Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Here’s Bob Bakke.

Bob Bakke: Grace is not just unmerited favor. It’s not just about giving a gift to someone who doesn’t deserve it, i.e., us. Grace is, in fact, divine beauty, righteousness, forgiveness, glory, loving-kindness, even kinship, given to those who are guilty of true evil.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, October 12.

This week has been incredible. Nancy took us deep into a topic that’s often talked about but never fully understood: grace.

We then heard moving stories about women in need of God’s grace in very trying circumstances. This week’s programs have been part of a series on genuine revival, called Seeking Him.

You’ve probably been hearing us use that phrase a lot lately. It’s not only the name of the radio series; it’s also the name of a very helpful workbook that individuals and small groups are going through right now.

You can get a copy of the Seeking Him workbook at ReviveOurHearts.com. Seeking Him is also the name of a prayer meeting—Seeking Him: A National Prayer Meeting for Revival.

This is a very unique prayer meeting because it happens by phone every Saturday morning. You can be part of this prayer meeting tomorrow. For more details, visit our website.

Today, we’ll hear what this kind of prayer meeting is like. We’ll pray with Byron Paulus, Tex Tippet, Jerry Kirk, Walter Price, Tim Grissom, Tim St. Clair, and our host, Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

To start things off, here’s Bob Bakke on grace. He’s beginning with this week’s memory verse out of the Seeking Him workbook, Hebrews 4:16.

Bob: It says, “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

As we begin our thoughts on grace, the throne we approach this morning is called grace, and what we receive from that throne is grace. We can go to that throne this morning in prayer with hundreds of us across the country, with our arms open wide with confidence, expectation, and joy, because we, or most of us have, repented.

We’ve been honest; we’ve taken account of our sins, and we’ve come before God, and we can do so with expectation and joy.

Grace is the throne upon which God reigns. Grace is the thing that He is most pleased to dispense.

Now, the ancient Greeks, when they used the word grace, referred to those things that produced well-being, and from this root they derived words like favorite, delight, beauty, gratitude, and joy.

But grace was also used to describe the relationship between a master and a slave. A slave had no right to expect kindness. So when there was kindness, it was grace, and it was received.

It’s interesting that Paul, in his book to the Romans, where he expounds the most upon grace, introduces himself in chapter one, verse one as a slave of Jesus Christ.

Now, when the Hebrews come into this, they bring in with it a sense of the stronger coming to the rescue of the weaker; so you have a Boaz and a Ruth. When Jesus uses the term, He does so to describe God coming to the rescue of the defenseless, or those who are hopelessly in debt. The greater coming to bless the weaker, as it were.

We’re told by John that Jesus was full of this grace, as well as truth. In Acts, grace describes the power of the Holy Spirit flowing from God to man.

In our great need—it is our need of the Holy Spirit and His kindnesses to us and His strength. The writer in the Hebrew, then, calls the Spirit the “Spirit of grace.” But it’s in the epistles that the relationship between this grace and our salvation deepens.

It’s here that we find the issues of pardon, reconciliation, freedom, atonement, propitiation, righteousness, eternal life, and even adoption.

Let me just take Romans chapter five for a moment, where Paul compares the trespass of the first Adam to the gift of the second, this gift of grace. Paul writes, “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” (verse 12).

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through the trespass of one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many (see verse 19).

Again, the gift is not like the result of the one man’s sin. The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification, as if we hadn’t sinned.

For if, by the trespass of one man, death reined through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Reign in life—in life and abundance. Grace is not just unmerited favor. It’s not just about giving a gift to someone who doesn’t deserve it, i.e., us. Grace is, in fact, divine beauty, righteousness, forgiveness, glory, loving-kindness, even kinship, given to those who are guilty of true evil.

So, I close with this thought: Mark Twain, of all people—not a believer, but he said this, and I believe it’s at the heart of our grace: “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

Let me just say that one more time: “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

So grace is the father of the prodigal racing from his front porch to embrace his son who despised him. Grace is the Lamb of God, pierced, beaten, crowned with thorns, despised, rejected, gasping for air, crying into the heavens, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Crushed for our transgressions, God fills the earth with His fragrant love and responds in the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer 1: Grace. Father, we are so thankful this morning for that time when You touched our lives and drew us to our Savior and revealed to us Your amazing grace.

We thank You, Lord, every one of us on this call. We thank You for what You have done—for what You did in Your life and on that cross, and then what You did in bringing us into Your family through our Lord, Jesus. Praise be unto You, Lord! All praise be unto You, Lord Jesus.

