Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Lesson 4: Grace - what it is and how badly I need it!

I've been thinking a lot about grace lately. defines it in several ways...

Grace: 1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action
  1. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment
  2. favour or goodwill
  3. a manifestation of favour especially by a superior, synonym: forgiveness
  4. mercy; clemency; pardon

I have to admit when I was a kid I honestly thought that when we sang about God's grace I was thinking about how God must have done ballet or walked with books on his head like a girl at a finishing school. How that related to me, I wasn't so sure.

I like to think I'm a little wiser and knowledgeable than I was when I was 6 (again, not always so sure of that either). I understand that God's grace is more like the 3rd, 4th, and 5th definitions.

Now my struggle is not in receiving grace when I've been bad. I've done some pretty bad things, and I know I'm forgiven. I have felt that feeling of God taking that sin and taking it as far as the “east is from the west.” That burden being lifted is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world and I'm so glad he grants that clemency to everyone. I want everyone to know what that is like!

My struggle is the fact that I need his grace everyday, all the time, constantly, like forever and ever... know what i'm sayin'?

I read too much and have so many ideas to reconcile. The one idea that I've been thinking a lot about lately is the idea that my security must come from God and not from man. It would seem that all that I've been learning and reading about God lately seem to point to that idea. So I've made that my prayer, that I would find my purpose, identity, strength and security in Jesus and not in this world or people. 
AND THIS is where I need grace. Hoooo boy do I need grace and grace and more grace!

Every moment, of every day.

I know in my head that I am secure in Jesus.

Try telling my heart that.

My heart wants to be fully alive in Jesus, but she is so easily swayed by any little thing. Something makes her happy, she's ready to jump ship and follow. She gets sad and she wonders where God is. In fact, sometimes it's easier to feel secure in Jesus when I'm sad because he's there to comfort. When I'm happy he wonders why I'm so easily satisfied by things other than him.

I'm not saying that God doesn't want me to be happy. On the contrary, to know God is to know joy! It's my heart departing from God that is my issue.

And so I need grace. And this is why it's a struggle. Boy is it hard, but it's also the best. When I feel sad or hurt I know I can go to Jesus and he'll wipe my tears and hold me close and heal those hurts. When I'm happy I'm learning to go to God with that too and he'll hold it and be happy with me and I can ask for his grace when I lean on other things instead of him. I'm not talking about works or anything I can do because I know I will constantly fail. One of the hardest things is remember that and accepting his grace each time after time after time after time.

The joys of being human, am I right?  

I'm still working through things, but may I suggest reading Jon Acuff's lastest on SCL 

This guys kinda got me started this morning...enjoy!

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