Thursday, January 30, 2020

Showing Grace

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
(Phil. 1:2)

Hello, sweet friends.

Have you seen the news?  Have you been hearing?  Can you see and believe all the damage that happens when a life has ended abruptly, suddenly, without warning, without understanding?
We hear of tragedy and displacement of people who may or may not have known the Lord.  We encounter people one day, sometimes to find out such an encounter was the last.  And...

Suddenly, we feel it.  

"Famous" and "non-famous" alike, lives around us fall; we lose the presence of someone who impacted us, or possibly had no bearing on our lives at all until the moment we found out they passed…
Not a big fan of basketball myself, I was still struck with sorrow upon hearing about Kobi Bryant.  That's how much a death can impact someone.  
When life seems to take us on an unexpected and unwanted journey of loss and sorrow, an element of time comes to play.  Questions of how we're using our time - what our time goes to; how we allocate and divvy it up between tasks and checklists, vacations and sabbaths, investments and relationships - launch themselves forward from what used to be a less conscientious platform.  
We may even realize that though we make plans and stake plans, something bigger and more powerful than our strongest efforts is truly in control; a Higher Up is moving; Someone else's plans are unfolding.  To this, the Bible helps us:
"A person's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
 Things that happen around us shape us, change us, cause our trajectory to shift - and so it should!  The reality of our finite-ness should turn our trivial pursuits into deep searches for something more; something bigger; something permanent and less fleeting!

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 5:14-16)

To be clear, being light in a dark place is not to the exclusion of the event of death or disaster.  Being the unhidden lampstand is something that is commanded of us because we have received the Light, who is Jesus.  Our mission is to become like the Light, that others may see the Light and turn from their darkened paths. 
Certainly, however, the power of these forces typically lend themselves as potential catalysts for the proclamation of God, His love, and His truths, namely:
God is holy.
God is kind.
God is good.
God is not partial - He does not respect one person over another (Acts 10:34-38), and as such desires that all would turn and receive His grace (2 Pet. 3:9).   All.  Which is why there are still outreaches and ministries aimed at the "lost."  Groups of people all over the world sacrifice much to bring the Holiness of God to unreached and unsaved.  By God's grace, He tarries that more would find Him.
This is also why I continue to make and share cards of this nature, that by some chance - in some way far beyond my scope of understanding - they may be used to bring others to know and/or love the Lord our God more and better.
It's why this project is called, "Showing grace."
God's grace.
God's favor to mankind. 

So, what is God's grace about? 
Well, I've heard it explained many different ways.  One way being "grace" defined as the ideal of co-existing with all people, the condoning of all lifestyles and beliefs, the extinguishing of moral absolutes, and the relenting of personal standards that all may live in "harmony."  As though all of us may have our own "way" and none of us must submit to any certain grouping of precepts and statutes.
Sadly, this is the direction our culture has traveled.  The true grace of God has been diminished by our desire to "keep the peace."  Our disinterest in confrontation, in defense of God's holiness and love, has faded under a non-eternal view of relationships, for the here and now.
Oh, my friends.  Let's not tarnish the power of the cross in the name of tolerance.  Let's not continue in thinking that your way and my way is "ok," lest Jesus conquering death and hell mean nothing to you or to me! Here's a number of verses talking about that very thing:

We are SAVED by the grace of God, to live victoriously by the grace of God, out from under the power of sin and death, not to live enslaved to the flesh. 
The Bible (in the letter of Paul to the Romans) says, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!" (Rom. 6:1-2b)  
Grace - God's UNDESERVED, UNEARNED favor - is given us in abundance that we may better live the life He's given to us in Jesus.  The time we have is to live in prophecy and testimony of the One who has come and made all things new; the One who became the first among many to raise from the dead; the One who conquered death and sin on our behalf that our lives may reflect His life and glory!
"The word 'grace' in biblical parlance can, like forgiveness, repentance, regeneration, and salvation, mean something as broad as describing the whole of God's activity toward man, or as narrow as describing one segment of that activity. An accurate, common definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward man…
While all of this is in the context of the grace of God as a gift versus the Law of God as a work, nevertheless grace is viewed as reigning even as we live the life we are supposed to live in Christ." (
Grace is not God's favor moving among man at the expense of His holiness; grace is God's favor toward man that man may become holy.  Set apart.  Like Jesus.  
The grace (both broad and narrow) that the Lord shows us, and subsequently the grace that we ought to show each other, is founded and administered in truth - His Word.  

My sweet friends, I love you.  I love you so much, and this is one of the hardest things for me to talk about.  Mainly, I have close friends and relatives who refuse the grace of God to live in sin; to live in lies; to live in unrepentance and hardness of heart.  It hurts me, and I know it hurts the Lord...

God is love, and God is truth. 
Who do you know that needs to hear of God,
who needs to know they have a Savior,
who needs to understand better the power of the Holy Spirit unto salvation and holiness, that, if you only had this time to tell them, would be able to understand and receive the grace that draws them to the Father?
Do you know how much time you have to tell them?
Is next week guaranteed?
What about tomorrow?
We are not saved, save it be for God's grace toward us.
For the sake of God's glory and holiness, share Christ, though it may be through confrontation.
For the sake of their eternity, show grace, though it may cause "disharmony."
For the sake of the Gospel, "speak the truth in love," that perhaps by God's grace, one may hear and turn from death to Life.

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phil.1:2)

IG: @mercies_journaled
Please DM me with any questions!

Stamp sets used: Grace So Amazing, Scribble Flowers, What a Savior
Find them all in the Sweet n Sassy Stamps store!

PS - the full process video for this project is here, on my Youtube Channel!  Thank you again for using my Sweet n Sassy Stamps affiliate link to do your shopping!

No comments:

Post a Comment