Maintaining Grace and Self-Worth

This morning as I was glancing through the news on the computer, I came across a photo of an elderly actor and his daughter-in-law on stage as he was being honored.  What struck me in the face was her inappropriate dress, especially when all the abuse messages are posted everywhere.  Proudly, I judged this was sending mixed messages to men.  After spending a few minutes further on this, I was led to call a very good friend for her thoughts and she had thought the same as I.

Still dissatisfied we both knew there was something that had barbed our thoughts that needed praying about.  Then I remembered in my younger day, there were many times I had worn skimpy bikinis and other revealing  clothing.  It was apparent that I needed to forgive myself for earlier misjudgments and know that was never, ever a part of my pure self, just as issues are coming to the forefront to be addressed and healed.  God’s man is pure and perfect in Spirit and we are continuing to receive His grace.

Hebrews 4:16 reads, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  There is never a “too early” nor a “too late” time to feel God’s Love.

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Loving God

Today as I ponder loving God, I am lead to a sentence in a book where the author says, ” I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”  What a powerful idea!  Isaiah 30:20-21 states, “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'”

Often, those teachers are those we love the least, but then I think about that priceless pearl that begins as  an irritant.  Once again, I realize lessons become blessings when understood.

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Grace of God

This month our ladies’ book discussion group is reading and discussing “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” written by Philip Yancey.

The last paragraph of Chapter 3 speaks to me.  “Grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it and I am one of those people.  I think back to who I was —resentful, wound tight with anger, a single hardened link in a long chain of ungrace learned from family and church.  Now I am trying in my own way to pipe the tune of grace.  I do so because I know, more surely than I know anything, that any pang of healing or forgiveness or goodness I have ever felt comes solely from the grace of God.  I yearn for the church to become a nourishing culture of that grace.”

That certainly does not say anything about earning or deserving grace or saying the right prayer or even doing anything to lose that Grace.  2 Corinthians 4:15 reads “For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace that is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.”  Today I will make the effort to see and feel that grace.

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Peace

Recently I read from a Bible commentary “Ancient philosophers drew connections between sound thinking and peace.”  This just reinforced how important my thinking is to me!    If it is filled with anger, bitterness, and anxiety; that is certainly not conducive to health and well-being.  It is said in Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”  Isn’t that referring to Love and Truth?

Negative thought should be cast out as soon as it is recognized and replaced with Truth and Love.  That is my plan for today.

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Doubt

There are times I feel as if my prayers are effective and then, there are times when they seem “hit and miss”.  As I still my thoughts and soften my heart, right then and right there I realize that is when they are working because I know without a doubt it is God and not me.  The doubts I entertain are never, ever about God but my worthiness or receptivity.  Humility and gratitude fill my heart as I lay my earthly all on the altar.  I also know I am worthy and the precious child of God as we all are.

Psalm 5:3 reads “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning  I lay my requests before you  and  wait in expectation.”

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Staying Pro-Active

Today, I will practice trusting God with small things while things are running smoothly.  By doing this, when a challenge appears, it can be treated and dismissed as a pebble rather than a mountain.  Spiritual senses is strengthened by doing just this!

Matthew 6:20-21 reads “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

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Seeing God in Football

Last night as we were watching the college Football National Championship, I first noticed different players from one team kneeling alone for a few seconds which I surmised they were praying for the upcoming game.  The first half of this game was not good for this team; so the second half the coach brought in, not only another quarterback but some players from the second team as well.

It was apparent that this coach was listening to an inner voice, which I know to be God, as he was completely out of his comfort zone by putting in these new players.  Not only did they win the game in overtime, but as several of the young men were interviewed after the game, they would mention “God”.  How inspiring is this?

Philippians 4:19 reads, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  We can see God everywhere and this is just what I will be doing today!

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