Our Daily Grace: Found By God

"We don't have to make sure our life is free of sin to find God. God has found us, regardless of our situation, regardless of our condition."

Mike Yaconelli

"If I ride on the wings of morning, if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean, even then You will be there to guide me; Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there."

Psalm 139:9-10

God has found us. He accepts us as we are, in whatever place we are.  He follows after us no matter what, with goodness and mercy. He is there waiting for us, no matter where we go. He meets us every time we turn around with all His love, encouragement and help.  We are surrounded by the love and care of God!

A thought:  Wherever I am, God is there with me!

Our Daily Grace: A Real Gift

"A real gift never puts the receiver in debt.  A real gift is only to enjoy.'

Lewis Smedes

"Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!"

2 Corinthians 9:15

He gave us His own Son, a gift of unconditional love and salvation for all.  The Son gave the gift of His life for us, to defeat all the darkness of sin that was hurting us and bring us new life in Him.  And He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to be with us always, a Friend and Defender like no other.  All this and so much more we are given for free, with nothing required of us in return.  A gift is free or it isn't a gift. We are not in debt to God for this gift; He just longs for us to enjoy it!  All we can do is say Thank You, God, for such a gift beyond words!

A thought: God's gifts have no strings attached!

Our Daily Grace: Seated in Heaven

"God wants us to understand and to believe that we are more truly in heaven than on earth."

Julian of Norwich

"He also raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

Ephesians 2:6

The safest place imaginable is in heaven with God.  No danger, sorrow or pain can touch that place. And that is where God has put us already!  In Christ we have been raised up from death to life and seated in heaven with Him.  Our spirits are with Christ and in Christ there. We can say then that we are more in heaven than on earth.  We are found safe in the arms of God, securely sitting in a place of honor right beside Christ, enjoying the rest and infinite joy of God right now.  Our deepest self is safe with God and always will be.

A thought:  In my spirit I am always safely home in heaven with God.

Our Daily Grace: Loved, Not Used

"He won't use you."

Paul Young

"Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us."

Ephesians 5:2

What He wants most from us is not our works, good behavior, service, praise, holiness, perfect theology or even our faith.  He only wants to love us, to give everything of Himself to us.  Love doesn't ask for anything in return.  He isn't loving us in order to change us or 'use' us.  He is simply loving us, whether we ever change, believe, or grow, or not, just because we're so irresistible to Him!  We're His very own children, and what a parent wants most is not the child's good behavior but just for the child to know the parent loves them, no matter what, always and forever, to infinity and beyond!  What a great heavenly Dad we have!

A thought: There are no ulterior motives in God's love.

Our Daily Grace: Grace in Troubled Times

"Love overcomes everything that is counter to peace and love."

Julian of Norwich

"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.  I've called your name. You're mine.  When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.  When you're in rough waters, you will not go down."

Isaiah 43:1-2

God doesn't leave us to suffer the troubles of this life alone.  He is with us, suffering with us, feeling every hurt and loving us through.  Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble, but to take heart because He has overcome this world.  And He is the One who lives inside of us.  His love and strength continually hold us up.  With Him inside us like that, we will not be overcome but instead be overcomers because it is up to Him to take care of us and He never fails!

A thought: He will see me through it all.

Our Daily Grace: His Love Is Greater

"The secret of the mystery is: God is always greater.  No matter how great we think Him to be, His love is always greater."

Brennan Manning

"I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured.  Then your lives will be filled with all that God is."

Ephesians 3:19

His love is always greater than we think it is, more far-reaching, more accepting, more tender, more, more, more.  Right when we think He couldn't forgive us, He does.  Right when we think He won't be there for us, He is.  Right when we think He must have rejected us, He hasn't.  Right when we think He wouldn't help us, He does.  He is always surprising us with His love that keeps on loving, keeps on caring, keeps on helping, keeps on supporting, no matter what!  To start to realize this truly immeasurable, gigantic love that we can never get out of or come to the end of, we start to experience such a rest, relief and fullness inside.  Being full of this love is being full of God Himself, for all that He is, is Love!

A thought:  In God, I have the love I've wanted all my life.

Our Daily Grace: He Sat Down

"Real liberty is the freedom to live knowing you are accepted, loved and kept unconditionally - the joy of knowing that nothing you do neither adds to nor subtracts from the work of the cross."

