Is it me or is anyone else out there that can relate to feeling like GOD has been speaking directly to them about something very specific? It might be about a habit that needs to be changed, or a relationship that needs to be mended, or a career decision that needs to be made, or boundaries that need to be drawn … but you definitely have the sense that the Lord has been keeping your eyes peeled on the topic.
Sometimes it comes in the form of repeated sermons or chapters in books. Maybe a friend will interject the topic in casual conversation.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 ESV
I can check the boxes on the above and add Scripture verses to the list.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the topic of ‘grace’ seemed to drop in on me — or so, I thought it did. It’s more like I keep running into grace at every turn. When I search for things to lay my eyes on (which eventually ends up being the very subject and pillow upon which I lay my head at night), grace seemed to find her way to stand up in my view. She showed up in my front row at all occasions.
How is that?
I began to ask the Lord, “What is in this that You want me to understand?” Warning: Don’t inquire of the Lord unless you’re prepared to receive His Plan.
Knowing that it was (His) Grace that covered me when I surrendered to Him, I thought I already had a good handle on this concept. But as the days began to unfold, there was so, so much more that I had to learn. GOD’s curriculum comes by way of life lessons in the day-to-day grind. You breathe it and take it in and follow through with the lesson plan.
Grace made her way to my heart from my brain. Some of you instantly got that. If that’s you, GOD is speaking to you, too.
Over the days (which turned into weeks and now months), the Holy Spirit began to reveal to me the areas of my life where I had not extended that same grace towards others. As I was coming up red faced and embarrassed, He also uncovered that there was an element of not living in grace — my own modus operandi had been peeled back.
Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:8b NET
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. John 15:12 NLT
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 NIV
When I did a quick research (thank you, Google), definitions for grace yielded things like: to confer dignity or honor upon. But here’s one that struck me: Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or their sanctification (thank you, Merriam-Webster). Assistance. For regeneration or sanctification. Sounds like Holy Spirit confirmation to me.
As I lace all of this together, I get the impression and understanding: Grace is freely given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us to continue on in our transformation as we live this life. And in so doing, we are able to love others just as freely as we have been loved, by the power of this grace called love.
Hence, we become a conduit of love and grace by the transforming power of GOD.
As an Asian American that was born and raised in the United States by immigrant parents (and a grandparent that instilled cultural and family values), the concept of grace freely given has always wrestled with my inner (wo)man. Anyone else? The need to perform, produce and excel at the cost of one’s own efforts was part of who I am.
But coming into a relationship with my Savior, He “turns over that table” and set’s my feet (and thinking) straight. And you don’t have to be Asian to experience that!
That last part is the hardest. Somehow it always seems easiest to extend grace towards others and even help them to see, understand and acknowledge it — but when it comes to myself … well, I must admit that I fall short(er). Grace just seemed to be easier to distribute than to receive.
But GOD’s Word declares that I am His Child and have been covered by His Grace. There’s nothing to earn. There’s nothing to work towards. I don’t have to meet any expectations. This is where the work in progress line begins. Anyone else standing in it with me?
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 ESV
Yes, GOD dropped the mic on that note.
If you asked me if I have this all wrapped up tidy with a nice bow on top I’d have to confess that no, I don’t.
This I can tell you, Sister: Living by faith on a day-to-day basis is allowing me to develop the ability to receive, breathe and live in that grace. To stop beating myself up over opportunities missed, to let go of the what-if’s, to cease the spiral of trying to aim for perfection.
Join me in this commitment to grow gracefully as we walk out the rest of this earthly journey called life. It won’t always be pretty. There will still be disappointments. We will occasionally fall on our faces.
But grace will always be there to greet us at the door that we thought only a few select could enter and she will open up to show us a more fulfilling way to do life in the One Who made it all possible.
We can rest in that today.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary
❤️ Grace. I agree. It is easier to show grace to others than to ourselves. Thank you for this devotional Linda. 🥰
Consider it ALL Grace!
I just taught a 2 part series on Grace at our church… trying to define, capture and understand it’s meaning.
In the end, Grace is undefinable because our human language simply doesn’t have the words to describe its holiness, glory, mercy, and just like God, it is all present, undeniable, the beginning and the end… Grace upon Grace!
We just need to receive the gift!🧡
I loved every word you wrote and I’m right with you, Sister. Thanks for sharing your heart of Grace!🧡🧡🧡