HERE

"/>

A Vertical Moment

Filter By:

Lavish Grace

There is no such thing as “too much” grace. However, sometimes, we tend to be “grace-stingy” with ourselves, or with others. We may be afraid that if we are too gracious, others may take advantage of us or we may not take sin seriously. This self-centered view paralyzes us to receive the grace to triumph. Looking for failure in others only blinds us to the grace of God at work in their lives.

Titus 2:11-12, “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…”

The grace of God trains us to renounce ungodliness, and to live godly lives! Grace is the undeserved, unearned, compassionate favor of God over us, extended through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, right? It is not just a “get out of jail free” card? Only God, true to His just, holy character, could take a filthy sinner, actively standing in rebellion of Him, deserving nothing but eternal punishment, pluck that sinner out of the mire of transgression, and pour out on him or her such forgiveness, restoration, love, and a new heart with new desires- knowing that this gracious act will be the door through which He will lead the sinner to reject the ways of the world and live for the honor of the One who saves!

What if we, the church, begged God to open our eyes to the grace He has poured out on us! It’s already there. We just need to receive it. Meditate on it. Humbly thank God for it. Encourage others to see it at work in their lives. Grace cost Christ everything. He didn’t fear the cost, nor did He fear how we would handle His grace. He simply poured it out. “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising its shame…” (Heb. 12:2)

What fears or attitudes do you need to let go of today in order to more fully receive the grace of God in your life? We cannot give out what we have not received. Lord, open our eyes!

Posted by Mary S. with

Sifting

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

I’m not big on sifting. When I bake something, I’m usually too lazy to sift the dry ingredients together before tossing in the wet ingredients. Is my bakery as light and fluffy as it could be without the sifting? Probably not.

I’m even less a fan of spiritual sifting. It hurts. There are times when we can almost feel the metal grates rubbing together over our souls to remove some of the impurities. To help incorporate. To blend fully. And yet, it’s all part of our transformation, our sanctification. God’s got us on a path to holiness, and that doesn’t come easily.

In Luke 22, Satan makes demands (sounds like him.) Jesus allows Satan to sift Simon (Peter), but He prays that Peter’s faith won’t fail. Jesus allows the sifting, but He intercedes for Peter – and for us (Rom. 8:34) – in the midst of it. This is an encouragement for us today. Are you being sifted? Is it painful? If you are a Christian, you can be sure that Jesus is allowing it and He is praying for you.

But beyond enduring the sifting (the trial), God has a bigger purpose in it. The phrase “When you have turned again” speaks to life beyond the sifting. What is Peter to do? (What are we to do after we’ve recovered from a trial?) Strengthen our brothers. Let’s consider how we might share what we’ve learned in our own times of sifting, so we can help strengthen and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Posted by Joan S. with

Previous12345678910 ... 7172