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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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!
While pondering about human popularity, I was gently reminded how important that was to me while in school many years ago. It seemed necessary to me for those to like me even when I may have not liked them in return. Many times, I have seen it in parents who want to be their children’s best friends or in jobs where the leader was obsessed with his popularity rating so that his job suffered.
When we put God first and realize He is our main concern, everything else falls into place. John 16:33 states “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer, take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted! For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.”
We are never told that everyone is going to like us or agree with us. What is important is that we hear God and obey Him!
Many, many years ago I read an article about someone’s outlook on Heaven. There was someone who died and was at the pearly gates where St. Peter exclaimed he would be going into Heaven. Overjoyed, the man asked if he could just take a glimpse at hell first, so St. Peter obliged.
When the gates of hell were opened there was this long enormous table filled with luscious food and drink and oversized gold utensils. There was much complaining going on because as the people were attempting to feed themselves, the food would fall off before they could get the fork to their mouth. The yelling and griping was so offensive, the man hurriedly said he was ready to go to Heaven.
Inside, there was the almost the exact same scenario with the elegant table filled with food and drink and the large golden utensil, but the only difference, people were feeding each other so there was only joy heard.
This is applicable today as we find it necessary to help each other. This is finding Heaven.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:4-6