ExperiencingGrace.com is a site for sharing a lot of the things I’ve learned and taught as I’ve grown in grace. Like many of you who will find yourself on this page, I’m still a work in progress, and I’m being transformed into the image of Christ. So, expect me to look, act, and sound differently the longer you stick around. You should even expect me to be wrong sometimes, and to sometimes disagree with me–even if I’m not.

My name is Jason Graham. I also run www.JasonGraham.net, and I will be slowly moving the teaching articles from that site to this site, as I believe the blog format serves a better purpose for organizing my teachings, and makes them more searchable. Feel free to check out that site while I begin the process of growing this one.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @jagraham and @ExpGrace

The Problem with Entertainment

Entertainment: the elephant in the room

Entertainment: the elephant in the room

*Now, I know what some of you are thinking.  “Ok, here we go, another legalistic nut-case telling us to throw our televisions out the door.”  And you’d be wrong, although that might not be a bad idea for some of us.  And I’m not writing to tell you that entertainment is a sin.  How could it be?  Things aren’t sins.  Our rebellion and transgression against the love of God are sins**.  So no, I’m also not writing to tell you that entertainment is a sin.

As a matter of fact, this article is not about sinning at all.  It is about finding Joy in the presence of the Lord.  You see, entertainment can be great.  It can give us something to gather around as a community and share some fellowship.  It can give our minds and bodies some much-needed relaxation after a long day of work.

The problem is when we allow it to be a substitute for joy.  If we wander away, for nearly any period of time, from seeking the joy that is found only in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 16:11), then a natural (read: carnal) course of action seems to be to fill our lives with more entertainment.

From there, it can easily become the thing we long for.  So many of us who call ourselves Christians, myself included, have found ourselves longing, literally longing, for the time of day that we can just sit down and __________________.  Fill in the blank: watch TV, play Xbox, mess with our iPhone, surf the internet, check Facebook, play Words with Friends, update our blogs. :)

Some of us don’t even long for that time of day, because it consumes us.  We do it all day.  Everyone in the twitterverse not only knows where we are at all times, but also what we are having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and who we are having it with.  We find it…enJoyable.

And there’s the rub.  Sometimes, we can enjoy these things (i.e. experience them with Joy) without ever finding the Joy that Jesus wants us to find only in His Presence.  Jesus said that he wanted us to be with Him where He is.

John 17:24 (NIV) “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

That should be what fascinates us and captures our gaze: a Holy God wanting to show us His Glory—not the dull glow of a computer monitor.  The fleeting things that we so easily fix our eyes on in our day-to-day lives cannot begin to compare with what Jesus wants to reveal to us.  The inexpressible and glorious joy that is available just beyond the veil of our human eyes can be fully ours, if we fix our gaze on what we cannot see.

1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV) 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

So, like I said, this article is not about sinning at all.  It is about finding Joy in the presence of the Lord.  I urge you to cultivate in yourself a longing for only Him.  These lesser joys, that may not be sinful in and of themselves, you will find to be…nothing…in light of Him.

*DISCLAIMER: I published this same article on an earlier blog of mine, but every time I stumble across it I can’t help but think of how relevant it still is.  So, I thought I’d post it here on my newer blog.

**Transgression against God’s love?  Of course.  If all the law and prophets hang on Loving God and Loving People, then a sin would be a transgression of God’s love (Matthew 22: 34-40)—a blatant disregard for the love He has demonstrated to us.  I’m not sure how that idea would pan out against the hamartiology chapter of some of our favorite theology books though.  :)


Mercy!In this lesson, I dig into the topic of Mercy in the Bible and explain how God’s mercy is one of the most exciting things for a Christian to understand.

I discuss what it actually means for mercy to triumph over judgment.  I also go into depth about how God giving mercy greatly contrasts with our keeping rules (or keeping the law).

There has long been debate over whether or not the message of mercy (and/or grace) should be tempered with a stern warning about how folks still “better live right”.

In this teaching I discuss why it is wrong for Christians to present the message of mercy with a safe padding of “holy living” built up around it.  Many in the church have tried so hard to be sure that people approach the mercy and grace of God with a sense of sober warning hanging over their heads like, “Yes God is merciful, but you better watch out if you don’t straighten up.”

For far too long some people have believed that they have to eek out a life of holy living in order to maintain God’s grace and mercy on their lives rather than embracing, with reckless abandon, the fullness of His grace and mercy, and letting the revelation of God’s kindness lead to repentance and then ultimately into living a holy life.