Prayer 2: Father, I praise You, too, that You are strong in the midst of my weakness; that not only do I have—not within me—not only do we not have within us corporately the capacity to earn that which You so freely give, but in fact, that which You so freely give comes in response to our great sin and our great need.

You give. We don’t deserve it. You give, and we’d die without it. You are our life. You are our light. You are our joy. You are our reason for rising this morning. You are our reason for the hope that is within us.

You are our reason for the hope that we have as we look upon the unfolding of history. We are not discouraged. We rejoice in You, O God. We bless You, Lord, in Jesus’ name.

Prayer 3: Father, as I think of Your marvelous, specific grace to us in Jesus Christ, how Bob has so wonderfully depicted that this morning, I praise You and I thank You, Father.

I also think of Your common grace that goes out to all men—that the sun rises on the evil and the good, that rain comes on the just and the unjust. God, in the midst of that common grace, I pray that You would draw those people to Yourself; that they would come to know Jesus Christ, who is full of grace; and that they might be a part of Your precious, eternal family.

We praise You and we thank You for drawing people to Yourself today.

Prayer 4: Lord, I think of all my sin—and Your grace is greater than all of my sin—and where I was headed. As I shared with somebody yesterday, I don’t think I’d be living today. I would have been dead on drugs or committed suicide or something because of the overwhelming bent of my own soul.

Lord, I didn’t even have it within me to reach out to You; and You, with Your grace, You reached out and You changed my desires and You changed my heart. God, You changed my motivation, my reason for living.

You saw the darkness, You saw the track I was on, and You saw my destiny. At the same time You, in all of Your grace, said, “I want that man as my child.”

Lord, I praise You this morning for the privilege of encountering Your grace and the revolutionizing force of Your grace that was greater than everything that I was about.

Prayer 5: Lord Jesus, I think of April 25, 1971: consumed with the world and all it had to offer, going my own way in rebellion, in disobedience. I thank You for Your grace that caused You to pursue me, to draw me to Yourself and make me Your child and transform my life and really give me purpose in life.

I praise You for Your grace to save me.

Prayer 6: Lord, the thing we long for is that others would get to know this grace. We pray, O God, that You would fill Your church with Your grace, that You would reveal to Your people how much You love them, how ready You are to pour out Your grace upon us.

Lord, somehow, we plead with You this morning that You would so touch our hearts and touch the heart of every person joining with us in this prayer meeting and every church that is studying Seeking Him.

Lord God Almighty, we pray that You would move us all from facing the seriousness of our sins to facing the magnetism, the beauty, the wonder of Your grace for us and for our families, for our children and our grandchildren. Make it so, Lord.

Prayer 7: Father, as we go from an attitude of expressing our gratefulness for Your grace to save us, Lord, I’m grateful that from that point, You have given us grace to purify our lives, to set us apart to Yourself, and grace to be able to serve You.

As Paul said, “Thank you for putting me in the ministry.” I desire now for those that are joining us that we might focus on the sanctifying power of Your grace to set us apart from sin— “and where sin abounded that grace did much more abound.”

Let’s focus now on praising God for His sanctifying power, His purifying and cleansing power, and then privileging us to serve Him.

Prayer 8: Lord, left to ourselves, we are all prisoners. We are enslaved to sin. We have no capacity to say no to sin. It’s forced in us and on us so strong, so powerful, apart from Your grace.

Thank You that in giving us Your grace through Jesus Christ, that there is liberating power in that grace. There is freedom from every sinful bondage. What a message for us to not only live, but to share with others, as we think about those around us in the church today who are living as prisoners—to sexual sin, to selfishness, to pride, to materialism, to all kinds of corruption that are part of our old way of life—and don’t realize that they don’t have to be in bondage to sin.

Lord, I pray that You would just give us a fresh sense of the wonder of how Your grace liberates us from sin and enables us to say no to unrighteousness, and that that might be what we model, that might be what we proclaim, and that would be the good news that sends revival to the hearts of Your people, Lord—delivering from every sinful bondage by the power of Your grace.

Prayer 9: Lord, in a day in which we are encouraged to strengthen ourselves and to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, to broaden our shoulders, to become strong men, Lord, we are reminded that we are to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

We are not sufficient in ourselves to think anything of ourselves. Father, the realization that humility opens the door for grace to become a living reality in me . . . God, I humble myself.

I cry out to You, God, that Your grace would be known in my weakness, that You would receive glory through that grace in our lives.

Prayer 10: Lord, I think those must be the most precious words that You can hear from the hearts of Your children, when we say, “We need You, Lord. We can’t make it without You.”

