Hello! How is everyone? Fine, I hope. I am sure that there are plenty of people who have come across trials that are affecting them and tempting you to take your eyes off God and to put your focus on self. I know how you feel, as I, myself have recently have a entered a crossroad-which can easily be viewed as tough trial. By recently, I mean a few days ago, and like most people, I have a lot of things going on. Actually, some of the issues I am dealing with is from an answer to prayer. Be careful what you ask for-you may get…but, not always the way you think.
I have been praying for change for months. But, the way God is answering me is not the way I would have handled things. Actually, I would have thought about the process until it’s death and then resurrect it again. Have you ever done that? The reason I even bring this up is because NOW I have to make decisions-or should I say Godly decisions. And what does that entail? It entails my responses as to my current situations. I am tempted to sin in my behavior and attitude. Yet, what does the above scripture say? The grace of God teaches me to say “NO” to ungodliness and wordly passions and to be self-controlled, upright and godly. Passions aren’t always sexual, but, they are usually fleshly (physical/emotional) in response. For example, one of my fleshly passions is to “correct” someone strongly when provoked. Doesn’t that sound nicer then screaming at someone and telling them they are wrong? It does not matter who is right or, who is wrong (especially since I am always right. Did somebody just express ego? :)) What matters is how am I showing God’s grace in this matter? Can you imagine what it would be like or feel like if Jesus returned during my retaliation? I am sure I would hang my head in shame.
When Jesus offered salvation to me, I said yes to His offer and He accepted me…warts and all. I didn’t have to wait to become a better person. God does not really want us to be better in ourselves; rather He wants us to conform to the image of His Son. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”(Romans 8:29) The moment I said “yes” to Jesus, is the very moment He redeemed my soul. To redeem is to “buy back”. He bought and brought my spirit, soul, and body from hell, as well as a living an eternity without Him. He filled the gap between us and God. I am now one of God’s children through and because of Jesus Christ. As I continue to live for Him, it is a process of “un-doing” some former things that I thought were normal or right. But, as God purifies me from the world (and myself), my renewed mind wants to do good towards all people. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:26-28) I know you are saying “What?!? “Are you kidding me” “Fat chance” “Do you even know what so and so said (or did)?” I never implied this would be easy.Actually,in our own strength it’s impossible. But, God is not a man-therfore. He does not act like a man.(To be clear I mean mankind-not specifically male) He is holy and wants all people to come to Him. That’s where God’s grace comes into play. You see, grace is God’s unmerited (undeserved) favor towards His own. I have God’s favor (through His forgiveness of my sins) even though I did absolutely nothing to earn it. No one can. Grace is the by-product of salvation-which is a gift from God. Have you ever earned a gift? No. That’s why it’s a gift. It is because of God’s gift of grace that we can endure the trials that come our way. It spurs us on to do better in life; thus, spreading God’s love to all in spite of one’s difficulties. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
I encourage you to accept the grace (favor) of God that is offered through salvation. “So you, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1-amplified)
As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I wish you well in your coming week. I also want to leave you with this word from the Bible which is God’s Word to those who are walking with God; or for those who have recently accepted His gift of salvation; “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it.”) (Hebrews 4: 16-amplified)
In His Love,