It’s there–God’s Grace

I have not always believed God’s grace sufficient.  I have known the words, the promise, but not always felt their reality.  I was once a young mom with a sick baby unconsolable… who would stop breathing in our arms, leaving an empty bassinet at my bedside, even as my milk letdown…

As I sang words of God’s grace yesterday in church the images returned, of the bleak drive that rainy morning to the cemetery where the wee casket lay so unreal…as we sang, “Jesus loves me, this I know…” God’s grace was there, but it did not eliminate the crushing loss.  It shielded us, grew us up, taught us love is more than good feelings. And babies are not always born healthy and whole.  Grace has shaped our lives.  It has always been there though I doubted its efficacy.


But today, I am at the opposite end of that journey. I woke with this song still singing through my heart calming my pre-trip-packing jitters.  I’m breathing in your grace, breathing out your praise… I got up to enjoy the quiet and as I sat in the sun-flooded warmth jotting down these thoughts, the phone rang to announce the sweet news–another baby has been born into my world.  My own daughter’s first child, a strapping baby boy with a great shock of dark hair like his mother before him.  He is alive. He is well.  God’s great grace has carried him and his mama and his daddy through a long waiting and labor.  But he is born.

And my heart, a lot older, and a little wiser, sings, knowing it is true–God’s grace is there in the newborn cry /It’s there in the light of every sunrise / It’s there on a wedding day / There in the weeping by the graveside —God’s great grace. It finds me.

And it is enough.

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
 “For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.  Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth…
Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!” Ps.135:5,6,13,20

Rejected, but CHOSEN!

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him—He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not—I do not receive glory from people…How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me,
because I know you don’t have God’s love within you.

Lo, I come to do thy will, O God—“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted—If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you… If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours—As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… whoever believes in him will not be put to shame—having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Jn.1:11 ESV; Isa 53:3 ESV;  Jn.5:41,44 ESV; Jn.5:41 NLT British text; Heb.10:9 KJV; Lk.2:42 ESV; IITim.3:12 ESV; Jn.15:19-20 ESV; I Pet. 2:4-6 ESV; Eph.1:5-6 NKJV

Ultimately, it is only God’s approval that matters.  Why then do I hope so hard for your approval? It is the bent of our old natures to be thought well of by others.  We would be worshiped too I suppose, if we could.  Well at least can we garner a little praise our way? I haven’t begun to experience persecution for the sake of Jesus.  Then again, how often have I held my tongue when I might have said a word on His behalf?  What holds me back from offering words of life?  Might it be this overriding desire to be thought well of rather than risk rejection?

Hmm… just pondering these things today.  They say that with old age we care less what people think and are more apt to speak our mind.  If this be true, let it be the mind of Christ we express!  May He grant us courage and confidence based on His forever acceptance of us and our wish to share that love. 







TODAY #16–Citizens of a different Kingdom!

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins— Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses—“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you…Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom—He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.—For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Col 1:13-14; Acts 13:38-39; Jn. 8:31-32; I Jn.5:20; Is. 55:3; . Lk. 12:29,31-32; Rev 21:7 KJV;  I Jn. 5:4 KJV [References are from the ESV unless otherwise noted]

I’ve just begun to learn Colossians 1:13ff by heart.  I can’t get very far by memory yet but these words tromped through my head again and again in the night when I found  myself awake: He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. Incredible really, this invisible transfer that makes us secret agents in a world ruled by an evil prince (Eph.2:2).  It changes everything, at least it should.  And so we keep believing as we renew our minds to truth that is not seen but has the radical power to set us free from every tiresome bondage.  We are forgiven.  We are overcomers.  The power of sin is broken and we are accepted in the Beloved.  May the Lord of lords make His truth real in down-to-earth ways in our lives today!