Friday, March 15, 2013

overwhelmed by grace

My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This verse might be the clearest picture of God’s grace in my life.  Our humanity so needs to remove itself or be removed with all it’s flaws and pain.  Literally our lives were exchanged by the high price and perfect life of Christ.

That is grace.  Grace is what God did for us that we couldn’t do for ourselves.  Grace is the understanding when we least deserve it that God loves us, forgives us and accepts us no matter what and forever.  That is the grace I need.  That is the grace I want to extend to others.  Take a few minutes to think about the grace God has given you.

Grace never ignores the awful truth of our depravity; in fact it emphasizes it.  The worse we realize we are the greater we realize God's grace. --- Randy Alcorn

Alcorn said is better than I can.  Coming to the end of myself is the finding of the place where God begins.  Empty of self means full of God.  Understanding what empty means we have room for God’s grace.  Consider what Luther said:

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times. --- Martin Luther

Wow.  Not much else I can say.  Coming to the place where we can experience God’s grace over and over never gets old.

And you know, when you've experienced grace and you feel like you've been forgiven, you're a lot more forgiving of other people.  You're a lot more gracious to others. --- Rick Warren

That is where I long to live.  What I have experienced, I want others to experience.  Too often when there is sin in our lives we have a desire to point out the sin of others.  On the other side when we have seen, felt and been overwhelmed by God’s grace we will give and share that overwhelming grace with anyone we come in contact with.

Experiencing God's grace in our brokenness, reminds us that His love never fails. --- unknown

I leave you with one last thought.  Our brokenness guides us to repentance which opens wide our spiritual window to see in all it’s glory the wonder of God’s grace.  One of the greatest preachers of our day, John Piper, may have said it best:

Forgiveness costs us nothing.  All our costly obedience is the fruit, not the root, of being forgiven. That's why we call it grace. --- John Piper

May God overtake our selfishness with His selfless expression and gift of His grace!

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happy birthday, Julie

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