Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 1 - The Father's Heart of Grace - 30 Days of Grace

I have been wanting to kind of do a Bible study on Grace, and thought I would just put my thoughts here.  God is reawakening me to the truths of His grace after I've come through a dry time, and I want to just soak in the truth of GRACE!  Sometimes I feel like I'm learning it all over again, just what grace means!  I feel like the Spirit is impressing truths into my heart one by one, just revealing the beautiful image of Jesus before me, revealing the beautiful finished work to me!  I want to share what He's showing me, and I thought I'd call it "Thirty Days of Grace".  I'm going to try to write some things He is showing me and scripture passages He's illuminating for me.  So this is Day 1!

Grace, the Loveliest Word!

To me, grace is the loveliest word there is, besides "Jesus" - and grace really is who Jesus is.  Grace describes Jesus perfectly. He is the embodiment of grace and the extender of grace to us!  In fact, He IS grace!  But how exactly is Jesus grace?  How does grace describe God and who He is?  And what exactly IS grace?  Sometimes I stumble over describing it, when someone asks me to do so.  I find it hard to put into words something that has changed my life and perception of God and myself so much!  But grace is God's nature, so to look at what Grace is, we can look at who God is and see that's grace!

  From Ps. 145 we read:

4One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.[c]
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.

I know this is a long passage, but I love what it says about God, describing who He is.  How does it describe God? What adjectives are used?  Well, I see that it says He is good, righteous, gracious, compassionate, patient, and loving!  Wow!

This passage tells me that He is gracious in all His ways..and then it lists many of the things He does that exemplify His grace.  What things can we find in this passage that exemplify His graciousness, that tell us what kind of God He is?  Well, I can see that He is RICH in love, He is ABUNDANT is goodness, He is good to ALL, that He has compassion on ALL He has made, that He is trustworthy in His promises, that He is faithful in ALL He does, that He uphold ALL who fall, and lifts up ALL who are bowed down, that He gives ALL their food at the proper time, that He satisfies the desires of EVERY living thing, that He is righteous in ALL His ways and is near to ALL who call on Him.

What I see is a God who is consistently, faithfully GOOD and GRACIOUS and LOVING.  He loves to give, to bless and to help.  He provides for all, answers every prayer, lifts up all who fall or are bowed down.  Is there any stipulation on these promises?  Are they only for a certain kind of people or only for those who do a certain thing/act in a certain way?  NO, they are unconditional!  They are for any and all!  They are for good and bad people, smart and not-so-smart people, sinners and saints!  God doesn't make any distinction!  He is loving and good to ALL!

So I have learned three things:  

I have learned that God is described as good, loving and gracious.
I have learned that the way He shows His nature is by doing good things for people and blessing them.
I have learned that He does good to all without any distinctions or anything required from our side to do.  In other words, no works are required, no level of being 'good enough' to qualify or obtain these blessings.  They are freely given to all.

Wow, this passage is really showing me what it means to say God is a God of grace!  It means He loves and is good to us all unconditionally!  That is His heart!  All this study is starting to help me form a picture of who God is in my mind, and it's also helping me to understand what grace means!

More tomorrow!

Love to all,

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14