I am so excited about this study!  Learning from Jesus all about His finished work of grace for us, all the way from the Incarnation to the Ascension!  I have wanted to understand more about grace, and I am looking forward to all He will teach about this wonderful topic!  There seems so much more I want to know and understand...I really want to have my mind opened to explore new vistas of truth, grace and love with Him!  (I am going to be writing this in first person as I share my personal journey with Jesus...I will just be sharing what He is teaching me as we go along...I hope that type of format is okay!)

Seeking to understand the finished work of Jesus, from the Incarnation to the Ascension, seems like an overwhelming thing..how can I understand something so deep that theologians have studied and pondered and thought about for hundreds of years? 

"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth."    1 John 2:20-21

These verses in 1 John truly touch my heart, as I feel I have been ‘trying’ to understand some of the new ideas about my original identity and God’s grace for the past 6 months, and at times it has been such a struggle. I think the struggle came partly from resisting new ideas and also from the feeling that I was lacking understanding and had to somehow ‘get it’ by my own effort. I have struggled so much with legalism and living by ‘Christian performance’ in the past, and I’ve often thought it was all up to me and my effort to make growth or understanding ‘happen.’

Yet these verses reassure me so much. We are reassured that we already know all things and already have the riches of understanding within us. The Spirit has anointed us, for God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh to touch our deepest parts and remind us of what it true, of what we inherently know deep within. So I do not have to struggle to ‘get’ some understanding or knowledge – it already resides within me! I do not have to feel lacking in any way – I am full of Him and His wisdom!

So how do I draw this knowledge out? Perhaps that isn’t meant to be an ‘effort’ either. I think of the definition of grace as ‘the influence of God’s love on our hearts and its reflection in our lives.’ I know that I am under grace, not law. So this reassures me that it isn’t up to me to ‘pull’ knowledge out of myself somehow by my struggle. God in His grace, by the Spirit, will draw that knowledge out, and it will be seen in my life, a reflection of His grace. It is not a struggle to pull up one’s reflection in a mirror – it is automatic, as soon as you gaze into the mirror itself, the image of the person, their real self that they truly are, is reflected back immediately and perfectly, without the person having to ‘do’ anything to make it happen! So this helps me relax. All I need to ‘do’ is look to the mirror, the Word, and He will automatically show me the truth of who I am. He is working within me to draw that knowledge out, and it will reflect in my life naturally as I gaze at Him.

I can relax and cease all my ‘trying.’ I do not have to figure everything out. I can be reassured that deep down, I already have an inner knowing. I don’t even have to stress about how to access that inner knowing. I need only look to the One who knows all and rest assured that He will show me what I already know deep down to be true – about God, about my identity in Christ, about the worth of all mankind before God. “By the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am.” (Mirror Bible) That sounds restful, not stressful!

I like the idea of this study being restful!  I love the fact that it is an easy and light journey, that it is not up to me..that He will draw the truth that is already inside me up to the surface where I can see and understand and experience it!  Wow!  Thank You Jesus!