So, if you've read my previous blogs you know that our patient and loving Father in Heaven has been giving me a spiritual third degree for the past couple of months. I thought that I would ramble on the sheer awesomeness of grace and what God has been speaking to me on the subject.
God's grace is a gift that He lavishes on us freely and extravagantly. There is nothing we can do to earn it and, even though He has the right to withhold this gift, He doesn't. His Grace is not something that is bartered for or begged for. Grace is not something that we, His children, have to force our way in to get. Our Father in Heaven, who loved us enough to condemn His own flesh and blood to die on a cruel rugged cross, gives grace every day that we are alive - every hour, every minute, and every second we breath. To think that God has the power to throw His hands up in the air with disgust, wipe the entire earth clean and start completely over - and chooses not to - well, it blows my mind! He extends grace because He wants to. Not because He's forced to or talked into it. When I think of Grace I think of the rain falling softly to the ground, saturating the dry earth, the trees and plants drinking it all in and growing tall and green where they used to be brown and brittle. He does that for us in our lives too, refreshes us, replenishes the dead parts within us. I think of the ocean lapping gently against the shore, the tide going in and out. What a peaceful scene. Yet, with a single swoop he could engulf the entire earth with one giant tsunami and still He doesn't. Not yet anyway... I find it interesting that many consider God in the Old Testament to be a wrathful or vengeful God and God in the new testament a loving and merciful God. Hopefully you understand that the God in the Old and New testaments are one and the same and the only. God's love and mercy are displayed from Genesis to Revelation and to this very day! Think about Adam and Eve, how they bought a lie from Satan and went against God's commandment not to eat from a specific tree. Their eyes opened, naked and ashamed, Adam and Eve clumsily clothed themselves with foliage and made a sorry attempt to hide from their very own creator, something, I dare to say, that we all do at times. The hiding part I mean :) So here we have two people, created in God's image, given the most amazingly beautiful home, The Garden of Eden, and free reign over it. Yet, ONE tree was off limits. One. You know the saying, "People always want what they can't have" right? I believe the phrase was inspired by Adam and Eve. To top it off, they hid, made excuses, and pointed the blame elsewhere instead of straight up confessing. Still, God, in His neverending mercy and grace, tailored them adequate clothing and spared their lives. Yes he punished them as sin does have consequences, but He took care of them. He supplied their needs. God could have ended it all and just returned them to the earth from which Adam was formed, but instead He extended grace and let them live. If that doesn't show that God was loving and gracious in the Old Testament, I don't know what will. From the beginning of time, God set forth in motion this intricate design, a glorious plan, for the redemption of mankind. He knew that it would take more than a long lecture or getting angry. No, instead a spotless lamb would have to take on the sin of the entire world and die in their place. Our place. Wow.. The beauty of His mercy and grace, the profoundness of it all leaves me simply speechless - with a huge smile on my face, a song in my heart, and a bounce in my step. He's untouchable and unchangeable. So awesome! I've become more and more in awe of just how powerful and mighty a God (THE God) we really do serve. Are you as awestruck as I am at how such an infinite, mighty God could love and care about someone as finite as you or me? Psalm 139 says He knit us in our mother's wombs. Knitting is such an art, such a skill, and my Heavenly Father took time to knit me together...wow! We have much to praise Him for! Let us not forget what we have and may the power of grace truly transform us from the inside out so that we may extend that same grace to others. Lord, we love you! Amen!