Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grace and Mercy

This is going to be one of those "stay with me, and we'll get to the point eventually" posts.

Last month at Generations of Faith (church function), we were focusing on the Lord's Prayer. The part that God was really speaking to me about was "Thy will be done." We took some time in the church to just meditate and pray, and spend time listening to God. My eyes fell on the nail piercing the feet of the Christ on the crucifix. And the words, "GRACE AND MERCY" were spoken to my spirit over and over. Because, truly, that is what the cross was about. And truly, it is God's will for us. It is His desire that we share that grace and mercy with all around us...anyone our lives touch.

Fast forward to yesterday's grocery trip. I had been up the night before with a sick son. I had been at work all day, picked up my other son from school, taught a piano lesson, and now it was time to hit Wal-mart. Then I would head home to fix supper. It had been a long day already! I was in the meat department, waiting as others made their selections. I have to admit I was not feeling very patient at all. One man in particular was taking quite a bit of time. Inside, I was thinking, "It's just meat, mister. Just pick out something and move along!" And then...

Then he turned, and I realized that this man was moving slowly for a very heart-wrenching reason: one leg was missing from the thigh down. Let me tell you, friends, it was all I could do to keep from totally breaking down right there in that meat aisle. And the words from a few weeks ago came slamming back into my heart: GRACE AND MERCY! I will also admit that I spent some extra time in that very spot, repenting of my own obvious lack of both grace and mercy.

But the truth is, I should have felt those things no matter if that man was 100% whole and healthy, or whether he was crawling on his hands and knees, or whatever!

Because when Christ was on the cross, His grace and mercy had no conditions and no boundaries. As a follower of Christ, mine shouldn't have conditions or boundaries, either.

I am so thankful for His forgiveness and unlimited grace and mercy!!!!!!!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Lent, Day 3

This time last year, I was on top of this blogging thing. I actually did a "post a day" for the entire season of Lent...with only a couple of exceptions. This year...sorry...no daily posts. For one thing, I'm working more hours than I was last year. And truly, life just seems to be more hectic...if that's possible!

As this holy time approaches each year, I try to prepare myself in prayer. It seems there is always at least one "big" area God wants to deal with in my life. This year, however, it seems there are a plethora of areas! One of the biggest things is that He is reminding me not to get too comfortable in this world. Our time here is too short, there is too much to be done for the Kingdom, and the things of the world will only weigh me down. (see 2 Timothy 2:4)

And God reminds me not to be conformed to the world, but to be conformed to His image...to allow myself to be conformed to His death and resurrection (dying to self, living to God):

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:1-3)

and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:9-11)

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)

As I've said before, Lent is not so much up "giving up" something, but more about "giving in" more and more to God.

There is no resurrection without there first being a cross...

Just as Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness were a time of preparation, so are the 40 days of Lent a preparation in my life. Just as He faced temptations, I too will face temptations... May I come forth victorious, as my Lord did!