Tag Archives: charis

undeserved grace

sandgrace

Grace ~ More than we Deserve – Greater than we Imagine
by Max Lucado

Grace upon grace . . . 

Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness.  John 1:16

Grace is the Voice that calls us to change then gives us the power to pull it off. 

God’s Grace has a drenching about it.  A wildness about it.  A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downess about it.
Grace comes after you.

In the presence of God, in defiance of Satan, Jesus Christ rises to your defense.

Precious as it is to proclaim “Christ died for the world.”  Even sweeter it is to whisper,
“Christ died for ME.”

Our merits merit nothing.  God’s work merits everything.

To accept Grace is to accept the vow to give it.

God sees in you a masterpiece about to happen.

God doesn’t scowl at the sight of you.  You’ve been bought, foot washed and indwelled by Christ.  
You can risk honesty with God.

Grace is simply another word for God’s tumbling, rumbling reservoir of strength and protection.
It comes at us not occasionally or miserly but constantly and aggressively,
wave upon wave.

When Grace happens, generosity happens.  

You are loved by your Maker not because you try to please Him and succeed, or fail to please Him and apologize to Him.  But because He wants to be your Father.

Trust God’s hold on you more than your hold on God.

More verb than noun.  More present tense than past tense.
Grace didn’t just happen:  It happens. 

You’ll be changed from the inside out… God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:2 (MSG)


grace comes after you

IMG_0522God’s Grace has a drenching about it.  A wildness about it.  A white-water, riptide turn-you-upside-downess about it.  GRACE COMES AFTER YOU.

The day started off with me anticipating my first drift fly-fishing trip.   The morning sun was warming up the day and the fish were biting.  Off to the west the dark clouds were starting to build as we drifted into the middle-fork of the Flathead River and the current was beginning to churn.  All of a sudden our lazy day fishing on the river turned into a white-water, turn you around, try to avoid the rocks in your flat bottom boat adventure.  Our plans were no longer our own.  It was time to brace for the ride!

My mind flashed back to our ride down the Flathead River as I read from Max Lucado’s book Grace, the sentences:

God’s Grace has a drenching about it.  A wildness about it.  A white-water, riptide turn-you-upside-downess about it.  GRACE COMES AFTER YOU.

And so it is with Grace.

Grace comes after you.

It rewires you.

From insecure to God secure.

From regret-riddled to better-off-because-of it.

From afraid-to-die to ready-to-fly.

Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26 HCSB

See to it that no one misses the grace of God.
Hebrews 12:15 NIV

Have you been drenched by Grace?


grace in my shadow side

brennan manning.002

 

it has been a long-time in coming.  i have allowed others to help me keep  parts of my whole life story in the shadows, at least in the shadows as far as the outward appearances.  or so i thought.  being part of various groups through the years of being involved in church, in Bible studies, in prayer groups, i found myself only “sharing” those light side problems – those ones i thought “acceptable” to those around me.  

little did i realize that denying these dark sides publicly also would help me deny them in my private times as well.  how sad i robbed myself of times of truly knowing God’s Grace and what it means for me.  

it took years.  times of tribulations – some my own, some of those close to me – for me to realize God has it all covered. His hand is on me at all times, not just when i feel i’m deserving.  He never leaves me.  He is always close.

 Graceundeserved because of the shadows. Grace – unearned because of the light side.

Grace – Charis – because He loves me and He delights to be with me!

 


manage or surrender?

 

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in my mind i know that God is all-knowing – omniscient.  i know He is always present – omnipresent.  i know he is all-powerful – omnipotent.

so why is it that when things happen in life, when the difficulties come, when the storms rise up . . .  we call out, “God, are you asleep?”  living by faith is not easy.  it’s not like there is this on/off switch that i can flip on and flip off as i think i need it.  just like during the storm in Mark 4, the disciples were afraid, they were terrified – – there are times when i am afraid, i am terrified.  it’s time to raise my faith level.

fear and faith – are tied together.  do i let this fear shut down my faith OR do i allow this fear to move my faith?  

do i manage my life  OR do i surrender my life?

 

manage – i think i’ve got the answers.  i think i know how things should be, how they should play out.  how many times in life i have tried to manage.  manage my life and the lives of others.  i put up walls instead of acknowledging that fear.  i allowed that wall to get higher and higher.  why?  that wall shuts out the fear  –  the fears of the storms, the difficulties, the unknown, the hurts, the betrayals.  i put that wall up to help me from feeling that way again.  i didn’t allow Jesus to be anything for me.  i didn’t allow Him to be my Everything.  i was believing the lies of satan.  satan, the enemy – – the one who comes to deceive and destroy.  what a waste of precious time.

 

surrender – during such a time, i knew i could not, i should not manage my life.  a time when i knew that He, the One whom i have known since i was a very young girl, was breaking me.  breaking me to surrender what seemed like a hopeless situation.  breaking me for restoration, for redemption.  breaking me free of the lies that were being whispered into my mind and my heart.  breaking the wall down that i had so strategically built around myself.  it was time to come home.  it was time to surrender.  it was time to really know who my Jesus is and who i am in Christ.

the storms of life aren’t going to stop.  the walk of faith is not easy.  do i still try to manage? yes, sometimes i do still find myself wanting Jesus to manage me from the outside in, but the more i know Him, the more He calms me from the inside out.

i surrender – daily.


Monuments of His grace

“We are not here to prove that God answers prayer; we are here to be monuments of His grace.”  ~ Oswald Chambers


A heart that can break

“Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”   Romans 2:4

“Generally speaking we refer to very little as ‘sin’ anymore, much less evil or wicked.  Our culture doesn’t place much emphasis on these ideas, primarily because we have rejected the absolutes of right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral.  As a rule, we don’t want to be hemmed in by rigid constraints, instead embracing the idea that we’re all basically good people and should be left alone to define our morality.  But we can never leave the job of defining sin to any person or culture.  Only the Lord has this right.  He is the One who determines what sin is and reveals its gravity.  If we view our sin as a minor infringement we will view God’s forgiveness with equal mediocrity.  We can’t appreciate the great cost of forgiveness if we think our sin barely needed it in the first place.”  (from Nehemiah – a heart that can break)

 Have we truly become so blind to doing wrong that we no longer really think much is SIN?  

Fact of the matter is yes, we have.   We’ve been blinded —- we turn our heads, we blink our eyes —– and we accept those things that we know are against God’s design and purpose for His people.   My heart grieves that I’ve allowed myself to be accepting of the lies, that people I love and care deeply for also accept the lies of the Deceiver.

“the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:4

But I know that God does not blink, God does not turn his head.  I know His scars cover my scars and His Grace sanctifies me.  I know God can break my heart for the hurting, for the lost, for the wandering, for the deceived, because He often uses a breaking heart —- a grieving heart —- to restore the broken.


New beginnings

“Every day is day One and new beginnings can happen anywhere down the road.”  ~ One Thousand Gifts

No matter how far I  drifted away from God on my journey, His arms were there welcoming me back.  Growing up (and to this day) I loved to hear the Bible story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), how he left his life to follow his pleasures and “do his own thing,” all of which eventually led him to ruin before he realized his drifting had separated him from his father.  He returned home, to the welcoming arms of his father finding compassion and redemption. this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

I may not have faced the ruin of the prodigal son in my life, but my heart has drifted from the things of God; following my own agenda and doing “my own thing.”   There have been so many times  in my life I’ve not been hot or cold, I’ve been luke-warm to cool.   His Grace welcomes me HOME!

One thing I am learning on this journey, this road God gives me, is I have to choose each day to intentionally pursue Him.   And every day He gives me new beginnings!


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