I pray that there would be a baptism in Your Church of our crying out and expressing our need and our weakness and our inadequacy and our failure; that all those things we’ve been talking about in these previous weeks, we would see those not as a negative thing but as a wonderful means and pathway and doorway to experience more of Your grace.

Lord, forgive us for working so hard to improve our image, to improve our reputation, to look better, to leave a good impression with You and with others, when the very thing that qualifies us to receive Your grace is our weakness and need and failure.

Lord, we just cry out to You, and we say, “It’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer. I need You every hour, Lord. I need You.” Thank You that You come racing—like an ambulance racing to the scene of need, so You come racing to pour out Your grace when we call out to You and say, “Lord, we need You.”

Prayer 11: Father, as we come to the throne of grace, I pray that You would help us to remember that the first thing we receive is mercy; that You do not deal with us in wrath. You do not deal with us in condemnation.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. How we praise You for that, how You pour out Your grace upon us. Father, I think of so many in my church and so many in the churches around this nation and around the world who are seeking to live this life that You’ve called us to in our own strength.

God, I just pray that they would truly know what it means to come to Your throne of grace, to receive mercy, to find grace to help in time of need. Lord, I pray that the freedom that comes from falling into Your grace would be very rich for Your people.

Prayer 12: Paul told us that “by the grace of God I am what I am.” He said, “His grace which was bestowed upon me was not [bestowed] in vain; because but I labored more abundantly than they all.”

Then Paul went back and said, “Yet it wasn’t me; it was the grace of God within me.” So we recognize our absolute neediness of His grace, moment by moment.

I want us to spend some time now in crying out to God for the grace that He provides in a time of suffering. In the section of Seeking Him where Nancy quotes Warren Wiersbe, I thought this was such a powerful statement.

He says, “When you are in the furnace, your Father keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.” There is grace from God in the midst of suffering, not only for our own need and to pull us through the furnace, but also so we can be a source of consolation and comfort and encouragement to others when they’re going through the same suffering.

In its simplest terms, God’s grace means that You are a very present help in the midst of trouble; and we do know, God, that there is that supernatural, sustaining power that You bring into our lives.

It’s that peace that passes all understanding. It’s sometimes hard to explain, but as Peter said in that incredible verse in chapter five, “The God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory, after that you have suffered for a while, will establish, strengthen, and settle you” (see 1 Peter 5:10).

Lord, those who are in the midst of the fire, may they realize, as Spurgeon said, that we must learn how to trust Your heart when we cannot see Your hand, and that You have a perfect purpose in conforming us to Your Son, Jesus.

Prayer 13: There are those on this call who can’t see the Lord’s hand. They can’t see the Father’s hand; but, Lord, we ask You for faith. We ask You for the gift of faith so that they might, in the core of their beings, rest in Christ in the midst of their furnace; that they can rest in the goodness of God for them and His love for them, and also that He can use them in the midst of this crisis, in the midst of this pressure, for the glory of His name.

My mind races to Imam Samtoso from Indonesia, who has suffered greatly, and yet on his face is the radiant glory of Christ Jesus—a joy that I can’t explain, that he can’t explain, but it is a gift to him from God in the midst of death threats and danger.

I think of Barnabas Mam in Cambodia, losing most of his family to violence and Khamer Rouge, yet he stands in the grace of God, a grace that really surpasses understanding. Father, there are many throughout the earth that face great trials.

We pray for those on this phone call today who are facing great trials, and You say that there is a great cloud of witnesses—many who have gone before them who have stood the test, who have run the race, who have finished well—and the grace of God has sustained them and brought them through and has brought glory to Christ. So we pray for that today, O God.

Leslie: That’s Bob Bakke, praying along with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and other friends. What we heard today is an example of what you can be a part of tomorrow. It’s called Seeking Him: A National Prayer Meeting for Revival.

During our 12-week series called Seeking Him on Revive Our Hearts, wise, godly leaders will pray by phone. You can listen live by Internet or by radio. To find out the best way to listen and pray along in your area, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. Don’t miss this chance to pray for revival tomorrow morning.

The material we heard today was from a similar prayer meeting conducted a couple of years ago. We didn’t have time to air the complete recording, but you can hear it in its entirety when you order this week’s helpful teaching on grace. It comes on two CDs, or you can order this week’s material as part of the 12-week series Seeking Him.

When you order this way, you’ll receive the entire 24 CD set for about half the amount you would spend if ordering week by week. You can also order the entire Seeking Him series on two MP3 CDs. For more details on any of this, go to our website, or you can call 800-569-5959.

When you experience revival, it will change the way you act day by day. Get a new appreciation for holiness next week on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.