before that King with her petition. I'll tell you, folks, that poor woman went in there with fear and trembling!

The Lord is not going to put us to death for presuming to come into His Presence. There's nothing that would please the Lord more, there's nothing that will please our King more than that you and I came before the Throne of Grace many times a day. No matter how often we come, it thrills Him to think that we're coming to the place where He can give us the sufficient grace, and therefore, when you and I go to pray, when we go to make our petitions that are so vitally necessary concerning our future, when we go there, it's nice to know that we're going into a place where we're welcome and where we'll meet the smile and approval of our King.

We were reading a little dictionary this year that contained the origin of some of the Bible words and how they were first used, what they first meant, and it mentioned a closet. The closet that Jesus referred to where His people went in there to pray, to go into the closet and shut the door and to pray to your Father which is in secret. I've always thought of this closet as just a secluded room. A secluded room where everything was shut out. But, when I found out how this word, closet was used originally, it added even more lustre to the picture.

It says that this word closet was first of all applied to a room in which kings held secret meetings. And isn't that what happens when you and I go into the closet to pray.  Isn't that what happens when you and I come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, which is the place of prayer? We enter a secret meeting with our King, and there we can pour out our hearts to Him and there He pours out His Heart to us and we enjoy that intimate, hearty, close fellowship that only God and His people know.


I would just like to think that as we leave this convention we'd all recognize the fact that in God's house there's grace and to spare. That there will not be an experience that we will face or a separation that we will be asked to make, or an effort that will be asked to be put forth, but what the Lord will say to us, "Now don't be panicky, My grace is sufficient for thee." And may God find us this coming year faithfully and boldly and frequently caning to the Throne of Grace where we can find mercy to cover the past and grace to take care of the future.


I wonder can any of you tell me what the closing statement of the Bible is? It reads, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." This was at the conclusion of what John had seen of the new heaven and the new earthAll God has in store for His people to enjoy throughout the countless ages of eternity. And He knew if they would just avail themselves of the grace of God that can help us--they'll be sure to be there. And I hope, whether in life or in death, the grace of God will mean more to us this coming year than ever.