It's good to be able to join in again on this blog Bible study hosted by Lelia. The icon above will take you to our host site for more insight as we walk through this book by Liz Curtis Higgs "EMBRACE GRACE: Welcome to the forgiven life". Every verse in my Bible that has to do with grace I have highlighted in orange (my favorite color) and so I will use orange font here to represent anything from this book.
"I'm all about grace!"-I can't tell you how many times I have said that. I know grace well. I have embraced it, it is what has kept me going, kept me persevering in this cruel world. GRACE. It's in the title of my blog, it was the name I wanted for my youngest but lost to the name Sarah which everyone else in our family wanted. GRACE. I love grace. I live in and through grace. It is my new name.
When I posted to Lelia I would be joining this Bible study I quoted it again..."I'm all about grace!" but I heard God say "really?". Yes, I have embraced His grace but I felt pain in my heart as He asked me if I was doing anything with this indescribable gift. How have I been at giving grace out to others? So I opened this book to to take a different approach at embracing grace...the sharing in the act of this grace that I so cherish. This thought fits perfectly with one of the scripture reference our author gave us:
Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. [Instruct them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real. ~ 1 Tim. 6:17-19 (HCSB)
Liz was encouraging us to take hold of life as she referenced verse 19 but I had to look it up and see what surrounded that thought. What a sweet confirmation from God with what He had laid on my heart! One of my favorite verses He gave me as I entered into women's ministry and in this chapter echo's this journey...
I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close. ~ Rev. 3:8
"When if ever have you ever been aware of God's tender embrace?"
I will never forget the night of my brokenness. Life was handing me one negative blow after another because of my poor choices. I found myself so alone and distraught which was right where He wanted me. I was driving home to an empty house after another negative incident and I remember screaming out to God in tears. I was angry but entering into being remorseful. I entered my bedroom and buried my face into my love seat and just balled. This was not like me. I am not a crier. That night I cried years worth of tears and then the strangest sensation overcame me.
I wasn't alone. I sensed my God right there telling me that. He was never more real in all my Christian life than at that moment. I felt as if my tears were falling into His lap and I felt His hands on my head comforting me. In my heart I knew He was saying "you are forgiven, you are loved. I just need you to need me the most, love me the most". Thus began my journey of living and walking in grace. My life was
transformed. I still have to face plenty of challenges, especially from non-grace filled people and events but I wouldn't trade it for where I am with God and how far He has taken me. Now I need to extend this gift to others.
"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between His shoulders." ~ Deut. 33:12
"What words do you wish God would whisper in your ear?"
Words of confirmation, confirmation in ministry, in raising these girls, in my work. Daily I pray to see Him, to hear Him, to walk beside Him. Just tonight as I was working on the content for tomorrows community Bible study, He spoke to me in the most amazing way. Confirming I am just where I need to be for Him. it was so awesome. Maybe I will share it further in another post. Though I would prefer to hear His audible voice, He speaks so loudly through scripture, so clearly through my Bible studies. I am humbled.
For the LORD is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations. ~ Ps 100:5
"Are all things possible with God? How can you be sure of your answer?"
I believe this with all my heart. It's trusting Him to be greater than my circumstances. It's faith that He is in control. Am I perfect in this. No. Wish I didn't fail so much, let words discourage me, let life get in the way of focusing on Him. I have a better grip of looking at my life, looking at myself through the lens of His clear vision. I have to. You have to.
Looking at them, Jesus said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God." ~ Mark 10:27
Oh my beloved Jehovah Roi, my Shepherd, I thank you for your indescribable gift of grace! Help us to accept it and then to extend it to others.