Grace. Wow. Amazing.

Grace. What come to mind when you hear that word?

I have an Aunt Grace.

When I was younger, I was not graceful in my athletics.

Ice skaters are full of grace.

God’s grace is greater than our sin.

Grace…

For more context, click here for last week’s post.

We see how Jesus makes an exchange for us.

He takes the sin and gives back to us, life.

In a word, that is grace.

Today, we will explore this biblical idea of grace a little more in depth.


I have chosen Ephesians 2 as a starting point. Here are verses 1-10:

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh a and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” NIV

Grace is used three times here. I think we can, from this passage, identify some aspects of grace.

  1. Grace can save. We cannot earn salvation. God has given His grace so that we could be saved.
  2. Grace can survive. The text says the phrase, “incomparable riches of his grace…” Despite what this world brings, his grace will outlast it.
  3. Grace can supply. Verse 9 says that we are saved by grace. The next verse tells us we are God’s handiwork. I think that God’s grace helps us to do the good works for which we were created.
  4. Grace can suffice. Although not specifically stated here, it is implied that God’s grace is enough for our life.

And to that end, I want to leave you with one more verse. It also comes from the apostle Paul but it is not in Ephesians. II Corinthians 12:9 says it all,  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

These are words of Jesus directly to Paul. Click here to read the whole chapter.

God's Grace is More than Just Forgiveness

God’s grace is his favor and favorable inclination towards us. God is extending Himself, reaching forward because He is disposed to bless us.

We do not deserve God’s grace. But we can have this gift anyway.

Can you see that His grace is truly amazing?

Amazing Grace: The Story Behind the Song - YouTube

Grace has a cousin named Mercy. Next week will feature mercy, another one of God’s amazing characteristics.

Cloaks made for Jesus, not Jedi Knights.

Happy Star Wars Day! I am a nerd. Wore my Star Wars socks today. Fun times!

And, since I can’t think of a good segue into my post, here we go!


A long time ago, in Galilee, far far away…

There lived a man. His name was Jesus. And he came to save the world. He was the only person that could even bring the possibility of passing the sin test.

You and I could not even have any chance at passing this test. It was completely out of our reach. And there was nothing we could do about it.

Recalling back to last week, I spoke on the subject of tests, specifically the COVID test and the sin test.

Here is the last line of that post:

“Over the next two or three weeks, I will explore this idea of ‘testing negative for sin”.

Ideas like righteousness, salvation, grace, and hope.”

Click here to read the whole post.


Remember taking tests in school? Did you have a favorite type?

Multiple choice or fill-in-the blank?

True/False or Essay?

Short answer or Matching?

How about the bubble tests?

The sin test is different than all of those. It is a pass or fail test. You don’t fill in blanks or circles or write an essay. There is no matching word banks or T/F questions.

You either have it in you to pass…or you don’t.

What is it, referring to that last sentence? In a word, righteousness.

There are multiple verses in both the New and Old Testament scriptures that explain the righteousness of God and how we obtain it.

I am only going to share 2 today.

In the Old Testament, Isaiah 53:6 and from the New Testament, II Corinthians 5:21

Is 53:6, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.” NIV

II Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

If we look at these verses, there is a similarity. Isaiah says that our iniquity was “laid on him”. Its as if our sin, guilt, and punishment of sin were a great cloak. It was heavy and cumbersome so we shrugged it off and turned away from God. So, God being loving and holy, picked up the discarded cloak and laid it on His son, Jesus, while he was on that cross.

Now compare that to the N.T passage.

Jesus became sin so we could become righteous. We emerged or transitioned out of a sinful state into something that now, God would approve of. Again, we sloughed off that old, sinful cloak for a new, righteous one. Jesus took the old one to the cross with him.

In both examples, we see an exchange.

We start with the sin and end with righteousness.

Jesus is the opposite. He starts pure and free from sin but ends up taking our sin.

God is holy and just. He cannot abide sin. He hates it. He can’t even look at it.

But He also loves us!

So making Jesus take our sin was the only way he could be holy and just and loving at the same time!

