Thursday, January 9, 2014

My One Word: I want to learn His unforced rhythms of Grace

Throughout the last couple of months of 2013, God kept bringing me back to one word again and again. Through my devotional time, in the scriptures and when the topic of this word came up in our Sunday School class in December, I knew that this had to be my Word for 2014.



Grace.

Grace has been on my mind lately- the giving and receiving of it. From God to me, from me to others and vice versa.
How amazing it is.
How astonishing it is.
How unbelievable and free it is.

Been contemplating what it means to give grace to others...
and also to myself.
And how I have neglected to bestow grace and how that has played out.
So in the contemplating and ruminating God has given me opportunities to extend and receive the gift of Grace.... that or since I've been pondering on it, my eyes are that much more open to seeing it work out in me and around me.... and to seeing the great need for it.
Hmmm.

What does it mean to live a life full of grace...
to give grace
and receive grace.

Oh, yes, receive grace... that's the sticking point isn't it?
At least for me it is.
I so often feel so very unworthy of grace and when its extended to me I fumble something fierce and blow it off and I miss out...
I miss out on the real deep washing.... renewing that Grace gives...
Such grace, such kindness... touching my heart... it most assuredly undoes me at times...
I'm pondering...
grace flowing... overflowing... overwhelming...
filling me up to spilling-over-ness

Here are the scriptures I've jotted down that I'm studying on about grace:

From Isaiah 30-
Cry for help and you'll find it's grace and more grace.
The moment he hears, he'll answer.

And Matthew 11:28-30:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

From Romans 5:2-
We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand-- out on the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

From Romans 5:20-
All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life-- a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

Grace and more grace
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace
Wide open spaces of God's grace
Aggressive forgiveness we call grace
Grace wins hands down against sin
Grace invites us into life

Are those not beautiful phrases to ponder on?!

It is becoming more and more real to me. I'm seeing grace, I'm experiencing grace, I'm giving grace and it is astonishing.

Not a day goes by without His unfolding grace!

I want to live a life full of the unforced rhythms of grace- the wide open spaces of grace- the aggressive forgiveness of grace!
Grace wins!
Grace invites us into life... REAL LIFE.
Grace, great grace- is a lifestyle~~ Lived day in and day out.
Daily He gives me grace and daily I accept it or deny it... daily I choose to pass on this grace for the gift that it is.

And so I mark Twenty Fourteen as the Year of Grace.
I step into this without much in the way of preconceived notions... not like I did last year with Hope. I know that what I truly know about grace can barely fill a thimble  and I'm gulping eager for Him to walk in the wide open spaces of His grace, for Him to teach me the unforced rhythms of His great grace.
And I know that in a couple of very real instances that I need to learn and bestow the aggressive forgiveness that is grace.
I figure on stumbling and falling flat on my face more than once or even twenty times and even bemoaning this One Word. I'm acknowledging that this is going to push me into uncomfortableness....
And I'm pretty okay with that because I know that I will be better for it when December 2014 rolls around.


heavily edited repost from the archives

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