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G is for Grace

 is for Grace
            1.
Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or
action.
            2. A pleasing or pleasing attractive
quality or endowment.
            3. Favor or good will
            4. A manifestation of favor, especially by a
superior
            5. Mercy, clemency or
pardon.
Christian meaning of grace: unmerited favor of God toward man
– forgiveness, repentance, regeneration, and salvation.
A
grace note in music is a small note written beside a larger note.  This grace note, when played, gives depth, an
elegance of beauty to the melody.  The
grace-filled dancer communicates another world of graciously flowing to the
rhythm.  So, what is Grace?  Is it mercy, favor or pardon?  Or is Grace more?
Have
you met anyone who exudes love with every part of his being?  Everyone has a line drawn, a limit of giving
of himself, a cautious air protecting himself from rejection, shame or
hurt. 
While
teaching a sixth grade class, I attached small flags to pencils and ‘flew’ them
on my desk.  The flags were color-coded
to Caution (yellow – you are on the edge), Go for it! (blue – let’s have fun)
and Stop (Red – I have had it!).  The
flag placed in the tallest position was in play.  My students curbed their behavior to the
color displayed.  That is NOT Grace,  but it is living under the law.  Don’t
cross the line, or you are in big trouble
.”  Living under the law is the way our world
works.
God
gave his people the ten commandments – the law – that they would live by the
law.  If we are ever tempted to exceed by
the speed limit, just 2 miles, we have broken the law.  We do the same with God’s law; we rationalize
the reason it doesn’t mean what it says. 
When
I was a little girl, I heard a vivid sermon that pictured a scene on the edge
of precipice overlooking a deep everlasting fire filled crevice.  Many people moved toward the edge and tumbled
into the fire.  I wondered, how far can I
come to the edge without falling?  I took
baby steps to the edge.  Ever closer…
At the last moment I backed away. It is so easy to want to creep toward sure
death in this world.
God
created us with the power to make choices. 
To follow the law God gave or not. Then, in the fullness of time, a
rhythm of love running-over for His children, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to
earth to give His life on the cross for us. 
He removed the sting of disobedience and fear of punishment with the
Gift of Grace.  In His Grace we are made
complete.
It
has taken so long for me to understand the power of His unconditional
love.  To be loved for no other reason
other than I am.  To love others for no
reason except they are.  We all need
love. Eternity is placed in our souls before we are born.  We want to be loved for who we are and what
we will become….in love and loving as God loves.  We need God in our lives to make our lives
worth living.  Understanding that one
sentence opens our hearts and minds to the extent of truly living His love
gives us. Following Jesus fills us with
the joy of a long journey in the same direction
(as a wise man once said).
For
the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people
. And we are instructed to
turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil
world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward
with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior,
Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of
sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to
doing good deeds. 
Titus 2:11-14
God
sees Jesus, when He looks at us, because of the sacrifice that Jesus made on
earth, covers our sinfulness.  Our sins
are forgiven in the name of Jesus and He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the
west. Psalm 103:12 
I picture in my mind my Suderman grandparents.  Gerhard and Anna Suderman came to visit us.  They held out their arms to us as they exited
the car.  We, my two brothers and me, ran
to meet them.  That is the unconditional
love I picture with God.  There was no
fear of punishment.  No transgression of
laws in our hearts.  The relationship is
pure love.  We longed to do whatever our
grandparents wished. We simply wanted to please them because they loved
us.  This is how we love Jesus.  Because of His great love for us, our desire
is to worship Him, obey Him and live for Him. 
We never want to ‘baby-step to the edge of sin.’
Grace speaks of love, forgiveness, relationship, faith,
humility, willingness, an open heart, a disciplined mind, an open-arms spirit
and ‘being’ that brings confidence and joy. 
It is not what we do or can do for Jesus, but what Jesus has done for
us.  Accepting His Grace is His Joy for
it is His Gift to us.   
— Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn
from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the
Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is
the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 
Matthew 8:3-4
— What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a
little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now
“crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for
everyone.  Hebrews 2:9

For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the
ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us.
We put no confidence in
human effort.  Philippians 3:3
— Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under
the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s
grace.  Romans 6:14
— God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you
can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.   Ephesians
2:8
— “Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us
confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”
Titus 3:7
— May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you
grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father
planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.  Galatians 1:3-4
— Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always
was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his
throne.  Revelation 1:4b

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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