So, in light of the sin test, do you see how we would fail 100% of the time?

But Jesus makes it all possible for us to pass!

For our part, we need to accept his gift and live for him.

Our salvation motivates us to love others and do good works.

We love because He first loved us.

See you next week for a post about grace.

And yes, it is amazing!

Negative is Positive

Are you tired of hearing about COVID?

Annoyed by the mask mandates?

Have you had your nose scraped enough?

We are all in this together so hang in there!

I bring up COVID because last Saturday night, I took my son to get tested.

We went to the drive-thru and received a test kit. My son swabbed his own nose, put everything in the right bag and placed it in the collection container. It took less than 10 minutes.

And then we waited.

And waited some more.


Let me back up a little. Here is the timeline leading up to the test on Saturday night.

Thursday: son said throat was a little soar

Friday: son awoke feeling sore throat, cough, and fatigued; stayed home from school

Friday night: son still symptomatic and now, can’t really taste

Saturday morning: son couldn’t taste or smell banana

Saturday night: took son to get tested

Now you are up to date.

More waiting.

The worst part about waiting is that we excluded ourselves from a few social events.

My wife and daughter missed a wedding shower.

We all stayed home from church.

My daughter could not go to soccer practice.

We were in limbo while we waited for the test results. Everything hinged on that result.

It came back Monday afternoon. And it was negative.

That’s one test I am glad my son failed!

But it did me an idea.

There is a test that all humans have taken or will take at some point.

It is the sin test.

We are born with sin. It is our nature. So, when it comes time to take the sin test, we will test positive for sin.

Just like the COVID test, the results will be positive if we have the virus.

There is a silver lining. We don’t need to wait for the results.

We can take a sin test right now instead of waiting until we die.

Jesus is the vaccine. He eradicates sin. Blows it away! Sin has no chance.

Ephesians says we accept Jesus by faith, not by works. This is how the vaccine is administered.

There is no copay. No lines. You don’t need insurance. And no waiting for results.

So really, a negative (for sin) can be a positive (righteous in Christ).

Over the next two or three weeks, I will explore this idea of ‘testing negative for sin”.

Ideas like righteousness, salvation, grace, and hope.

Hope you don’t mind a little waiting. (Insert winking emoji here)

insert catchy title here

Welcome to twominuteswithtim!

Two weeks ago, I ended my post with an encouragement to come back for a new series.

Here is the actual line:

“Next week starts a new series so come back for, possibly, the best two minutes of your day!”

I did not post last week. Sorry about that.

In fact, I am still fighting some writer’s block.

And that is the reason why I don’t have a new series for you.

However, there are some inklings and whispers rolling around my imagination that will eventually make their way to the light of day.

But until then, be blessed!

Remember?

Jesus is risen! Yes!!!

Easter celebrates the empty tomb. Our faith rests on this fact. Jesus is not in the grave anymore.

The Power of An Empty Tomb —

And that brings me to a question:

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Here is the origin of that question. Luke 24:1-8

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8Then they remembered his words.” NIV

Easter is over, at least the celebration part. But every day can be an ’empty tomb’ day.

So why do we keep going back to ‘dead’ things?

You know what I mean, right?

Old habits…

Broken relationships…

Unhealthy things…

Undisciplined living…

Note verse 8. “Then they remembered…”

The ladies recalled what Jesus had taught them. AFTER the angels spoke to them.

Is that what it takes for us? Angel visits?!?!


If you remember back to the H.E.L.P. series, you know that God is right there with us.

Through God’s assistance, we can have ‘angel visits’ on a regular basis.

  • The Holy Spirit can speak to us on a daily basis.
  • Going to church can be refreshing.
  • Reading the Bible will unlock power in your life.
  • Friends will stand by you.

These are the ‘angel visits’ that will help us remember the words of Jesus.

So while the hype of Easter is behind us and you have eaten all the chocolate from your kids’ baskets, be encouraged by the fact that we don’t need angels to visit us.

God can (and would love to) reveal Himself to you today. Look for Him even now.

God bless!

Next week starts a new series so come back for, possibly, the best two minutes of your day!