Jamie Weeks

"After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

Hebrews 1:3

After Christ finished the work of the cross and resurrection, He sat down because the work was finished and complete, with no additions or improvements necessary.  His work is perfect and could not be any better, done without our help and sustained in heaven for all time without our help!  He purified us of sin, once and for all. He proved His love for us, once and for all. No holy work of ours could add to what He did, and no terrible failure could take away from it. It's totally apart from us, and therefore we are safe.  We are purified, totally righteous, accepted and complete, and and nothing can change that - we are kept this way forevermore!

A thought:  Nothing I do could change what Jesus did for me!

Our Daily Grace: We Can Honor Ourselves

"Look into your heart, be yourself, and be ok with you."

Darin Hufford

"You made us a little lower than You Yourself, and You have crowned us with glory and honor."

Psalm 8:5

Sometimes it can be a challenge to give ourselves the same kindness and honor we give to others.  Yet God Himself values us so highly that He crowns us with glory and grandeur!  We have been created only a little lower than divine, and we are so valued and honored by God Himself.  You can be yourself, because your self is an awesome, glorious individual with traits similar to God.  You can be absolutely ok with you!

A thought: God honors me so I will honor myself.

Our Daily Grace: Comfort

"When Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way."

Brennan Manning

"When my troubling thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations comfort my soul."

Psalm 94:19

The great thing about God is He knows we're human.  He knows we get discouraged, frustrated, worried, and even doubtful.  None of this fazes God.  He wants us to come as we are to Him, with all our problems, turmoils, anxieties, fears and weariness.  He knows just how to console us, just how to comfort us!

A thought:  God comforts me.

Our Daily Grace: A Friend to Be with Us Always

"The Holy Spirit is the best friend we could have:  He brightens our day and He lightens our heart!"

Susannah St. John

"I will talk to the Father, and He'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have Someone with you.  This Friend is the Spirit of Truth."

John 14:16

It's so good to know we always have a Friend with us, the dear Holy Spirit who lives within us, to be with us always.  Through all the joys and sorrows, the celebrations and disappointments, the challenges and the fears, through all the years, He will never fail us.  He will support us, laugh with us, sorrow with us, uplift us, and cheer us on.  He is our biggest encourager and defender, and He loves walking through this life with us!

A thought: The Holy Spirit has my back!

Our Daily Grace: Free from the Law

 "Jesus laid the demand of the law to rest. It no longer has any power to accuse or demand."

Paul Young

"But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit."

Romans 7:6

It's such a wonderful thing for those of us who have never felt we could be 'good enough' or 'do enough' to find out we are not under the law. There is no pressure or demand placed on us.  And there is no condemnation or accusation placed on us.  We are simply free.  Free to be.  Free to do anything we want and still know that we are acceptable to God!  When we find this out, that we are accepted and righteous in Christ, regardless of our behavior, it just makes us want to love and follow God more and more!  That is the beauty of living the free life in the Spirit, rather than the bound life under the law!

A thought: There is no pressure on me to perform and no accusation on me if I fail.

Our Daily Grace: Beloved

"You will always be the Beloved."

Graham Cooke

"And a voice came from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Matthew 3:17

Jesus is the beloved Child of God the Father. And wonderfully, in Christ we are also the beloved children of God the Father!  He proclaims over us, 'This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased!' We are His dear little ones, and He is so delighted with us!

A thought:  I am very dear to God.

Our Daily Grace: The Peace of God

 "The peace of God is residing deeply in the innermost parts of your being.  We are not talking about a fragile sense of peace that can be easily disturbed, one that we have to fabricate ourselves; this is God's peace, the peace that God Himself enjoys!"

Francois du Toit

God's peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

We have the peace of God Himself inside us.  This peace swallows up fear and anxiety.  This peace is God Himself being peaceful in us.  The Peaceful One is already there inside us, keeping us safe.  He is an ocean of stillness, calm, and tranquility inside us, and we are buoyed up and float in this ocean of quietness.  He is where our anxious souls find rest.

A thought: God's peace is stronger than my anxiety.

Our Daily Grace: The Total Answer

 "The total answer is a Person, Jesus Christ."

Dan Stone

"I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives in me."

Philippians 4:13

Whatever our struggle or challenge, whatever our worry or fear, He is the answer.  Whatever our doubt or confusion, whatever our need or situation, He is the answer.  He is handling everything in our lives in and through us.  Whatever is needed, He is more than able to meet the challenge.  We never have to go through anything on our own!

A thought: My Friend Jesus is taking care of all that concerns me today.

Our Daily Grace: Love Drives Away Fear

"God is not mad at you, He is mad about you!"

