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GRACE and…

It is
1944, an hour before midnight.  I burst into the living room with teenage
exuberance.  My laughter stops as I see Mother sitting quietly in her
favorite chair by the fireplace, with the Bible in her hands.
        
I asked her, “Mom, what are you doing?”  Her reply echoes down through the
years, “I am looking for a word to live by in 1945!” 
        
Choosing one word seems an impossible task, even now. Each word seems to lead
to another.  There is no one word big enough to live by.  Then I read
Titus 2:11-13.  And I read again.  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.
God’s grace pops out, and This
Grace becomes the word, Hope, through Jesus Christ.
        
What follows is living in this world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion
living with devotion to God.  This scripture leads to the Day of Glory of
God when the Glory of God and Jesus is revealed. Now I say, “Thank you, Mom!
For teaching me by your example so long ago!” 
        
An article written by Edwin V Hayden, published in the Christian
Standard catches my eye.  It begins, “We are standing at the edge of
1969, we feel like a youngster preparing to dive in the deep waters of 1969.”       Someone could write this at the end of every year as we face the
unknown.  The world seems to be awash with fear, lawlessness, and
dread.  Where do we find hope and joy to live another year?  Is there
an end to war?  Will the swords of warfare turn into  ‘plowshares’ of
quiet living?  The Lord will mediate between peoples and will
settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords
into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no
longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
Micah 4:3.
In
2018, truth becomes lies. Hate is the norm.  Right is wrong and wrong is
right.  In this upside-down world, we expect peace and our desire of
freedom, seems a dream.
        The
world lives by the ‘Rule of Brass,’ “Do unto others before they do it to us.” 
We live from offense to offense finding no love.  Who can make a
difference every day we are alive?  This verse tells the how and the
why.   Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the
life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known
me, you would know who my Father is
.” John 14:6.
        
What is my list of Words for 2019?  God’s grace, found through Love,
Truth, Honor Holiness, Thankfulness, Forgiveness, Righteousness, and
Servanthood
begins the list. 
 
       The Bethel lyrics sing their way into my
heart.  “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a Child of God.
(Bethel Music).  And from Hillsong Worship, “I am chosen, not forsaken,
I am who You say I am!
” 
Yes. 
Even before we were born, God had his hand on us.  But even before I
was born, God chose me and called me by His marvelous grace.
 
Galatians 1:15. 
This
means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life
is gone; a new life has begun!
 And all of this
is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has
given us this task of reconciling people to Him.
2 Corinthians
5:17-18.
What
could these verses mean? A friend suggested three words, and the more I thought
of them, the more I can see a mountain of Joy in a few words.  Because of
God’s Power, He gives us Purpose in this Life as we grow in Him.  This is
our Process through life, to grow in joy of being His.   
         Always
be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 
 Let everyone see you are considerate in all you do.
Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead,
pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has
done. 
 Then you will
experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace
will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians
4:4-7.
        
Governments come and go, Cultures disappear, yet our God is faithful beyond
measure. The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more
awesome than all who surround his throne.  O Lord God
of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you,
O Lord? You are entirely faithful.
Psalm 38: 7-8
        
“Mother, I began with Grace as my word this year. Yet again, one word
just won’t do for a whole year for me.”  Life begins with God’s
Great Love and His Gift of Grace!


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