I have been thinking allot about these topics lately…mostly because I have been dealing with them in my own life. (among other things)
Let’s start with Grace……it’s not an exclusive club……we all need grace…….we all mess up it’s called being human…. but….. why do I feel like I need it more than others? That God looks at my sin differently than He looks on my enemies or my friend’s sin?
Here is the definition of grace – “the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God”.
So consider this verse (2 Cor 2:9-10)MSG
“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
Sin and failure reminds us that we need God……ALL THE TIME……it brings us to a place where God can actually use us to help others. Sin will either defeat you or define you! You can choose!
I often feel sorry for myself and think my life is so difficult……but I am learning to take my difficuties and let God speak to me in them. It doesn’t make them go away but it does make them easier to bear because I know that He is chiselling away the old me and buffing me up to shine like a brilliant diamond.
Romans 5 says
3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
6-8 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Forgiveness is connected to grace in allot of ways……….I often feel self righteous and think that the person who has slighted me must ask for forgiveness before I offer it or I am prideful and don’t want to ask for forgiveness when I have hurt someone. That is just not how God works, and we as His children are expected to be a representative of Him on this earth…….Matt 6 says;
14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”
Anger and bitterness easily take up residence in my heart I have to admit and every time it does I remind myself of these verses…………..keep in mind, forgiveness is rarely for the benefit of the other person…..it’s always to release me from the prison I put myself in, to the anger and bitterness that turns me into an ugly person. It clouds my judgement, it keeps me depressed, feeling lonely, condemned and very much like a failure that is what unforgiveness feels like, but what does forgiveness feel like? Freedom…..Peace…….it enables me to make wise choices…..makes me a better friend and helps me to see who I am in Christ so that I can accept the Grace God give to me! Is it easy? Never…….it goes against everything in me……..I have to lay it down every day…..sometimes every hour asking God to take the anger away again…….the hurt…….but when I surrender it, I also surrender the outcome to God and it is so freeing, there is no greater feeling in the world. Plus God cannot and will not work through my prayers until I forgive……it’s that simple.
God offered forgiveness to me before I deserved it……….so I must offer forgiveness to others the same way.
I wish I could say that I have arrived at this place where I can forgive at the drop of a hat………but I am so glad God doesn’t allow me to stay here, that I am growing and that He continues to pursue me……coax me to seek His face and I am so glad He offers His unmeritted favor to me. (GRACE)
Personally I have been feeling lately like I have been posting nothing of value and importance so therefore I should stop posting because I don’t want my blog to be just a bunch of clanging symbols which I feel it has been lately…….it’s crossed my mind more than once that I should delete this blog but I am not sure if that is my self condemnation talking or just common sense. Maybe all this rain is just getting to me I don’t know!
I hope this finds all of you in a Sunny place full of forgiveness!