October 19, 2017

Were It Not For Grace

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Time measured out my days, life carried me along
In my soul I yearned to follow God but knew I’d never be so strong
I looked hard at this world to learn how heaven could be gained
Just to end where I began where human effort is all in vain

Were it not for grace…I can tell you where I’d be
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
With my salvation up to me
And I know how that would go—the battles I would face
Forever running but losing the race…were it not for grace

So here is all my praise expressed with all my heart
Offered to the Friend who took my place and ran a course I could not start
And when He saw in full just how much His Love would cost
He still went the final mile between me and heaven so I would not be lost

Sandi Patty
written by David Hamilton, Phil McHugh
*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Were it not for grace!” (Were you belting out this chorus along with Miss Sandi Patty?)  I believe you (me, too!) are thoroughly and thankfully cognizant of the awesome goodness of Almighty God to mankind in the incredible provision of His grace.  And it is SO good to be aware of where we would be…but perhaps even more important to recognize that, because of grace, we are where God would have us to be.  We—all of mankind!—are constant recipients of God’s amazing grace!  Throughout the Bible, we find many believers well aware of and thankful for God’s grace!  Whether it was James offering motivation to the Hebrews living in dispersion throughout Europe or David’s exclamation of praise, these are just two examples of men who were assured of the truth regarding grace.

But He gives more grace.
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

Equally we, too, should be assured of all that Jesus’ sacrifice and death has given to us by God’s grace.

[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God,
freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy),
through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
Romans 3:24

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace
in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1 and 2

And so we can also praise our God declaring how good and kind He has been to us! We are redeemed, saved, freed from slavery to sin and now live, in that freedom, under grace.

For sin shall no longer be your master,
because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:14

Paul shared the following with Titus as he urged him to encourage and reprove the people in Crete.  May we have the same heart—keeping in mind the grace we have received and do constantly receive!

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
waiting for our blessed hope,
the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness
and to purify for Himself a people
for His own possession who are zealous for good.
Titus 2:11-14

Divine Protector

SeekingHimLogo

Every word of God is flawless,
He is a Shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Proverbs 30:5

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

A ‘shield’ is something that protects; and so God is saying that He is a “…Shield to those who take refuge in Him.”  He protects those who come to Him for refuge.

After this the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision
…Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your Shield, your very great reward.
Genesis 15: 1

At this time Abram was fearful but God reassured him in a vision that He was Abram’s shield and reward—He would protect Abram.

Those who trust in the Lord, rather than in things that can be seen,
receive the Lord as their Help and Shield.  Consider these verses:

Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord?
He is your Shield and Helper and your glorious Sword,
your enemies will cower before you and you will trample down their high places.
Deuteronomy 33:29

We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield.
Psalm 33:20

For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield.
The Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Psalm 84:11

O house of Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their Help and Shield.
Psalm 115:9

He remembers those who fear Him and promises to bless them.  God rules in heaven but has delegated the rule of the earth to humans.  All of us need to take God seriously on His words.  What He said He shall do…He will do it.  He cannot change His mind for He is unchangeable.

Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind;
for He is not a man that He should change His mind.
1 Samuel 15:29

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You because You are our Shield in our lives.  We thank You for You have showed us other Scriptures that have built our faith once and again…more and more.  Let Your grace be sufficient as we trust in You always.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyFive: Delighted In, Favored, and Honored

cl delighted in favored and honored

Hadley, my two-year-old granddaughter, recently spent a week with me.  And, yes, I pampered her as all grandmothers do their grandchildren.

Like most women, Hadley enjoys a bubble bath at the end of a day and I was happy to oblige her.  One night, along with the rest of the bath toys she likes to surround herself with, I tossed a crown into the tub that had been used for decoration on a birthday cake.  As she soaked in the bubbles, the crown floated past her.  She grabbed the crown, placed it on her head and said:

I’m a Queen.

Oh, the imagination of a child!  How quickly Hadley had made the transition from being a little girl surrounded by bubbles and toys to wearing the title of Queen!  Just for fun, let’s play an imaginary game.

Suppose you were standing outside the palace gates of a king. As you stood there at the gates, your attire looked something like this:

  • you were clothed in filthy rags of whining, coaxing, self-pity, anger, resentment, revenge
  • you fought for your own rights and pushed your way through life
  • you always tried to borrow from others the kind of love you desperately needed
  • you rummaged through garbage pails looking for scraps of self-realization
  • the life of a pauper was your lifestyle

As you stood outside the palace gates in your filthy drab, you heard the king beckoning someone to come to him and be his bride.  You look around to see who he is calling, but there is no one else standing at the gate at this time.  And then you hear him issue the call again.

You look up to the window where he stands, your eyes meet his gaze, and say:  “You can’t mean me—why I’m just a pauper.  I’m not good enough for you. And my appearance, well, I am not the prettiest woman in the world.  I wouldn’t be a very good helpmate either, because I am just so dumb.  One of my teachers in school told me I would never amount to anything, and she was right, I didn’t; I’m just a failure.  No, I can’t marry you; I’m just too unworthy to be your bride.  But, thanks for asking anyway.”

Without another word spoken from the king, he stretched forth his hand beckoning you to come into his arms.  This time, you caught a look of love on his face that you had never ever seen on another.  It penetrated into the very depths of your heart and you at last realized that, “Yes, he wants me!”  You accepted his proposal, you were quickly ushered into the palace to be with him, and he placed a crown on your head.  Instantly, your life took on a new identity with the king in the palace.

