The more you learn about God's grace - rather, the more your eyes are opened to the grace of God, and His unfailing, unending love, the better.
That goes without saying, right? Yes, but it's just that sometimes (right now for me) this truth that humbles, humbles to the point that it hurts.
It hurts, all right. But even in this, I am reminded that chastisement is also because of His grace. He chastens whom He loves.
We were talking about a line Christ said in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7: 'You will know them by their fruits.' As we were talking about it with other brothers and sisters in Christ, I was led to take a hard look at myself in the light of what's been going on, what I've been saying, and what hasn't been done yet, and it was pretty grim. So grim that I had to walk out to go to the restroom and to pray. See, now that I think of it, I was just reminded of how incapable I was on my own of doing anything good...
...But praise God for wise counsel. This, according to a seasoned brother of mine, was normal, in the sense that we would look to Christ during these times. The song 'Mercy Came Running' came into mind, and I kept playing it on the drive home... its words pierced right into me as I broke into tears:
"Mercy came running,
like a prisoner set free,
past all my failures, to the point of my need!
When the sin that I carried
was all I could see;
When I could not reach mercy,
Mercy came running to me!"
Right then and there, as that chorus just kept on playing, I was just reminded of how much our God just loves us, and how His grace and mercy and glory and goodness are freely available all the time. Whether we are at the top of the mountain on in the middle of the deepest of valleys, call upon the name of the Lord, and assuredly, you WILL be saved!
As I was contemplating on how my attitude stunk and how my words and my facial reactions can hurt other people, I felt down, because to me I saw these attitudes were the result of a heart that was selfish. But now that I think about it, I'm not about to agree with any accusations declaring that's how I will be permanently! No, I believe that my God, my Heavenly Father, He loves me so much to let me know that these things come out of a brokenness that only He can restore - in fact, it was already restored at the cross, by Christ!
Now that this is realized, I believe and receive the wholeness that overcomes and renews me. And I am just so thankful for Jesus Christ, who will never leave nor forsake me. Nothing can EVER separate me from the love of God, because of what Christ did at the cross for me! Thank you so much, Jesus!
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26