* You can now watch a video of this message at: https://new.livestream.com/rickpina/live.
(Gal 1:15, 16 ERV) But God had special plans for me even before I was born. So he chose me through his grace. It pleased him to let me see and know his Son so that I could tell the Good News about him to the non-Jewish people. I immediately prepared to do this work without asking for advice or help from anyone.
This morning we continue our series, “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing with our mini-series entitled, “Growing in Grace,” but I want to do something a little different. I had an amazing weekend and I feel led to share a part of my testimony with you. The scripture I provided for you this morning is the scripture I thought of when I thought of this weekend. God made special plans for me before I was born (for you too). God chose me by His grace, to preach the Gospel of His Son. I am thankful for my calling and I am determined to complete it before I die, by God’s amazing grace.
The Lord instructed me to write Today’s Word in 1997, well before most people had email. I started out of obedience to God and 17 years later I am still getting up every morning out of obedience. People have subscribed from countries all over the world and Today’s Word now goes out in English and Spanish, in written form and video, via email, the websites, Social Media, and through the Rick Piña Ministries Mobile App.
I was contacted by a man from India who told me that he was blessed by my ministry and that he wanted to visit me during an upcoming trip to the United States. We set it up and the meeting took place this past weekend. My wife and I met with him on Friday night and I then met with him most of Saturday. He he told me about the impact Today’s Word has had on his Pastor in Dubai and how the impact is being felt strong in India, Dubai, Kuwait, and all over the Middle East. This really blessed me. The Brother made a contribution to Rick Piña Ministries and we agreed to plan a time when I would travel to the Middle East to preach the Gospel. What God allowed me to see, about the impact He is making through me, has blessed me greatly. God is so good. I actually gave my life to Christ Kuwait, I preached the Gospel in Iraq, and there is coming a day when God will take me back to that region to reach the lost for Him.
When I think about the fact that I was raised as a Dominican kid in Brooklyn, born to immigrant parents, raised on Welfare, in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in this country at the time, and how God now uses me to share His Gospel message all over the world, it is amazing. Not only that, but God has blessed me richly in the military as well. I get to serve as the Chief Technology Office for the United States Army. Who would have ever imagined that this would happen? I will tell you who. It was God, who called me from my mother’s womb, by His amazing grace, to reveal His Son through me.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. You are not a mistake. You are here for God’s divine purpose and your assignment is as unique as your fingerprint.
2. God has thought about you and He continues to think about you. God has thoughts and plans for you, plans to prosper you, to give you a future and a hope (Jer 29:11).
3. Amazing things happen when you surrender to God. God is able to do far greater than anything you can ask, think or imagine (Eph 3:20); and He will, by His grace, if you give yourself over to Him.
4. You have not disqualified yourself from God’s best. As part of this amazing weekend I had the opportunity to preach the Gospel in Jail last night. I preached about God’s grace and the Father had me to remind the men in Jail — wearing government issued jumpsuits, with cases pending and judgement looming over their heads — that the plans He made for them before the world began were still valid. God could still use them and He can still use you. I have made more mistakes than I can keep track of and God still uses me, by His grace. He can and will do the same for you, if you would only let Him. Your sin is not the issue. If you are Born-Again Jesus already dealt with your sin. The only issue holding you back is your surrender. If you die to self and give yourself over to God, to be used of Him for His glory, He will do it and the plans He made for you before the world began shall come to pass!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace. It was by this grace that You made plans for me before the world began. You thought of me and You planned for me by grace, completely unearned, arguably undeserved, and unquestionably amazing. You loved me with an everlasting love. You loved me while I was a sinner. You loved me while I had nothing to do with You. You sent Your Son Jesus to die in my place before I ever did anything pleasing in Your sight. This truth, this reality, this Gospel was preached to me and it touched my heart. I responded to the Gospel message about Your Son and I have made Jesus my Lord. I now live life in total surrender to You and to the purpose You established for me before I was born. You called me from my mother’s womb and I shall live the remainder of my days in the earth in response to Your calling. You made plans for me by grace, You called me by grace, You saved me by grace, and You now use me every day of my life by Your amazing and unearned grace. It is by this grace that I declare that I shall arrive at Your desired destination for my life and I will complete my divine assignment. Not because I will earn it, not because I necessarily deserve it, and not because I am so good. Only because You are so good and only because of Your grace. My future is bright because I look to You as both the author and the finisher of my faith. Thank You for what You have done, are doing and will do in my life. I enter this day and this week with confidence, because my confidence is in You. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.