It’s hard to believe that this year we will celebrate 20 years as a church. In some ways it seems like a “blink” and in others an “eternity.” It’s taken both the highs and lows we’ve experienced to get us to where we are today and I know as we continue to step into our future, many more celebrations and challenges await us. This God journey of pioneering and pastoring a church is an amazing one, but not for the faint of heart! Looking back over the years, I know I could not have stayed the course without God’s grace.
“Grace lets me live out of proportion to who I am.” – Bob Goff
I love that thought and am so thankful for the gift of God’s grace, which enables me to be who I am called to be and do what I am called to do.
- The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
- The power that helps me do what I thought was impossible.
- The “grease” that keeps the wheels of my life spinning smoothly.
I’ve never turned down a beautifully wrapped gift. Have you? I’m always eager to open it, find out what’s inside and put it to good use! It would be foolish to suggest that a lovingly given gift would never be opened. Unfortunately, I think that’s what many of us do with God’s grace gift. God wants us to receive His grace, walk in His grace, and freely give that grace to others.
How do we do that?
I must believe that the gift has been given.
God’s grace is available to me for any and every situation I face. When I find myself in a “graceless” place, I’ve got to rise up and believe God’s grace is available. It’s often easier to believe for others than for ourselves. In the book of Jude, we are encouraged to build ourselves up in our most holy faith. God gives the grace gift. It’s up to me to open the box!
“The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up and show you compassion.” Isaiah 30:18
I must admit my need for God and others.
“It is common knowledge that God goes against the willfully proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.” James 4:6
The quicker I humble myself, the quicker I get God’s help for my situation. I believe the same is true with our earthly relationships. Admitting my need for help allows God and others to open their hearts and hands to me. Being honest about where we are brings us to a healthy place and allows us to get through the trials of life. John 8:32 tells us that it’s the truth that sets us free.
I must be willing to dig into God’s word.
If I never open the gift and find out what’s inside, I can never use it! God’s word contains all the wisdom we will ever need. It’s our final authority. I can be guilty of helping others with this, but not so great at applying this principle to my own life. It’s often easier for me to think it through or talk it through. But every time I slow down enough to search God’s word and listen to His voice concerning what I’m dealing with, I am never disappointed. Instead, I am overwhelmed with a sense of peace and the strength to face another day. Sometimes it’s another hour, moment, or breath. Smile if you can relate!
I don’t know where you need God’s grace in your life, but I do know you need it. We all do. There’s a beautiful present with your name on it – go ahead, open it today and enjoy God’s gift of grace…