August 2022 Newsletter
What has God’s grace produced in you?
by Pastor Mike Novotny
Ready for two simple questions that are insultingly obvious followed by one profound question that is surprisingly not obvious?
Question #1—Where do tomatoes come from?
(If you answered tomato seeds, you are off to a great start.)
Question #2—Where do apples come from?
(If you answered apple seeds, you are on pace to be the Time of Grace newsletter valedictorian.)
Question #3—Where does love come from?
Hmm . . . that one makes you think, doesn’t it? We all want love to grow in our families and among our friends. In fact, we want love to replace hate in our homes, our homerooms, our boardrooms, and at the contested borders of our world. We crave love a million times more than a vine-ripened tomato or a freshly picked apple.
But where does love come from? Is loving your parents simply a choice that you make? Is wanting and doing what’s best for your brother, your boyfriend, or your boss something you just do? Do you pray and wait for love? Or do you will it into existence?
I could ask you the same questions about your peace (knowing you are good with God), your joy (having a reason to be happy every morning), or your self-control (being tempted and yet staying strong). We all want love, joy, peace, and self-control, but where do they come from?
The apostle Paul knows.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22-24).
Notice where the “fruit” of love, joy, peace, etc. come from. They are what the Holy Spirit produces in you by connecting you to Christ. Fixing your eyes on Jesus and remembering the love, forgiveness, and salvation that you find in him has a way of killing sin and growing something beautiful in your life. Like fruit seeds, that growth will take some time, but the fruit of the Spirit is so worth it.
Slow down a bit today to meditate on the message of Jesus.
You might be surprised at what God’s grace produces in you.
You help others in their walk with God
Spending time in God’s Word every day is vital to growing in your faith. That’s why we strive to provide people with lots of opportunities to hear, watch, and read God’s Word through Time of Grace. And friends like you are a big part of making that possible with your prayers and gifts.
Your support helps people like Kecia, who writes …
“I’m so grateful for Time of Grace. Thank you for all that you’re doing to serve GOD and to share his love and truth. My life has been blessed as I am learning and growing in my daily walk with the Lord. Time of Grace teachings, videos, and reading materials have been such a help to me.”
Thank you for your support to help Kecia and so many others grow in their daily walk with God!
Cultivate the qualities you love most about Jesus!
The Bible teaches that like a tree, your life produces fruit. And the quality of fruit others see and experience on the outside depends on the type of person you are on the inside, which is great news for you …
Because of Jesus, the Holy Spirit enables you not only to produce fruit in your life but to have that fruit grow in quality and quantity.
Discover how this process works through the Holy Spirit and start cultivating the spiritual fruit you want to see in yourself with Linda Buxa’s devotional journal, Visible Faith: Living a Fruitful Life in Christ.
This nine-week, step-by-step guide includes Scripture readings, devotional thoughts, and much more to help you live and love more like Jesus.
So request your copy today on the enclosed reply card as our thanks for your gift to help reach more people through Time of Grace—so they too can bear the fruit of the Spirit in their lives!
As part of the AmazonSmile program, if you designate Time of Grace as the recipient, you can support the spread of God’s Word every time you shop, at no cost to you. Go to smile.amazon.com to sign up.
Try our podcasts!
Time of Grace has seven unique podcasts to choose from! Learn more about them at timeofgrace.org. They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and many other podcasting platforms. Just search for the title wherever you listen to podcasts to subscribe.
In a Pinterest world, biblical truth is often repackaged as short, warm and fuzzy snippets you swipe through in an instant. But Jesus has so much more to give you in his Word. In September, watch Time of Grace for the series Jesus’ Growth Plan for Me to dive deep into some of the parables Jesus told—and hear straight from him how you can grow stronger in your faith.
The first episode of Jesus’ Growth Plan for Me is available to watch on September 4th with new episodes released each Sunday in September.
“I was an atheist but now I trust in Jesus!”
You should have seen the smile on Jay’s* face when he gushed these words to Pastor Mike. A young man from a rough family background who was raised an atheist, Jay’s transformation was a miracle.
It all started last Christmas when Jay got hold of a copy of Pastor Mike’s book The Basics: God. You. Jesus. Faith. This Time of Grace resource shares all about the core message of God’s Word and the full life available in Jesus. Jay couldn’t put it down. Later the Holy Spirit prompted him to say these words to Pastor Mike: “I was an atheist, but now I trust in Jesus!”
This is what God does through your partnership with Time of Grace. Through video messages, devotions, books, podcasts, and other resources, your support helps people encounter God’s life-changing love and truth.
And this month you can help make even more stories like Jay’s possible!
Some generous friends have stepped forward with a $155,000 Challenge Grant—
and we’re asking for your best gift to help meet it in full by August 31.
Your gift will go twice as far when paired with the $155,000 grant to help more people like Jay trust in Jesus for the full, eternal life he alone gives.
So please give generously, and thank you!
*Name changed for privacy
Hello from Pastor Mike
Early in my ministry, I met a young man who thought he needed to do enough loving things to make it to heaven. In his mind, showing enough love would make him worthy of God and help him avoid the punishment of hell.
Then he heard the gospel. Our church got to share with him the good news of the Savior who did it all, how Jesus lived for him, died for his sins, and rose from the dead to prove it all true.
What I remember about that young man is what he later told me about his attempts to love. “Pastor, I honestly do more good things now than when I thought I had to do them to get to heaven.” In other words, grace was a greater motivator than fear.
The apostle John put it like this: “We love because [God] first loved us” (1 John 4:19). The kind of love that saves you when you have nothing to offer is the kind of love that changes you. And this is exactly how God’s love for you works.
Instead of threatening you with a “do good, be better, or else!” Jesus just loves you. When you are at your worst, he loves you. When you realize you don’t deserve it, he still loves you. And through that grace-filled love, he begins to change you so you can love like him!
I hope that encourages you today, and I also want to thank you for your prayers and support of Time of Grace that help share the love of Jesus with so many others.
Your love helps us proclaim his love that leads to more love. So thank you—and may God fill you today with his love-producing love!