This message presents a biblical case for why we need to strip all padding away, and give people direct access to God’s grace and mercy.  It also explains why, if we don’t, all we will be producing are sons of hell rather than lovers of God.

DISCLAIMER: The last 8 minutes or so of the audio are of a question and answer time/discussion time that spontaneously happened at the end of the message.  The audio quality during this part is not as clean because I had to adjust the levels somewhat to try to get the questions from the congregation somewhat audible.  So, please forgive the extra noise that may occur when other people are talking.  Thanks!

Giving Mercy Versus Keeping Rules

This post is a short clip from a longer message that I taught on Mercy at my church late last year.  I’ll be uploading the full message soon; however, I wanted to extract these 7 minutes to be listened to on their own because I feel this is one of the most important things that I’ve learned about the mercy of God in the time that I have been experiencing His grace.

The gist of it is that Mercy produces lovers of God while Rule Keeping produces sons of hell.  Listen to the audio to hear the explanation from scripture for why I would say this.  If you live in fear that you can easily slip into hell at every mistake that you make, then this message is very important for you to hear and understand.  God Bless!

Forgive Us Our Debts

The Disciples’ Prayer Series – Part 8
Forgive Us Our Debts

This small phrase from the Disciples’ Prayer takes us on quite a ride through legal theology.  Now, on the surface that may sound thick and boring, but ultimately it proves to the believer why they should live with absolutely no fear of judgment.

If you are a believer and are worried that when you stand before God that there may be some little something that may tip the scales and send you to the lake of fire, then you need to listen to this lesson.  Why?  Because you are thinking wrong, and you need to understand the truth found in the scripture about believers in the time of judgement.  Knowing the truth sets us free.

In this lesson we will look at several things such as:

  • What debt do we have?  What do we owe it to?
  • How is it forgiven?
  • What does being forgiven of debt have to do with Jesus saying that He had come to declare the acceptable year of the Lord?
  • Are we now lawless?
    • HINT: The answer is No, but we aren’t still tied to the Law of Moses.  The scripture introduces a new law in very plain language, and we can never be free of its demands.  It is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  Also called the Law of Liberty, the Law of Christ, and the Royal Law in scripture.
    • I’ll discuss how the scripture tells us to keep this new law.
  • Finally, I go into detail about the judgement of believers and explain how we aren’t even judged with those who go to the lake of fire.  That is a separate judgement that those who cannot take part in the second death will not attend.

This is truly an exciting teaching.  I believe that it can serve to set our minds free from the Law of Sin and Death in the same way that our spirits have been set free.  You can listen to the audio and download the notes at the top of this post.  Please feel free to share this blog and comment below for discussion.  God Bless!

Give us this Day our Daily Bread

The Disciples’ Prayer Series – Part 7

Give us this Day our Daily Bread

What is daily bread?  Why do we need it?

I believe the scripture paints a very clear picture for us of what daily bread really is, and we see it throughout the old and new testament.

In this teaching we look at why daily bread is all about becoming more like Jesus.  After all, He is the Bread of Life, and He is available for us daily.

We’ll look at ways that we receive this daily bread, and what it does in our hearts.

Ultimately we’ll learn about how God providing daily bread, and us receiving it, is how we have a living, breathing, dynamic relationship with God as Christ is formed in us.  Daily Bread is a gift from God that all at once fills us, tries our hearts, and invites us closer to receive more and more of God.

We’ll also look into the Dark Night of the Soul in this teaching, as it is an important thing to consider in any in-depth conversation about daily communion with God.  We’ll talk about what it is, how we should react to it, and how it sets us free from any false images of God that we’ve built up in our own minds.  God refuses to be conformed to our image.  We, in fact, our conformed to His image through receiving Daily Bread.

You can listen to the message above, and download the notes.  Feel free to share this teaching freely, and comment below.  I love to hear from you.

Your Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven

The Disciples’ Prayer Series – Part 6

Heaven and Earth

What does it mean for God’s will to be done on earth the way it is done in heaven? In this lesson we seek to provide an answer to that question.

We will also look at:

  • 5 reasons why we should know the will of God.
  • 3 ways that we can be sure that we really do know God’s will.
  • 5 major points of God’s will revealed in scripture that are important for the Christian to understand.

This study will lead us into looking into what it is to be a friend of Jesus and to be a living sacrifice.  We’ll also talk about reconciling men to God and the restoration of all things.