Francois du Toit

"Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment."

1 John 4:18

How wonderful to encounter God and find out He is not angry at us, not raising His hand to punish us, but instead find He is smiling at us, reaching out His hands to embrace us!  He is love, not judgment. He is love, not punishment. His wonderful love is acceptance, peace and friendliness.  His is a perfect love that chases away our fears. We never have to be afraid of God.  He will not hurt us.  He is a safe God!

A thought:  There is nothing to fear from God!

Our Daily Grace: No Requirements for Love

"You don't have to grow, change, or be good to be loved."

Brennan Manning

"Love endures through every circumstance."

1 Corinthians 13:7

Love makes no demands. Nothing is required of us to get God to love us.  We don't have to change in order to be loved, and we don't have to change in order to stay loved. We simply ARE loved. He is already here, loving us.  He is already here, embracing us.  He is already here, delighting in us.  And He always will be!

A thought: In this very moment, just as I am, God loves me.

Our Daily Grace: God Our Encourager

 "You are exactly where you need to be; you are doing a great job!  Don't change a thing!"

Darin Hufford

"Our God is a God who strengthens and encourages you."

Romans 15:5

God always has a good word for us, a word to uplift our spirit and encourage us.  He isn't pushing us to perform better; He is celebrating us right where we are, pleased with us right at this moment.  We don't need to change a thing for God to be proud of us.  He knows how tough it is to live on this earth and He is so proud of us right now!

A thought:  God's words to me are always encouraging.

Our Daily Grace: Only One

 "All words related to God are positive."

Amy Mester Hendry

"God is light and in Him is no darkness at all."

1 John 1:5

God is only good.   He is only loving.  He is only kind.  He is light with no darkness. There is no dark side to Him, for He is only good. There are no dark or negative words about Him, only good and positive words. He is the purity of perfect love that has no anger, hate, judgment or rejection in it at all!  He is only One - Pure Love with no mixture of anything else. 

A thought: God will ONLY love us!

Our Daily Grace: He Is Kind

 "He's the kindest person we've ever met."

Graham Cooke

"As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle and patient."

Colossians 3:12

God asks us to be just as He is - loving and kind.  He is always thinking good thoughts toward us and always doing good things for us. It's so wonderful to think of His heart that is so full of love, so gentle, so caring, so good, so considerate and kind!  He has the softest heart of all, and He has only love and kindness to give us.

A thought: I am living in the incomparable kindness of God.

Our Daily Grace: Radiance, Not Shame

"The radiance of His beautiful face filled the whole of the earth, following Adam into the depths of hell, rescuing him from endless death."

Julian of Norwich

"Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."

Psalm 34:5

At our worst, in our deepest darkest places, if we dare to look into His face we see that He is smiling at us!  We'll never come away from an encounter with Him feeling ashamed; instead, we'll come away radiant because we've been with the One who radiates only joy, only peace, only love to us!

A thought: Jesus makes me smile!

Our Daily Grace: Unchanging Love

 "His love is unchanging. And He loves you 100%. He won't love you any better when you become better. He loves you 100% right now.  Even if you have no plans to become better, He will still love you 100%.  Because that's the way He is."

Graham Cooke

"Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His loyal love endures forever."

Psalm 136:26

God is 'all in' and loves us 100%!  He loves us to the maximum amount every moment of every day.  And there's nothing we could do to change that!

A thought: God is loving all of me with all of Himself!

Our Daily Grace: What's On God's Mind

 "Sin isn't the main thing on God's mind, love is."

Anne Cary

"God is Love."

1 John 4:16

Love isn't just one of the many attributes God has - Love is His very Being.  God IS Love.  What a relief that God is Love, not judgment.  His main focus is loving us, accepting us, embracing us, helping us. He is not rejecting us when we sin but is sticking right beside us. Rather than making us suffer for sin, He  is suffering with us.  He is not punishing us but healing us. What a wonderful God and Friend!

A thought: God is loving me, not judging me.

Our Daily Grace: God's Way Is Called Grace

"What have you done that causes you to think God may be disappointed or perturbed toward you?  Whatever it is, you need to set it aside because that's what He has done."

