Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Beauty of Grace

Grace is far more than a pretty name for girls or a mealtime prayer. The world itself gives a sense of blessing. We, as children of God, are recipients of grace, which is poured out on us by our heavenly Father. Grace is a benefit of God's amazing love.

God's favor is seen in our salvation as Ephesians 2:8 says: "For it is by grace you have been saved." The blessing is undeserved and unearned ... nothing about us prompted God to save us. He acted purely out of His own goodness. To reconcile us to Himself and be adopted into His family, He sacrificed His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

Grace is also the atmosphere in which we live the Christian life. At our salvation we were transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:12-13). Within this atmosphere we live out our new identity as God's blessed children and carry out His purposes of glorifying Him, both of which create even more blessings for us. Blessing on blessing we live in God's grace.

The true beauty and meaning of grace becomes especially clear to us when we consider who we once were ... people hostile to the Lord and eternally alienated from Him. We were spiritually dead, living a life according to our own selfish desires and interests (Eph 2:1-2). But, praise God! we through faith in Jesus our Savior are now justified and given a brand new life. He has declared on His own that we have right standing before Him (Rom. 8:1). All of our sins ... past, present, future ... were placed upon Jesus, and all His righteousness has been credited to our account permanently. We must internalize this mind-bending truth, and then give Him thanks! What an awesome God!!


Another day with a late start. Don't know what happened. I thought I had my alarm set to get up early but for some reason I managed to sleep until after 10:30. Ouch! That shortens a person's day! But I guess it's OK this time because I have no plans for today except work on my writing. We tend to think of writing as a simple, easy task. But let me tell you, it's not that simple. And there's nothing easy about it at all. Writing is work, albeit work I enjoy, but I can grow tired of if without really trying to, so I don't know how my decision to change my blog is going to work out. But I'm going to give it a try. And then I'll see what I'm going to do next. My schedule has been to get my blog out of the way in the mornings and then devote most of the afternoon to writing. It's a nice schedule but I don't know how long I will keep it up. My problem has always been to keep interested in something I'm doing. I grow easily bored. But I will do my best to keep things on an even keel and put out a steady stream of writing.

We had a gentle rain yesterday which didn't amount to much of anything, and it is still overcast this morning (of course it's almost afternoon now) so I think we'll keep the cloud cover the entire day. Then we have rain scheduled to come in again tomorrow. Prayer meeting last night was poorly attended. I get so frustrated with people. I don't understand how anyone can be satisfied with just attending church on Sundays. I'm not happy unless I have something to do at church at least a couple times during the week! Are people really that busy, or are they just not that interested? I don't have the answer to that. I was just hoping for a much larger turnout and I was very disappointed. It didn't help that I got there a little late (that's rare for me) and didn't sit up close so I couldn't hear anything Dan said. He wasn't using the sound system so I was lost most of the time. It was a short service, only 30 minutes in length, but then I stood around and visited with everyone for another half hour. Margaret had brought more bread so I walked that back to the cupboards where we keep all the communion supplies. I like very much the overseer position I have taken over communion supplies and preparations. I wasn't really asked or appointed to do it. I just saw that there was a need there and I assumed it. Before I was always worried about getting to church early Sunday morning and discovering that there was no bread or juice for the services. That did happen one Sunday and we had to run out to the minimart and purchase some grape juice. That was before I started buying the juice 6 month's worth at a time and stocking up.

My card ministry is going nicely. I will meet with Gerry next week and go over the membership roll and try to determine who's moved away and who's just in a slump and needs a card to prod them back into attending. Tonight is PraiseMoves again. I forgot to go last week. (I hate it when I do that.) I don't like doing something halfway. If I'm going to go to class, I want to go to class every week. But last week I just plain forgot to go. Tomorrow night is the Deacon Board Meeting again. It's amazing how rapidly those monthly meetings roll around. We had scheduled the next Lay Pastor's meeting for the month of February. We haven't held a meeting in several months. We were just so preoccupied with the 40 Days of Purpose campaign that a lot of things kind of got pushed to the back burner. I finally pinned Dan down the other day and he penciled in the meeting for the 25th I think it was.

I think this will do it for today. I've no other news to share and it's after noon. I have my chores done (all but one, that is) so I can go right into my writing after I grab something to eat. So until tomorrow ...

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