The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4: 23

The thing that I needed more than all else was God’s grace, for here I was, interested, even fascinated with God, listening to His word, and hanging out with His people; yet, until I was ready and willing to open my heart to Him and surrender control to His Spirit, I was as lost and as dead as any person who had never come near to His presence. In fact, I was more so; since, if I had continued to ignore His call, my intellectual knowledge could have become a very large barrier to entering into a true relationship with Christ. However, God’s grace continued to pursue me until I stopped running away and accepted Him.

This need for grace continues throughout my life; in fact, it seems that there are many times when the need has become even greater than before I had entered into that relationship with Christ, for now, evil tries to speak to me with a voice that tells me in detail about every way that I fail to follow God’s will, and it keeps reminding me of each instance of moral, ethical, relational, and spiritual deviation from the direction that God tells me to travel. It is the truth of the Lord that brings me back to my senses, and it is the truth about my Lord’s grace that overcomes the lies that Satan keeps speaking to my mind.

I know, based upon my life experience, that there will be times today when I will need to focus on the truth of the totality of Jesus’ saving work and on what that means for me right now. The glorious aspect of this fact is that when I do closely consider  God’s love for me and then get on with living as someone who knows from the heart that this love and acceptance is total and absolute, my spirit is lifted out of the depths of worry and concern that fear tries to push it into, and I am set free to live as God intends for me to live. It is the grace of Christ that carries the weight of life that this world and I keep attempting to hang around my spirit. So, this same grace is where I find freedom and living in that freedom is how I experience peace in my soul. 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4: 23

 

There are times when we need grace. There are also many times when it is important for us to extend it to others, and all of the grace that we have in us, whether coming to us or flowing out of us, is present because of Christ. He brought the love, care, concern, and forgiveness that are characteristic of God into our world in a direct manner so that everyone could know God and have the opportunity to enter in to His redemption and salvation from sin. This is no small thing, for all people come into life with a nature and a character that is bent upon living outside of God’s blessing; therefore, we are all in need of that saving grace.

 

When Christ enters into us, we are truly changed in ways that are profound and deep. One of the things that comes about as life is lived out in following the Lord, is that Christ’s Spirit works within us to smooth away the rough edges and the harsh elements of our personalities. As the grace that God empties out upon our undeserving lives begins to saturate the deepest recesses of our beings, His Spirit does this transformative work within us so that we become ever more like Christ in our ability to love others, to enter into their lives, and to extend God’s grace to them. This all happens as we also grow in our capability to accept the same begraced gifts from God for ourselves.

 

Granting grace to others requires us to accept it from God ourselves. People do not have the capacity or the capability to manufacture this sort of true and deep-seated forgiving acceptance from the resources of our natural beings. God pours it into our spirits through the presence of Christ within us. He grants to us the ability to live with a form of peace that settles the edgy uncertainties of life and that grants to us the strength and the resolve that are required to face into hard situations and challenging relationships with redemption on our minds and truth as our guide. It is this grace of God that Christ plants deep within us in our spirits that helps to make the chaos of this world bearable and that provides us with all that is required for us to join with Christ in bringing this same grace into the lives of others.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4: 23

 

Here is a blessing that cuts to the very heart of our ability and our capacity to live with the peace, joy, strength, and purpose that God desires for each of His children. Although we may understand grace as that uniquely God given gift of His love and forgiveness that comes our way despite our total lack of merit, most of us don’t do such a good job of taking in that grace so that it resides deep within us and acts as a continual agent for transformative change in our hearts and minds. Yet, that is God’s real intent when He grants His grace to us, for the grace that Christ grants to us is not merely a gift to be received, but rather it is an actively engaged aspect of the work of the Spirit upon and within people who follow Christ.

 

When I realize that my Lord will remain faithful to His promise to never leave me without regard to how big a mess I make of my life, how far I wander from God’s righteousness, and how difficult I am to love, I am, at first, humbled; then, His Spirit works within me to start to change the ways that I think and act so that I am made more like the God-image bearer that I was created to be. As grace works in and on us, we should begin to see that it also cries out to be shared with the world around us. The Spirit of Christ filling our spirits with His love and grace will lead us so that we need to pour out this same grace upon our families, friends, neighbors, and communities.

 

The transformation that receiving grace can accomplish in our own lives can also be the force that brings about true change in our world. Grace needs to be taken in deeply, but it should never be held onto as if it is a finite and irreplaceable commodity. Instead, Christ desires for us to make it the filter through which we view the rest of our world. Then grace can become the way that we connect with others in a manner that brings the presence of the living Christ into their lives.

 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4: 23

 

Here is a blessing that cuts to the very heart of our ability and our capacity to live with the peace, joy, strength, and purpose that God desires for each of His children. Although we may understand grace as that uniquely God given gift of His love and forgiveness that comes our way despite our total lack of merit, most of us don’t do such a good job of taking in that grace so that it resides deep within us and acts as a continual agent for transformative change in our hearts and minds. Yet, that is God’s real intent when He grants His grace to us.

 

When I realize that no matter how big a mess I make of my life, how far I wander from God’s righteousness, and how difficult I am to love that my Lord will remain faithful to His promise to never leave me, I am, at first, humbled; then, His Spirit works within me to start to change the ways that I think and act so that I am made more like the God-image bearer that I was created to be. As grace works in and on us, we should begin to see that it also cries out to be shared with the world around us. The Spirit of Christ filling our spirits with His love and grace should be leading us to need to pour out this same grace upon our families, friends, neighbors, and communities.

 

The transformation that receiving grace can accomplish in our own lives can also be the force that brings about true change in our world. Grace needs to be taken in deeply, but it should never be held onto as if it is a finite and irreplaceable commodity. Instead, we should make it the filter through which we view the rest of our world. Then grace can become the way that we connect with others in a way that brings the living Christ into their lives.