We’ve been exploring GRACE–what it means, how it affects our lives, and how we can offer grace to ourselves. For the month of March, I thought we’d talk about how to offer grace to others. As we can see in this verse from Acts, when we’re full of God’s grace, we can do great things!
Max Lucado agrees. I absolutely love this quote by him:
The apostle Paul never seemed to exhaust the topic of grace – what makes us think we can? He just kept coming at it and coming at it from another angle. That’s the thing about grace. It’s like springtime. You can’t put it in a single sentence definition, and you can’t exhaust it. ~Max Lucado
Isn’t that awesome? So if we cannot exhaust grace, we cannot use it up or run out of it, then we have plenty to offer to others. We, as followers of Christ, can offer grace to other people in our lives. Now it’s your turn. What are some ways that we can do this? I know you have some good ideas, so please share it in the comment section below.
I hope you have had a wonderful February. This month we have focused on extending GRACE to ourself. Wow! It’s a powerful concept. We’ve discussed finding our strength in God’s grace, allowing ourselves to rest, and forgiving ourselves for past mistakes.
Today I thought we’d talk about taking care of ourself in general. I meet a lot of women who are exhausted, grumpy, depressed, and even physically ill. Sometimes these things just happen, and as we all know – sometimes these things happen all at once! But many times, I speak with women who are simply not taking care of theirself. They take care of everyone else, and some even develop a martyr mentality. (If I don’t do it, then the world will cease to spin because no one else will.)
If this is you, I’m not laughing AT you, I’m laughing WITH you, because I’ve been there. Motherhood does it to us, as does being a good wife, having a job in or out of the home, volunteering at our church, and a dozen other things. But remember even Christ took a break when he needed one–
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. ~Luke 5:16
I want to challenge you to make GRACE a daily habit in your life. That could mean a bubble bath, a twenty minute walk alone, allowing the clothes to remain in the basket until tomorrow, or a dozen other things. What about it? Are you willing to make extending GRACE to yourself a daily habit? I’d love for you to comment with some SPECIFIC WAYS we can do this daily.
Welcome back to my blog where we’re exploring 52 Weeks of Grace. In January we defined what grace means, and last week we talked about allowing ourselves to rest–what a wonderful way to offer ourselves grace! I loved your comments. I’m just like you. I know when I need to rest, but I often don’t “allow” myself.
Today I wanted to talked about forgiveness. God offers us His forgiveness–it’s essentially a part of receiving divine grace. But do we offer ourselves forgiveness?
I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to forgive someone else than myself. Maybe it’s natural to be harder on ourself. It could be that you don’t keep as clean a house as you think you should, or you were short tempered with someone you love, or maybe you were rude to a stranger. It could be something much bigger in your past that you’ve never allowed yourself to move past. But we’re not perfect. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but sometimes we think we should be.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~Maya Angelou
So how about it? Do you think you can forgive yourself this week? I think we should, because I am convinced that it is part of God’s grace.
This month we’re talking about offering ourselves grace. We know that grace is the unmerited favor of God … but how do we give that to ourselves? Sounds kind of crazy!
Let me ask you another question — do you deserve a break? For that matter, what do you have to do to deserve a break? Do you have to work a full time job? Clean your house? Go without sleep for a few days? When is enough busy-ness, enough to earn a break?
Ha! That’s kind of a trick question. God has already given us His Grace, His Favor. We don’t have to earn it. Remember? Here’s a few verses I want you to think about this week.
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
Wow! I think the Lord wants us to rest. I think that is one way that we can allow our lives to be filled with His Grace. So what about it? Do you deserve a break?
I remember when I was growing up, my daddy would ask before a meal, “Who wants to offer grace?” Isn’t that a lovely phrase? Offering grace. Yeah, that has a nice ring to it. For the month of January I thought that we’d talk about different ways we can offer ourselves grace.
“What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” ~Rick Warren
Isn’t that an awesome quote? “HIS grace is going to give me strength.” Wow. That’s powerful stuff. So I don’t have to try to be strong. I don’t have to dig deep and find the strength somewhere in myself, because HIS grace is going to give me the strength I need.
WOW! So let’s share. What do you need HIS GRACE for today? Personally, I’m under this mountain of writing deadlines, which is awesome–as long as I don’t think about it too hard. If I think about it, I might freeze, like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. If I dwell on it, I might start feeling tired. But I don’t have to worry about all of that, because I can depend … you guessed it … on His grace.
