Posts Tagged Grace

A Lesson on Divine Grace

283457_10151041362886736_518562434_n“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
During my latest bout of insomnia, I came upon this story (author unknown); I would like to share with you. (It is also an addendum to an earlier post enough).
“Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced.
Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, I love you and I wish you enough.
The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.”
They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.
I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be a forever good-bye?”
“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?”
“I am old and she lives far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.
When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”
She began to smile, “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.
“When we said, ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.”
Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you have.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
She then began to cry and walked away.”

This story in its simplicity helped me appreciate life’s basic gifts, and the generosity of God’s amazing Grace. Strangely, it comforted me in this, my worst season of distress, as I realized that “enough” is all I ever desired for those I love. I say to all who read this post — Take time to LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE, for there are deep lessons in every precious moment and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. No matter what you are going through it’s a blessing just to be alive and to TRULY KNOW BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT – YES, GOD’S GRACE IS ENOUGH — FOR ALL THINGS!!!

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Living in the “NOW”

1969235_10152284783763352_42321053_n“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”  Matthew 6:25-34 (KJV)

I awakened this morning keenly aware of the value of time and how precious every second.  I sensed an urgency in my spirit that revealed, but for that very moment I might never have another chance to live, move and have being. I completely understood that time must be lived in the NOW because NOW is really the only instant we have. In the NOW it becomes increasingly clear that we have no control over anyone or anything—no–not even due dates, deadlines, schedules or plans. No wonder Jesus taught His Disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  NOW does not negate the past nor fantasize the future—it simply acknowledges the present and immediate moment. There is no room in the NOW for distractions from purpose. It demands complete focus on truly important matters–it is sacred and blessed space. It affirms the omnipresence of God and God’s promise to never leave nor forsake us. Living in the NOW eliminates stress, anxiety and worry.10431457_316356748528741_8170358568464679864_n

What a gift is NOW. What a blessing to awaken to the beauty of a new day. How wonderful to witness the beauty of God’s great creation one more time! I regret that it took me so long to understand and appreciate the time I have been given. But as someone has said “when you know better— you do better.” That is true for me because I have known better for some time, but it is only today—right NOW that I resolve to do better with this life that God has given me. I make neither apologies nor promises, I simply acknowledge this moment that reminded me — NOW is all the time I have, but with God, Now is all the time I need.

I leave you with these words of Writer, Ira Stanphill that perfectly capture my thoughts this morning:

I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day-to-day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
for its skies may turn to grey.

I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him;
For He knows what lies ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
but I know who holds tomorrow
and I know who holds my hand.

PRAYER: Father, help us to understand that “living in the NOW,” is simply living one day at a time to our fullest potential.  May we do so with grace and joy to the Glory of God. In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN.

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A Clean Slate

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . .”  Romans 3:23 (KJV)

Our lives were full of faults, failings, weaknesses, and mistakes, but Jesus, on the cross, covered every wrong and made it right with His very Blood.  His sacrifice declared us not guilty and justified us before God.  His offering wiped completely clean the slate of our errors! Each of us can now stand before God without a mark of displeasure. I like the way Joyce Meyer (one of my favorite televangelist) describes it.  She says, “it is to be made as if you never sinned.” Picture, if you can, an empty blackboard, a blank slate, or in today’s terms an empty whiteboard or smartboard that was filled with mistakes, hate, unforgiveness, indifference, ingratitude, and much worse — all gone.  Then picture yourself, no matter your age, as fresh as a newborn babe, and you can see the magnitude of Christ’s precious gift.   

There is something about a clean slate. It just begs to be written on. Just realizing the option and privilege to — at any time — at any age — in any condition–no matter what you’ve done — start over, is strangely wonderful.    To be able to imprint something honorable with your life — with never a reference to your past, is indescribable.  To realize no matter what you have been or done — the account is balanced and the debt paid, is extraordinary.  

Every time I think about Christ’s sacrifice, I love the Lord even more.  I can hardly believe that God loved me in spite of me, knowing what I was and even what I would become.  There was no trial, judge, jury, fine or penalty for my offenses, simply a love that would not let me go. Thank you Lord, for your Grace and your Mercy when it was justice that suited our case. Just as the songwriter wrote, I sing today, “O How I love Jesus.”  “O How I Love Jesus.”  “O How I love Jesus.”  “Because He first loved me.”  Yes, Jesus paid it all on the Cross and wiped every slate clean.  And with gratitude I rejoice to say, “since Jesus died for me, surely I can live for Him!!!

This post is for those who may feel helpless, hopeless, unloved, or unworthy of Christ’s love.   I want you to know you are the very reason Jesus gave His life.  Jesus said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) That’s the depth of the love displayed on the Cross. Please listen as gifted singer, preacher, pastor, Smokie Norful seals the message of this post. 

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Imperfect by Design

253024_281307985303627_607499570_n“And lest I should be exalted above measure . . . there was given to me a thorn in the flesh . . . .”  2 Cor. 12:7

It is difficult to imagine bodily imperfections as part of God’s grand design for us.  But strangely enough they are exactly what bring God the greatest glory. That each of us has a purpose that is divinely inspired becomes clear as we grow through varying degrees of Grace. We discover our destiny may sometimes be delayed, but it is never denied simply because of how we look or what we go through. Sooner or later, we learn that God does not love us any less because we are not perfect.

Apostle Paul said, he was given a thorn in the flesh.  In other words, his plight was not accidental. It was not given to humiliate him, but to humble him for the plan and purpose of bringing glory to God. Paul’s weakness actually perfected the Lord’s strength in him.

My personal “thorn” was difficult to accept until I learned our vulnerabilities strengthen our faith and further the Gospel. I did not understand what the Lord was doing when he allowed me this flaw in the color of my skin. Like Paul, I prayed three times that He would remove it. And He responded as to Paul, “My Grace is enough for you.” “My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” I still did not understand, but somehow, I found great comfort in those words. Now, I am stronger for what I have been through. I now know that imperfections are not scars of the Lord’s displeasure, but beauty marks to remind us that God’s healing Grace is all we need.

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I now see, I am a work of art — imperfect by designbeautifully flawed like each unique pearl. Even more, I am a Divine Original– fashioned by God.

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WELCOME to Life and Gracea sharing place for the joys and challenges of everyday livingPlease enjoy your visit and return often for a “FAITH” boostBe Encouraged — Be Faithful — Be Blessed!!

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“It’s called LIFE and it happens to all of us.”
Les Brown

Life happens, and by the Grace of God, we keep happening through it.
Iyanla VanZant

I do not at all understand the mystery of Grace – only that it meets us where we are,
but does not leave us where it found us.
Anne Lamott 

His love has no limits; His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Annie Johnson Flint

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