Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grace alone.


Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 
1 Timothy 1: 15-16

Grace:
A favor rendered by one who need not do so.

I am grateful to God for His grace. That He should choose me. He has seen me through privilege and hardship. When I wondered at the fairness of His plan, He was my friend. His LOVE could weather the storm of my misunderstanding. I can see 27 years, I can hope to plan 70 more. He can see all years, before the years began and after the years end. He does not judge me for my doubts, He does not abandon me when I fail. When I presume that I know best, He goes with me. He has not allowed for the World to tempt me away from Him. He has begun in me a discipline that I pray will grow. Because Love requires discipline. To say "I will not, so that you may."

God,
Teach me to serve. Humble me so that I cannot return to serving only myself. God you know what this requires. Though it frightens me, I know Your plan has more rewards for me than anything I could resolve to claim for my own. Father, how many times have I failed You? Yet You know only forgiveness for me? You gave me the greatest blessing of all, You gave me faith. I am redeemed. The blood sacrifice has been made and I made new. My transgressions, past and yet to be made FORGIVEN. Thank You.

"Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die!" 

-Mercy Me "Beautiful"

"He loves me. 
Even when I fall beneath His will. 
He loves me...
When my broken heart just won't keep still. 
He loves me...
Even though He knew sometimes I'd fall. 
Yet and still my name He called. 
He loves me. Jesus I'm so grateful for Your love."
-Kirk Franklin "He Loves Me."


What type of LOVE must He have for us? He formed us from the dust and He called us to Him to worship, to serve Him. How far away from that have we fallen and still... 


God, I want to serve Your purpose. I want to show my love for You by doing what You have asked me to do. I want to serve others, to humble myself as Christ was humble. To teach when You provide me with wisdom, to speak when You give me words. To be silent when I would otherwise speak coarsely. 



In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!
-Philippians 2: 5-8

I don't know why You chose me. Or why You choose anyone You do. Those who receive the gift of belief and faith, have not done anything to deserve Your comfort. I'm thankful You did. I would be hopeless without You. I would not have stayed alive long enough to meet my children, if it were not for Your tempering presence in my life. You saved me though I betray You. Daily.

Yet even as I write I struggle to believe (to live) what I know to be true. I am not better than others. I am not better than anyone. Despite my privileges, despite my hardships. You are what sets me apart. You have put my name in the book of life. You know me. My eternity is certain and I believe. I believe because You have removed the doubt. No science would ever convince me, You saved me by grace.

Help me God to be a witness. Let me be like Thomas, unsure but who felt Your hands and believed. Let me tell the good news, give me the words. Help me to be bold. I want to be like Paul and be enslaved by You. Increase my discipline. Correct me when I am wrong, guide my feet along the path. Do not allow my folly to inspire folly.

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God. So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?  So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
1 Corinthians 8

God, thank You for the incredible blessings I have received in this life. I'm sorry Father for the anxiety and blame I keep allowing to happen during the day. You have provided for me in every way, why should I doubt? Thank You Abba Father. For the people who believe who help to strengthen me, to challenge me to grow in You. They are my brothers and sisters. God help me to love them. Father, thank You. Amen.


"Daniel broke the king's decree,
Peter stepped from the ship to the sea
there was hope for Job like a cut down tree,
I hope that there's such hope for me
dust be on my mind's conceptions
and anything I thought I knew
each word of my lips' description,
and on all that I compare to You
the preference of the sun was
to the south side of the farm
I planted to the north in a terra-cotta pot
blind as I'd become, I used to wonder where you are-
these days I can't find where you're not!

Mine's been a yard carefully surface level tended
foxes burrowed underground
my gardening so highly self-recommended,
what could I have done but let you down?
The sun and the moon,
I want to see both worlds as One!

Mine's been a vivid story, dimly remembered
and by the hundredth time it's told, halfway true
of bad behavior well engendered
what good is each good thing we think we do?

find a friend and stay close and with a melting heart
tell them whatever you're most ashamed of-
our parents have made so many mistakes,
but may we forgive them and forgive ourselves
the sun and the moon are my Father's eyes."

- mewithoutYou "The Sun and the Moon"