As the calendar takes on a new year, we flip through the photos, whether it be puppies, golf images or as mine hangs proudly … Tropical Islands. The empty squares indicating days yet to be lived, those 12 pages can either propel us or paralyze us.
The change of the new year has traditionally become a ‘re-setting’ if you will of our life compass. We evaluate the past and plan for the future. For some of us, this enfolds sitting down writing out our Resolutions. Money to be made, exercise routines to be eventually avoided, diet plans for hopes of a ‘new me’, buy that new house, get that promotion, start that new reading plan. Don’t get me wrong, these are all good plans of a attack for the new year. However, have we considered that instead of a resolution to do better, get more, perhaps be something other than we are, that we seek … revelation?
Recently I have again revisited ‘grace’ and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Grace, not only is it a most beautiful word, but a powerful element within the Kingdom of God. Paul uses it in many greetings and closing words, “… grace and peace be yours in Christ Jesus…” I will not share the potentially boring F.Y.I. preaching (as a friend calls it) religious or theological information to pack our heads with more ‘stuff’, but I will do as the Holy Spirit has with me recently, massage your heart with God’s love.
Grace, ‘unlimited kindness and mercy of God freely given to the undeserved.’ Now if THAT does not spark something within you, then let me say it again in a different way and personalize it.
GRACE, the absolutely free expression of loving kindness and favor of God given to me when I do not deserve it. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God…” When I make a mess of things or do not have it in me to go on, or my footing is somewhat not sure, or the next moment of my life needs to be lived … He is. His love for me, protects me, guides me, sustains me and opens doors for me. He gives me wisdom beyond my own intelligence, understanding that amazes this old gal and basically He is all that I am not. His plan, (or might I risk saying) His resolution for me is found in Jesus Christ, I can not NOT be anything but victorious. Grace.
Faith puts us on the tracks of grace. Remember in the Indiana Jones movie, when Jones is in pursuit of the ‘holy cup’ of Christ? (Play short movie clip now in your mind) In the journey, he travels through tunnels and passages ways and ultimately comes out only to find a HUGE ravine between he and the entry way to the cup. Soon he has the revelation that the ravine is ONLY a deceitful image. Taking a handful of sand, he tosses it across the ravine to find a clear path to the cup. He stands, extends one leg, closes his eyes and by faith takes that first step across.
I know this is a poor and perhaps silly illustration, but for me, faith is picking up the sand and tossing it across our ravines … grace is the ability to walk across and keep walking. Daily there are many forms of ‘ravines’ to be crossed… DAILY He is there to get us through to the other side with an unbroken and immense supply of more grace. Jesus says “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9) How many of us are weak? How many of us this last year have grown tired in spirit and soul? My hand is raised! Wait, both hands!
As we stand at the door of 2012, may we truly position ourselves to seek a fresh revelation of Jesus. Learn more of His love, trust His hand and bow more in gratitude of the grace He freely gives. As we have sung in our churches,” I want to see you Jesus…”
I pray over us as Paul did, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14)
In Him, DeDe ( “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” ~ Heb. 10:24)