Monday, December 12, 2011

Grace as a Gift

I get sentimental this time of year.  I am pretty sure I am  not alone!  Each year, though, God shows me a new aspect to the season... a perspective that grows my love of Him and expands my understanding of His Kingdom.

This year the Word is Gift of Grace.  Grace would probably define 2011 as a whole for me. The aspect of Grace as a Gift is fitting.

Grace seems obvious.  Our need to have our sins covered.  Our perpetual position of lost and broken requires the grace only God gives.  But on Sunday the preacher said something that humbled me in the scope of God's amazing grace as a gift.

On Jesus' birthday we received a gift.  Jesus, as the mighty King, Son of God, brought strength and power  because of our weakness.  It wasn't just sin that got us lost... it was our weakness in many things that kept us there. 

We think we are stronger than we are.  America is especially prone to the I can do it myself attitude and we as Americans fall too quickly into suit.

But no one can do it themselves.  Well, we can try, thinking we have it under control.  But things done outside of His guidance and His will eventually end up in the scrap pile out back!  We are too weak to fully lift our own plans and they, therefore, fall apart. 

"We are utterly helpless to change spiritual problems without Christ"

Challenges really are spiritual.  When we submit to His strength to manage all, the problem may still exist, but His strength coursing through us is always enough to manage what lies ahead.

"Christmas Brings Strength"

Praise God for that!  Through our acceptance of His Grace, His Strength pours out.

It is mind bogglingly awesome.... at our disposal (not just for emergencies but for all time time!)... and voice activated.

This gift of power, through grace, is given freely and it is connected to HIS PURPOSE for us.

We search Him, we look to the manger, to that strength in the form of a baby... that hope in promise fulfilled... and we drop to knee like the shepherds and magi of long ago.  We drop to knee and worship.  We drop to knee and pray.

“All hell is vanquished when the believer bows his knee in importunate supplication. ...Be sure that you are with God, and then you may be sure that God is with you.” Charles Spurgeon

I, like most Christians, knew Jesus gives us power to conquer all of life's challenges.  But it is so much more humbling when we stop to consider that power, for our weakness, as a more personal appeal of God to the lost of this world. 

When sin overtakes us, the strength of Jesus through the Holy Spirit within us can overtake sin.  It isn't just the forgiveness and grace... it is also the strength that grace bestows.

As I begin a new week, Pastor's message fresh in my heart, I am thankful for God's guidance by way of His subjects serving in His name.  I consider the first-thing-in-the-morning call we received today, a search for help in a troubled family we are ministering to.  We can draw on that gift of strength and rejoice that we can overcome.... and we can speak this truth to others that they may be able to overcome because through God's grace, true strength was born on Christmas day.  The gift that keeps on giving!


The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
   Exalted be God my Savior! 
-Psalm 18:46


May you be blessed by the gift of strength, given through grace, that HE, a babe in a manger, may be your rock... your everlasting... your mighty savior!








This week I begin linking up with Michelle DeRusha.  It blessed my heart to see women on the web regurgitating Sunday's message and seeking to actively apply it... I was inspired to join in.  After all, what good is a sermon if we don't seek to live it, share it, and allow God to work through it in us every day!  You can join me too!

 

Photo Credits go to Stock.xchng,  http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1121740




2 comments:

  1. SO very glad you joined in this week, Amanda -- I can never get enough good teaching on the topic if grace!

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  2. Michelle, Thank you for hosting and thank you for visiting! I pray this week is going magnificently for you!

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