Amazing Grace

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16-17

“Upon His grace I’ll daily ponder…”

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Tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Come Thou Fount

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
I’ll praise the Mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Jesus, sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Ode to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
And let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

The Grace of Jesus is on them

Right after I picked grace as my word for 2014, I listened to a sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. The sermon started with an overview of the letter. The pastor listed 10 issues present in the Corinthian church that Paul addresses. If you don’t know much about the Corinthians, I encourage you to learn more, but for right now all you need to know is the church was full of division and sin. It was pretty much a complete mess.

The pastor then talked about 1 Corinthians 1:4. “I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”

He asked, given how messed up the church in Corinth was, how could Paul say he always thanks God for them? Answering the question is pretty simple, since answer is right in the verse. “Because of the grace given you in Christ Jesus.” Paul thanks God for them because of God’s grace.

Hearing that was eye opening. I realized how little I understand God’s grace and it convicted me about how I view and treat others. I knew that I don’t extend grace to others as I should, but hearing this verse explained in that way further emphasized to how infrequently I extend grace to others.

I’m so thankful for these insights and I’m looking forward to all God will teach me this year about grace. I’m also praying I that this verse will impact my life in the coming weeks and I will be able to show others grace as God has shown me grace.

One Word 365 – GRACE

I’ve been hesitant to commit to a New Year’s resolution this year. When I set goals, I like them to be challenging but also realistically accomplishable. I’ve never picked working out or eating healthy as a new years resolution, because I know there’s no way they’d last past January.

This year I’ve had a hard time coming up with a goal for the year that fits these requirements. Then, today, I read a blog post about One Word 365. The idea of One Word 365 is that you pick one word to focus on everyday, all year. Instead of a resolution, you commit to intentionally focusing on one word all year.

I’ve decided to give it a try. The word I picked for 2014 is grace.

I didn’t need much time to deliberate about my word. It was the first one that came to mind. God’s grace amazes me, but I often have a hard embracing the grace he offers and I also struggle to extend it to others. I’m praying this year I will not only understand grace better, but also that it will transform my life. I’m not sure exactly what this will look like, but I’ll be blogging about my journey throughout the year, so stay tuned.

Study Break #2

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…  work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord Colossians 3:17,23

Another verse I’m trying to cling to as things get busy and it’s hard to remember why I’m doing this. Ultimately, it’s all for the Lord.

On a completely different note, if you need a quick break here are a few fun thing  I’ve found this week.

1. Fabian Oefner: Psychedelic science If you like either science or art, you’ll love this TED talk by Fabian Oefner. His art is both beautiful and thought provoking.

2. A Cat’s Guide To Taking Care Of Your Human If you own a cat or know anything about them, this video is hilarious. It’s a great 2 minute study break!

3. Carol of the Bells – Pentatonix Want to get into the Christmas spirit? Pentatonix is amazing! If you love them after this video, you can find their whole Christmas album on Spotify.

4. Grace for Your Unmerry Moments Because , if you’re like me, you probably need to be reminded of God’s grace right now.

5. HILARIOUS kid’s notes Need a quick laugh? Kids are SO funny!

His Power in My Weakness

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 1 Corinthians 12:9-10

I look at the lives of my Christian friends and see incredible people filled with joy and love. Men and women of God who are so filled with the Spirit of God that it overflows into everything they do. When I see God working through them in wonderful and amazing ways I’m overjoyed they are experiencing God so fully. However, sometimes I’m discouraged that I don’t always feel the way everyone else seems to.

Instead of always feeling blessed by God, I just feel broken. Despite knowing in my head that through Christ I am redeemed, I sometimes feel hopeless instead of hopeful. I’m just as sinful and broken as I’ve ever been. How can I really be a child of God who walks in the light if everything in my life is such a mess?

I read 1 John 1:6-7 and feel dismayed. I know that I’m often not walking in the light. So I’m a liar who doesn’t live out the truth or fellowship with God? How can I feel anything but miserable?

Fortunately, the chapter does not end there. It goes on in verse 8 and 9 to say that anyone who claims to be without sin deceives himself and if we confess our sins God is faithful; he forgives and purifies us. I can still have joy, because it is in my weakness, when I feel most broken, God shows his power. He shows His power to forgive even the worst parts of me and His power to make me new. I rejoice because God not only forgives me, but is also turning me into something beautiful.

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