Grace, Sweet Grace!

1Grace – God’s Undeserved, Unmerited, Unearned love and acceptance of you…

1. It’s the ring on your finger, robe on your back, kill the fatted calf and let’s have a party kind of love

2. It’s God’s love despite the fact that you have a ball and bat in your hands and a broken window to point to which is the result of your actions and past

3. It is God saying, “I love you” – no more guilt, no more shame, no more fear, no more hiding

4. It is PEACE when you are caught up in the pit of despair and anxiety

5. It is LIFE when you are in the clutches of death

6. It is a SMILE in a world filled with frowns

7. It is a HUG in a life more interested in doing you harm than give you love

8. It’s ASSURANCE when all you feel is that you’re grasping for a lifeline

9. It is a TOUH OF LOVE in the midst of a world that is much more apt to give you a smack of rejection

10. It is ACCEPTANCE when you are unacceptable

11. It is FORGIVENESS when you are unforgivable

12. It is HOPE when you are hopeless

13. It is STRENGTH when you can’t stand

14. It is HEALING when you are broken to pieces

15. It is RESPECT when you are feeling like you have not a shred of self-respect

16. It is NO CONDEMNATION when all you are feeling is condemned

17. It is FREEDOM when you are caught in the vice of judgment

18. It is JOY when you are burdened with sadness

19. It is MORNING when you’re always living in the dark

20. It is RESURRECTION when you feel pinned to a cross of death

21. It is LIGHTNESS in the weight of difficulty

Grace…when you are standing over your life looking at the stuff that gone on in you…when you are shamed by the wreckage you’ve caused…lies you’ve told for self-preservation…or opportunities you missed because you were so self-involved…when in moments that only quiet and solitude can surface within you…when your junk catches up to you like all junk does sooner than later and you get stuck in guilt…it is time to embrace GRACE!

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The Sweet voice of Jesus!

1.pngFinding Quiet – Listening for Jesus’ “Sweet” Voice

This is one of those devotionals that is a “no duh!” for many people. Many ARE apt to say, “well of course Jesus wants us to listen to His voice.” Didn’t Jesus say in John 15, “my sheep hear and recognize my voice?” Even so, you would be surprised how many Jesus followers look at me with puzzled faces when I asked them if they have “heard from the Lord lately.” Many are either too busy, too distracted, or not knowledgable of something that should be a no brainer for a Jesus follower…listening for voice of Jesus. If you are following somebody, doesn’t that assume you are listening to whom you are following? So, find a quiet spot and reflect on the following words:

“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

“With our whole heart, soul, mind, strength and fortitude; with our whole understanding, powers, effort, affection, and feeling; with every desire and wish, let us love the Lord our God who gives each of us our body, our soul, our life; who creates, redeems, and saves us by mercy alone; who does all good for us, the miserable, wretched, rotten, and ungrateful. Let us desire nothing else, want nothing else, delight in nothing else, except our Creator, Redeemer and Savior who alone is good; who alone is holy. Let nothing hinder, separate, or come between us. Wherever we are, in every place, hour, and time of day, let us continually, truly, and humbly hold in our heart and love the Most High, Trinity and Unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Creator of all, Savior of all, we believe in, hope in, and love You. Unchangeable, invisible, unspeakable, unfathomable, You alone are most gentle, most lovable, most delightful, and totally desirable above all others” St. Francis of Assisi

Voices, sounds, and noise fill our lives. Radios blare inside of our cars. Televisions are on most of the day in our homes. Smart phones and other personal music devices fill our ears with song and sound. You must admit, a quiet moment is hard to come by these days. It might be said that those moments of silence and peace are near extinction in modern culture.

Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that God wants to speak to you. The question is: “are you listening?” Or, are there other voices more interesting to you than the voice of God?

You must quiet your heart in order to learn how to listen to God’s voice. Discovering ways to nurture the practice of silence in our lives is part of the necessary journey into really living as a Christ-follower. Finding quiet for even a moment or two gives us an opportunity to train our hearts, ears and lives to hear a far sweeter voice. Silence teaches us to listen to the songs of the Savior and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sings a melody of transformation not condemnation. The Spirit sings a melody that speaks the words of eternal life to the seeking heart.

“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it” A.W. Tozer