B.G.T.F.

Weekly Blog – Ephesians 2:8-9

January 4, 2020 – B.G.T.F.

This morning I was reading my devotions in my home office when I came across these verses from Ephesians 2:8-9, ‘ for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

In my office, I have books, bibles and memorabilia from VBS’s and servant events, and youth gatherings I’ve attended over the years.

After I read the Ephesians passage, my right eye stole a glance at a 3×5 picture frame on one of the four bookcases in my room.

It’s a 3d frame containing a photo of the Orlando Florida Convention center, with a banner hanging on the side of the building.

The banner and frame both read, “Beyond Imagination 2004.”

Orlando was the location, and Beyond Imagination was the theme of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s National Youth Gathering that year.

I’m pretty sure all of us have had occurrences in our lives that have been beyond our grasp or imagination.

At that 2004 Gathering, I partnered with my friend Sally, who is now living with Jesus, on our District event for the youth and adults of the Florida/Georgia district of the L.C.M.S.

With over 1000 people attending the district event (about 30,000 at the gathering all together that year), it’s incredible how easy the event came together. (Of course, we did work with Disney on it, and there are known for being a bit organized.)

When the adoption of my daughter Heather went so smoothly in 1988, with no problems or setbacks, that was unimaginable for my wife Kathy and me.

When I completed my 4 1/2 years of ministry training and became a Certified Lay Minister for the Lutheran Church in December of 1999, it seemed unbelievable to me that I had accomplished my goal.

When I “finally” received my college degree in 2005, and was named student of the month during my final weeks at Hodges University in Fort Myers, FL, this accomplishment was beyond anything I ever imagined.

Yet all of these things pale at the fact that we, you and I are saved from our own sins, B.G.T.F.

Yes, many of you have seen or heard the acronym before, B.G.T.F., By Grace Through Faith.

It almost seems too simple, doesn’t it? God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to teach us, to guide us and to serve us unto death on a cross.

And what does He ask in return?

Pray three times a day?

Go on mission trips?

Serve at a soup kitchen?

No!

He says, “BELIEVE!”

That’s it, acknowledge Him, and believe that by His Grace (His undeserved love), we are saved.

Our praying, the mission work we do, serving at a soup kitchen, and all the other things we do for others are a direct result of His love, Grace, He poured down on us. We want to serve to show our love for God and others.

So what’s the point?

The fact that we are saved through God’s Grace, and through our Faith, is so simple, so uncomplicated, so outside of our comprehension, that it is genuinely, Beyond Imagination!

Don’t let your worldly accomplishments get in the way or become more important than what is the most critical thing in your life. God’s love for you, your love for Him, and the Faith, belief that He sent His one and Son only as a living sacrifice for you and me

God is good all the time, all the time, God is good.

Blessings on your day

Joe G (Joe Guagliardo)

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