Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Embrace Grace...Embrace Doubt


Lelia at Write from the Heart is hosting the blog Bible study from Liz Curtis Higg's book Embrace Grace: Welcome to the forgiven life" . Everything quoted from within this study I have in orange, the color I have used in my Bible to mark any scripture referencing GRACE.Click on the icon above to join in if you can.

This book is a simple read, yet full of depth. It has a tone of being being at a resort and you are getting a massage...a massage of your heart. Everything moves slowly, gently. The tough muscles are being worked out, such as the subject of this chapter-doubt. It needs to be brought to our attention if we are indeed to embrace this indescribable gift of GRACE.

What doubts or fears-about God, about faith, about heaven-do you harbor in your heart?

How vulnerable am I to be here? I think the most fearful passage of scripture is this:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ~ Matt. 7: 21-23

This was referenced in our community Bible study and when one of the women reminded us of it, her tone held such a negative feel, like a child telling another child they were not good enough to be on the team. Can you even imagine hearing those words from God? Yes, there has been a time when this has cast fear in my heart and mind. These are not the words I ever want to hear.

Pinpoint any experience in your life that may have triggered such uncertainty.

Being a Christian since a child, surrounded by the church my whole life, this scripture has always put a pang of pain into my heart when I have heard it or read it. Then when you add my failures, some which are pretty big and in some eyes enough to keep me from those pearly gates, this scripture is really tough. But what I have learned is to always look at the verses that preceded and follow the piece of scripture you are studying and through the hard knots of my life I have learned to then allow His GRACE to flood over me as I embrace His promise of not not being lost forever from Him...

18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
I Never Knew You 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Build on the Rock 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

What would it take for you to put aside your doubts and fears and "just believe"?

It is the faith one has in the power of scripture and God's promises that washes away that doubt and fear with GRACE. Those who "does the will of the Father", who "builds on the Rock", who "hears His Words and does them"...those people will not be "departed from Him". Now that is GRACE. He knows we will never be good enough. You were made to love God and be loved by Him. In loving Him you will seek Him out, seek His will and produce fruit. In Him is the full assurance of your salvation.

let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. ~ Heb 10: 22


Drawing near, in faith and in GRACE ~ Pamela


4 comments:

Jill said...

Great words Pamela! My book should be arriving in the mail this week - I'm looking forward to joining in. It's interesting to read about embracing doubt - wow what a challenge! But something I've been working on and today as I continue to make plans to attend SheSpeaks (I've really been questioning that and praying about it this last month with the pregnancy, but more so the doubt). Anyway God hasn't closed the door, so I know I shouldn't either. Trying to embrace this doubt, see it for what it is and trust Him for His grace and strength. Blessings to you, Jil

Stacy said...

Good message! Loved the comment about the massage on the heart. I am finding this book to be really soothing for my currently bruised soul. Simple read with powerful words that are impacting my heart.

Have a great week!
Stacy

Kim said...

Pamela,

Love the "massage of the heart" comparison...so true!!

I am following along with you girls as you study this book...some of these reminders of HIS grace should be stapled to my forehead...the Lord must get so tired of my doubt...

Kim

Lelia Chealey said...

This is really good Pam. You are a master at relaying God's message of grace...could be because you choose to accept it.
love you friend...missed you in KC.