Steve McVey

"He saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'"

John 1:29

We have a system in this world, where people should 'get what they deserve' and 'pay for what they did wrong' - but God has a different system: it's called grace.  God is a crazy God who doesn't even count what we do wrong against us, doesn't hold us guilty for sin, and actually takes our sin out of the way and absorbs it into Himself, blessing us instead.  God hasn't ever been perturbed with you or disappointed with you due to some failure on your part.  God has always loved you unconditionally, accepted you freely, and held you securely in His arms.  Let's stop worrying about our sin and start enjoying the One who loves us more than we could ever imagine!

A thought: God's way is grace.

Our Daily Grace: The Central Theme

"He is the central theme of all that exists."

Andre Rabe

"For all that exists originates in Him, comes through Him and is moving toward Him; so give Him the glory forever. Amen."

Romans 11:36

This creation, this march of the cosmos through time, is a love story with God at the center.  He is the hidden heart of the universe, the hidden lover of our souls, the hidden goal of the story of humanity.  As not only the theme but also the ultimate author of the human story, God already has the ending worked out and will make sure we get there.  One day God will be fully revealed as the center of all creation, and we will find ourselves face to face with the One who loves us forever - the ultimate happy ending to the story!

A thought: My life is a love story written by God. 

Our Daily Grace: Gentle God

 "While we may feel anger, disagreement, and strife within ourselves, we are always mercifully enfolded in the Beloved's gentleness, kindness, and humble accessibility."

Julian of Norwich

"The wisdom that comes from God is first utterly pure, then peace-loving, gentle, approachable, full of tolerant thoughts and kindly actions.."

James 3:17

God's wisdom is to be gentle and kind to us, peaceful and approachable with us.  We may be harsh with ourselves or each other, but there is no harshness coming from God, only gentleness like a still small voice or a soft breeze of His Spirit blowing in our souls. We may feel tension and anger within, but His gentleness continually wraps around us with softness, love and acceptance.  He is so good to us!

A thought:  God is always tender and gentle with me.

Our Daily Grace: Superlative Love

 "Any good we can do God can do better."

Antony Campbell

"Your steadfast love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds."

Psalm 36:5

All the universe couldn't contain His love, a love beyond imaginings, a love beyond all superlatives. However much we have been loved, accepted, understood, defended and supported by the most loving person in our life, that is only a tiny echo of the immensity of God's love and care for us! 

A thought: Noone has ever loved me as much as God does right now.

Our Daily Grace: The Fellowship of the Trinity

"God does not invite us into an inferior fellowship, but to the very fellowship that He and His Son enjoy for all eternity!"

Francois du Toit

"God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

1 Corinthians 1:9

Through Christ we have been brought into the very love circle of the Trinity.  We have been lifted up into the perfect relationship of the Father and the Son.  We have been made part of that fellowship of eternal love, sharing, and joy.   This is our inheritance as children of God!

A thought: I am wrapped up in the love of the Trinity forever.

Our Daily Grace: Beautiful

"Every person is beautiful to God!"

Anne Cary

"Never retaliate: instead, cultivate the attitude to anticipate only beauty and value in every person you encounter."

Romans 12:17

God asks us to look for beauty in every person, because that is how He is with people.  He looks for the good in every person. Even if we sometimes lash out at God, He doesn't retaliate.  He simply keeps seeing our value, speaking positive words of blessing and encouragement, seeing something good and beautiful in us.  He is a true encourager!

A thought: God sees beauty in me even when I can't see it!

Our Daily Grace: Healing Our Hurts

God never hurts the hurting; He never bruises the bruised.

Susannah St. John

He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

He is our healer.  He is not inflicting pain, He is removing it!  When we are down, He doesn't berate or lecture us, He simply helps and heals us.  He is a place where we can let our defenses down and share our hurts and wounds. Our broken hearts are safe with Him.

A thought: God is healing my heart.

Our Daily Grace: Fresh Every Morning

 "Every day is a good day, and You're the reason why!"

Cain the Band

"The Lord's loyal kindness never ceases; His compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; Your faithfulness is abundant!"

Lamentations 3:22-23

God's kindness is always there for us, renewed and fresh with every sunrise.  Every day He is doing something good. Every day is a precious gift, filled with the love and compassion of God!

A thought: Every day God's goodness washes over me.

Our Daily Grace: Not Blamed

 "He does not blame me for sin."

Julian of Norwich

"I came to save the people of this world, not to be their judge."

John 12:47

Jesus understands how hard it is to live in this broken world.  He doesn't shame us for being human, having problems, or making mistakes.  He doesn't expect us to be perfect.  He is here with us, not to judge or blame us but to help us.  All He ever wants to do is to help us!

A thought: God is thinking about me, not about my sin.

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