My friend, Mary, added this pic and I thought ,”That is EXACTLY how I feel living under a GOD OF GRACE WHO LOVES ME NO MATTER WHAT! I want to live like this! Arms lifted high-RECEIVING. Lately, I find myself in awe of the overwhelming vastness of GOD’S GRACE. Is grace really free or do I need to do some things because I am in a “divine pay-off” relationship with God? Am I living in GRACE or LEGALISM? GRACE IS UNMERITED FAVOR-no question-but I think the depth of this would shock us. We often think of the word “SIN” as an action or thought when it can also be a state. Why does it seem as we live in 2 worlds? The busy, daily grind when we don’t think about God at all on Tuesday, yet we can experience the spiritual HIGH of a Sunday morning.
I CORINTHIANS 3 TEACHES US THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF PEOPLE.
- “NATURAL MAN” (one not knowing Christ as Savior)
- “CARNAL MAN “(person having come to know Christ, but not obeying Him as Lord)
- “SPIRITUAL MAN”( person having trusted Christ as Savior & obeying Him.) With Romans 7 as our guide, we are stuck! When you can, read ROMANS 6-8 in one sitting. If you want, write down what you see. GOD’S incomprehensible GRACE breaks that ridiculous chain that we all wear- STRIVING FOR GOD TO LIKE US!
When I look through these chapters, I think, why do I do what I do? If I am a legalist, it’s because a vine of deceit has woven itself around me that says “work for God”or sadly, impress others with my devotedness. If I live in GRACE-REAL FREE GRACE-I walk with God BECAUSE I’M RESPONDING to Him in BROKENNESS. I know, I mean really, I can’t do it. I can’t obey without God’s Spirit, I can’t desire time in His Word without His gentle hand, & I want to be self-centered at least 30 times a day. YET, HE WAITS….KINDLY, WITH OPEN & GENTLE HANDS & ALWAYS A BETTER WAY! CHECK YOURSELF WITH THESE QUESTIONS. THEY HELP ME!
- WHY am I doing this activity (bible study, speaking, or serving in the church kitchen)?
- Do I believe God would STILL love me if I didn’t do these activities? Do I RECEIVE His kindness ?
- Do I “feel good” about myself when I do “religious things”?
- Do I reckon myself dead and crucified with Christ and that nothing good dwells in my flesh? I love it that LIFE STARTED AT A SYMBOL OF DEATH- A TOMB! ANY GOOD IN ME IS HIS GOOD.
- I have to ask God to break me any spiritual pride, really, to help me see the true state of our humanity. When I do, I am be surprised (maybe discouraged, sometimes?). Then,& only then, do we awaken to see OUR COMPLETE NEED AND HIS MAJESTY…and THAT IS GOOD.
May our lives be open to Him in True Humility,
There are two creatures that amaze me-the caterpillar and the butterfly. In a sense, they are both butterflies. Yet, only one operates AS a butterfly.
I once read a quote said, (Classic Christianity? Bob George?) “Nobody looks at a butterfly and says ,”Hey, look at that converted worm!” Reality says the butterfly has been utterly transformed. This is the ultimate “Opposite Day”! From ground bound to free flight! Dull gray to delicate yellow. Once ignored as common, now celebrated as unique.
Is there any creature that reflects our identity as believers in Christ? Death to life. Peasant to princess.
Adjust our vision, Lord.
If we have are believers in Jesus, we know (but struggle to believe) that God HAS a life planned for us. The life He longs to gives is new beauty, not former shame. It’s not even a makeover! It’s a Make New.
Proud? He can give us His humility and security.
Vain? He can give us His beauty and peace.
Weak? He can give us Resurrection strength.
Every day, I have to have to answer the question “Will I accept myself for who God says I am ?” If you are a human, you will instinctively see the slimy caterpillar as your “mini-me”. You will think of yourself as only suited for the ground. You feel like you are a creature meant for lowly living-primarily in the dark.
Ask Jesus to help you see the truth of your new identity. He does not see you as a worm!
Picture the old chrysallis husk cracking open and falling off. This is your past. Maybe yesterday?
Now, imagine our wings. Our wings are light and free, yet strangely out of proportion! Our remake reflects God’s design for us.
I have always loved butterflies and never knew why. I think it’s because they are transformed beyond imagination and just so beautiful to watch! They seem unhurried, secure, and quietly content in their new form. I want to live like that-my function being reflected by my form!
Believe truth and look up to your heavenly stylist. The strength of His smile shines on you. Open your wings!
Now fly because you can.
You may know this, but if Jesus Christ lives in you-you are a missionary. GULP. Surprising? If we truly consider the fact that Jesus designed us to move outward toward the hurting world, we are grasping His heart for His created world. I appreciate how Jesus calls us in Matthew 28:18-20 to share His gospel-He assumes we understand the absolute magnitude of this calling. Something happens when we ask ourselves an honest question, “Do I really believe this is the best thing in the history of the world?”
Is evangelism a spiritual gift? Yes! Is it a calling for each of us? Yes! For me, evangelism is an primary calling… yet, He still calls me to allow Him to grow the spiritual gift of mercy through me. When Jesus calls me to be a person of mercy in Matthew 5, He doesn’t add, “But, Tristie ,only if it’s your gift.” Don’t you love that about Him?! He loves to call us into new territory with new power to see a new side of God!
Friend, you radiate the kindness and joy of Jesus to the world. So, be ready because -I promise-THEY WILL ASK YOU ABOUT IT! “Hey, why are you so nice?” “Why do make those kinds of decisions?” “Why do you say “thank you” to people?” and a favorite…”Why are you so happy?”
What do you say now?
I explain that I was a very different person who looked at the person of Christ and asked myself “Who is this?” Through the book of John , I discovered that knowing Jesus as not a religious act as much as a realization moment. I needed His forgiveness to experience His life! Then-praying the WHOLE time-I try to share 4 truths:
1. God loves each person.(Jn. 3:16)
2. All have sinned and need a Savior. (Rom. 3:23)
3. Jesus Christ is that Savior.(Jn. 3:16, Jn. 10:30)
4. All you have to do is BELIEVE! (Jn. 1:12)
This is it. THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS EVER! Forever freedom from sin’s prison and the absolute joy of possessing an everlasting kingdom destiny. You are made for this. Let Him use you in this way! Look up and lean out.