I discuss the common misconception of God having two separate wills: a Perfect Will and a Permissive Will.  I explain why this idea is not correct, and also offer a reason why I think this wrong idea has grown over time.  God has one will, and that will can be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Feel free to listen to the message above, read the attached notes, and comment below.  I’d love to hear from you.  Thanks.

Your Kingdom Come

The Disciples’ Prayer Series – Part 5

Your Kingdom Come

The Kingdom of God was preached by the forerunner of Jesus (John the Baptist), by Jesus Himself, by His disciples, and should be preached by us now.

But what is it?  How do we preach it?  What does it look like?

If you’ve ever wondered about questions such as these, then this message will give you a good foundational understanding of the Kingdom and several other topics that come from a larger study of the Kingdom of God such as:

  • How does God’s Kingdom come?
  • Is it already here?
  • How do we inherit the Kingdom or not?
  • Humility
  • Brokenness
  • Demonstrations of power
  • Being childlike
  • The Millennial Reign of Christ
  • and more…

There is much more that can be said about the Kingdom of God than what is contained in this message; however, it will give a great foundation to anyone who is new to the topic, and will be an encouraging refresher and challenge to others.

God Bless!

Hallowed Be Your Name

The Disciples’ Prayer Series – Part 4

Names of God Artwork

For the longest time I thought that “Hallowed” was an adjective describing God’s name. I mean, honestly, it isn’t a word that we use all that much in everyday conversation, and to me it seemed to describe God’s name–like saying His name is Holy.

However, I have since learned that “hallowed” is actually a verb.  So, this phrase is not describing God’s name as much as it is declaring action on our part toward His name.  It means “to be honored as Holy”.  Yes, His name is holy, but this simple phrase is a challenge to us.  We are to honor His name as holy.

How do we do that?  How does that affect the way we live our lives?  I discuss answers to these questions in this teaching, and go further into explaining what God could have meant when He told us to be holy the way that he is holy.  Is that even possible?  Did He really mean for us to be holy in the same way that the transcendent creator of all that exists is holy?  If so, what happens if we’re not?

The scripture has so much to say about the concept of God’s holiness and His people’s holiness.  This message serves as an encouraging look into the dynamics between the two.

In Heaven

The Disciples’ Prayer Series – Part 3

In Heaven

After Jesus uses the word Father in the disciples’ prayer, a word that expresses great intimacy, affection, and acceptance in God, He immediately uses a phrase that makes God completely untouchable: In Heaven.  Why the great disparity?

On the one hand, we seem invited to accept God as absolutely close and accessible.  On the other hand, he is lifted into the cosmos.  Ineffable.  Unreachable.

How are we supposed to manage such a dichotomy in our daily lives?  How do we wrap our theology around a God who is both so imminent and transcendent?

This teaching attempts to give some biblical clarity around these two ideas about God, and shows how–for the believer–God being “In Heaven” doesn’t put him so far away as we may have thought; although, His worthiness of being highly exalted is not diminished in the least.

We will come to this conclusion by looking at scriptures that answer the following questions:

  • What is Heaven?
  • What does that make God?
  • How do we approach Him?
  • What is our position with the God In Heaven?

I think you’ll enjoy this message.  You can read the attached notes and listen to the audio above.  Feel free to “like” this post below and leave your comments.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The Disciples’ Prayer Series – Part 2

Lion and Cub

The devoted have repeated this word in their prayers for centuries. Jesus modeled the use of this word when teaching us how to pray in scripture. Why? I think it is of utmost importance to understand in-depth what it means for God to be our Father–and us to be His sons–from the rest of scripture.

In the teaching attached to the top of this entry we look into what the scripture explains about God our Father.  We’ll look at why we are sons, and how we are made into sons.  We answer the question, “Are we sons like Jesus is the Son of God?”

The teaching also explains what the benefits are for us to be sons of God, and they are amazing.  Among other things, this teaching also seeks to explain how our relationship with God the Father is defined in His acceptance and discipline, as well as presents an answer to the often-asked question, “If we are sons, then are we still servants?”

As a side note, being a Son of God is a spiritual position, and has nothing to do with physical gender.  Women believers are Sons of God in the same way that men believers are the Bride of Christ.  Both of these terms indicate spiritual truths about our position in God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.

For those of you who like to download or stream the audio of these lessons, unfortunately there were technical difficulties that prevented this lesson from being recorded when I taught it at my church.  I will update audio if I’m able to get it recorded at some point in the future.