Can I get a witness? That’s what I’m looking for this week. Witnesses of grace. We are well into our 52 weeks of grace. We’ve talked about:
And now, I want to talk about being saved by grace. This is one of the most fundamental beliefs of a Christian–that we are saved by grace. As Paul says in the book of Ephesians,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:8
Wow. I remember when I was a young child of 10 and first began to understand what those words meant. As I struggled through my teenage and young adult years, I often came back to this truth. Changing careers, guiding our children into adulthood, dealing with illnesses and death and trying times. Celebrating and laughing and crying tears of joy. Whether good times or bad, I could always fall on this truth. It wasn’t what I did or didn’t do. It wasn’t my failures or triumphs. I was saved by grace, and that was a gift from God.
What about you? Can I get a witness?
This is our 4th week to talk about GRACE and what it means in our lives. You would think after 4 weeks that we would be out of things to say … nope. There’s more.
Hebrews 4:16 says
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Wow! Little old you and me … we’re able to approach the throne of God WITH CONFIDENCE. And why do we do it? So that we can receive mercy and find grace.
I’d say that’s definitely something to celebrate. Don’t you agree?
We’re halfway through the first month of 2016. How are you feeling about that? Were your first two weeks filled with grace? Anyone want a do-over? Yeah. Sometimes things don’t go quite as I plan, so I know what you mean. But we will press forward with hope and our hearts filled with grace.
Today I wanted to talk to you about being sanctified by grace. Those are some big words. I had to look them up. Sanctified simply means “made holy.” So we are made holy, we are set apart, by the grace of God. Wow.
I don’t always feel holy. Yesterday I was cleaning the bathroom, and I felt kinda grimy and tired. When I had a migraine on Monday, I just felt sick and dark and blue. But today the sun is shining, the weather is pleasant, and things are going well. It’s easier to believe that I might be made holy by the grace of God. The cool thing though is that it doesn’t matter if I’m having a good day or a crummy one–the fact of God’s grace remains.
Paul wrote, “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
This coming week, if you have a down moment, I hope that you will remember you are made holy and you are set aside. I hope you will rest in His grace.
How was your first week of 2016? Did you find yourself thinking about GRACE and what it means to you personally? I loved your comments below, and want to thank everyone who has “followed” the blog. I have a feeling this is going to be a very supportive group.
Have you ever thought about GRACE being a virtue? I think of virtues as being things like goodness, integrity, honor, purity. All fabulous things to strive for. But GRACE can also be a virtue given to you by God. WOW! We all know that some people are naturally patient. Others are honest–they don’t seem to possess the ability to tell a lie. Wouldn’t you agree that everyone is blessed with certain virtues? But who has them all? We’re not perfect, so I guess no one does.
What we can be absolutely certain of is that we’re all blessed with the virtue of GRACE. This site says that GRACE is
“a special virtue, gift, or help given to a person by God.”
Paul confirms this when he writes in Romans 12:6, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Yes, we have different gifts, but we all have the GRACE of God within us, flowing over us, coloring each moment of our lives.
So the next time you look in the mirror and wish you were taller, or had curly hair, or simply that you possessed more patience to get through your day, remember … you have the virtue of GRACE.
How do you feel about new years? I am very much an optimist. I am sure that this is the year I will lead a more peaceful life, lose twenty pounds, get my priorities in order, and even have a clean house!
Which started me thinking. What would be the one thing I could do that would affect everything? If God were to whisper a new year’s resolution or goal into my ear, what would it be? If God were to pick my “word,” what word would he have me focus on?
I’ve decided to focus this year on GRACE. The grace of God is mentioned 123 times in the New Testament and 8 times in the Old Testament (NIV). That’s a lot of times! What does it even mean? What do you think of when you think of God’s grace?
Grace–the free and unmerited favor of God
I think there are probably a lot of definitions, and maybe they’re all right to some degree. If we looked at the one above, if we believe it to be true, how would that change our life?
1) It’s FREE
2) It’s Unmerited (we can’t earn it)
3) Favor of God–His delight! You can read more about that by clicking here.
It’s kind of exciting if you think about it. And if we spent a whole year focusing on THAT? It’s difficult to imagine how our lives would change. So what do you think? Are you ready for a year of GRACE? I am, and I’m hoping that you will join me–because in today’s world? We can all use more grace.
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