Oh, my dear friends, this is no fairy tale, it is for real.  It is a story about YOU and ME, and how quickly we transitioned from our pauper state into a place of royalty when we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior.  Oh, yes, we became the Bride of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  You now stand daily in His presence and—

  • He sees you as His gift that He delights in—Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 62:4
  • He takes pleasure in you—Psalm 149:4
  • He rejoices over you with gladness and singing—Zephaniah 3:17
  • You captivate His heart—Song of Solomon 4:9
  • You have favor in His sight—Psalm 84:11; Exodus 33:12; Psalm 4:3; 5:12
  • He honors you by making you royalty—Revelation 1:6; Romans 5:17

Enough said!  Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will just go fill my bath tub with bubble bath, light a candle, turn on the praise and worship music, and hop into the tub with my crown on. Just like Hadley said: “I’m a Queen!”

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * 

Let us pray: Father God, I thank You for rescuing us out of our pauper state through the shed blood of Your son, Jesus, into a place of royalty. I am overwhelmed when I read in Your Word how much You delight in me, how much You favor me, and bestow honor on me as Your queen. May we all wear the crown and title in a way that will bring honor and glory to Your name by fulfilling the purpose for which You created us to be. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

CHRISTLife — TwentySix: Always A Receiver

cl always a receiver

Time measured out my days, life carried me along
In my soul I yearned to follow God but knew I’d never be so strong
I looked hard at this world to learn how heaven could be gained
Just to end where I began where human effort is all in vain

Were it not for grace…I can tell you where I’d be
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
With my salvation up to me
And I know how that would go—the battles I would face
Forever running but losing the race…were it not for grace

So here is all my praise expressed with all my heart
Offered to the Friend who took my place and ran a course I could not start
And when He saw in full just how much His Love would cost
He still went the final mile between me and heaven so I would not be lost

Were it not for grace!”  I believe you (me, too!) are thoroughly and thankfully cognizant of the awesome goodness of Almighty God to mankind in the incredible provision of His grace.  And it is SO good to be aware of where we would be…but perhaps even more important to recognize that, because of grace, we are where God would have us to be.  As Mrs. Myers so abundantly points out, we are always  recipients of God’s amazing grace!  We are the joyful “receivers not independent achievers!”  Here in this 26th chapter, Always A Receiver, she writes about grace/God’s favor over 20 times!

Throughout the Bible, we find many believers well aware of and thankful for God’s grace!  Whether it was James offering motivation to the Hebrews living in dispersion throughout Europe or David’s exclamation of praise, these are just two examples of men who were assured of the truth regarding grace.

But He gives more grace.
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

Equally we, too, should be assured of all that Jesus’ sacrifice and death has given to us by God’s grace.

[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God,
freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy),
through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
Romans 3:24

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace
in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1 and 2

And so we can also praise our God declaring how good and kind He has been to us! We are redeemed, saved, freed from slavery to sin and now live, in that freedom, under grace.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:14

Paul shared the following with Titus as he urged him to encourage and reprove the people in Crete. May we have the same heart—keeping in mind the grace we have received and do always receive!

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God
and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us
from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people
for His own possession who are zealous for good.
Titus 2:11-14

Lady in Waiting: Manipulation and Maneuvering

 

This post is going to boil down to two questions:

1. Are we trying to maneuver and manipulate situations to our benefit ourselves?

2. Or, are we turning our situation over to God and trusting Him to send us the man (job, friend, etc.) He has chosen for us?

 

I find it interesting that we as women will go to many extremes to get what we want.  These extremes are not always manipulative, nor does it involve us “crawling across broken glass” to reach what we want. But nonetheless, we are willing to get very creative when we want something we can’t instantly get our hands on.

I can relate to this because I am a “now” person. I see something I want and I want it now. There are a lot of times where I have to step back and look at the situation, I have to step back and pray about the situation; I need to ask God questions like “do I need this”, “is this for me?” and before I met my husband I had to ask “Is he for me?”

Manipulation is a form of control.

We feel that we can lead a situation in a direction that will benefit us in the way we feel it should.

Our motives may be pure. Simply to position ourselves to better our chances at the attention we seek. Whether this attention is from a man, or an attempt at securing a better position at work, or catching a deal at a store, the bottom line is that with this manipulation and maneuvering we are trying to gain control but we are also trying to take the control from the one person who has the power and desire to work on our behalf.  We are trying to take the control away from God.

Again the two questions we need to ask ourselves: Are we trying to maneuver and manipulate situations to our benefit ourselves? Or, are we turning our situation over to God and trusting Him to send us the man (job, friend, etc.) He has chosen for us?

God wants to bless us, he wants to give u the desires of our hearts, but we have to turn the control over to Him, and trust his timing.

Psalm 84:11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly

So what do we do in these situations? What do we do when we want something or someone and we don’t have a clear path to that thing or person? Like the authors of the book said, instead of maneuvering the situation we are to do nothing. Give it to God. Be the person He created you to be, we continue to bless those around you as we are commanded to do regardless of the attention it may or may not generate. We trust His time and His plans. And we must pray.

With Love,

Tonya Ellison

_________________________________

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord,

Thank you. Thank you for having our lives planned out since before we were even born. At times we try to control situations around us; we try to make them work for us. Please forgive us for forgetting that you are working on our behalf and that you have already touched the situation and that it will play out to our benefit.  When we are facing situations in which we want to manipulate the control, please touch our hearts and remind us that you are in control, remind us to bless those around us, because that is what you designed us to do.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

_________________________________

Your Assignment:

Let’s journal today. Lets look at situations in our life that we may be trying to maintain or gain control from God. Journal about it, you don’t have to share this part, but look around and see if there is a person you can focus on blessing rather than focusing on the situation you want to change. Please share this part. This lesson came at a great time of the year, we can turn our situation over to God and our control over to God and we can bless others.

_________________________________

For the “Lady in Waiting” Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the “sign-up here” button at the top of our webpage; which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!