August 10, 2021 – Reflections on “Transforming Grace!”

 Grace, grace, God’s Grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin.

The lyrics to this hymn written in 1849, I sang since I was a child. Now I am older and begin to understand the fullness of the meaning. Grace is the Gift of Salvation from God through the teachings in the life of Jesus and His death, burial, and resurrection.

Until we ‘humble ourselves before the Lord, He cannot exalt us.’ There are many understandings for us. And yet, when we are filled with pride in what we can do, we cannot humble ourselves and seek God. We cannot understand.

When we see God’s Hand leading us and preparing to lead us in His plan for us, are we able to give Him Glory because of His Wonderful Presence in our lives. One way to give Glory to God is this, So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the Glory of God… I Corinthians 10:31.

It is how we live, our actions and words that glorify God. From the beginning, the life of Christ is authenticated by our Father in Heaven. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a Voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. Mark 8:7-8.

This is truth from God. Sometimes we confuse man’s ‘truth’ as to what we must listen to. When we measure the words, a man tries to tell us, it is good to measure it against the Word of Truth. Here we find, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father, also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” John 14:6-7.

Why should we obey? Who has the most authority in this world? The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:35-36.

Not a day goes by without the awesome of God’s Creation and the Wonder of the tiny things. Today I saw a tiny black insect in flight. I tried to identify and see God loves creating polka-dotted bugs. Such a tiny detail, but God is rich in detail and the big picture.

Nothing expresses the awe and wonder of our Lord God’s creation as well as these verses. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19:1-4.

From the time of childhood, we learn to obey. As teenagers, we ‘know’ more than our parents. And we can make our own decisions, or so we think. Yet we haven’t discovered the blessing of obedience. The following verses reveal the overwhelming joy and blessing of obedience.

      Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this, we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey His commandments.  For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. I John 5:1-3.

      “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18.

During WW II, I saw too many war pictures of children suffering… from enemy soldiers. I couldn’t sleep. I remember my Dad coming to ask me why I cried. When he heard, he took me by the hand for a walk in the backyard. No one was there to threaten me. Since he held my hand, I knew I would be safe. I slept soundly afterward because I trusted my Dad. He has been gone since 1979; I wrote a poem about shifting my trust from my Dad to our Father in Heaven. When I am fearful, I remember this verse.

         There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. I John 4:18-19. I remember how many times God and angels begin with, “Fear not,” while talking to us. And I love this promise from God… Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29.

Where is God? His Presence fills the earth from even before we are born. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:9-12.

How do we learn to trust our Lord God? First, we learn, Whose we are, and then we know who we are. Belonging to Him creates an eternal blessing, and He becomes our Father who leads us and guides us.

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 

         Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in His way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Psalm 37:3-7.

The pathway to Heaven is given, when we learn Whose we are, and then we know where we belong and who we are as we travel through this world. I am, who God says I am!