Giving Grace

Giving Grace
Giving Grace

Giving Grace

Sometimes things begin happening and we realize God is creating a perfect storm in our lives.  He is making a point.  He is teaching us a great lesson…one that will change us and grow us and bring us closer to Him.  Ever been there?  You read your devotion; a friend tells you a story; your pastor preaches; a song comes on the radio and you know without a doubt that devotion, that story, that sermon, that song – that was meant just for you.  You want to throw your hands up in the air and loudly proclaim, “O.k. God, I get it.  I hear you.”  Well, recently God has decided to teach me a lesson in grace…giving grace.

You see, I thought I was getting pretty good at giving grace.  I have been blessed to have incredible spiritual mentors in my life who have guided me through what this looks like.  I have listened to sermons and talks on this subject and taken pages of notes.  I have studied God’s word and decided I would do my best to be hard to offend.  But lately I feel as if I am in a spiritual war – Satan is attacking – God is affirming – back and forth – back and forth.  Ever been there?  Then suddenly I find myself in the middle of opportunities to extend grace to others, leading a Bible study that just so happens to be about anger this week and preparing to celebrate Easter – when God poured out His amazing giving grace...on us.

So…I thought I would share what God is teaching me.  You never know – someone reading this just might need it, too.

Grace is a word I know well.  I am a southern girl.  Grew up in the great state of Mississippi and have never left.  I love the south and the traditions that go along with being friendly, inviting and inclusive.  Southerners are gracious people.  We ask about your family, offer you a meal and always say grace before we eat.  We know how to present ourselves with grace and dignity.  We smile and say “bless your heart” - um...even when that is not at all what we mean.  Right?  But God is not teaching me about this kind of grace.  He is teaching me about His grace…His amazing grace...His life giving grace.

God’s grace truly is amazing.  There really are no words to describe it.  It is forgiveness on steroids.  It is like a huge eraser.  It is where the phrase “let it go” originated.  When God’s grace rains down it is as if the wrongs we have done never happened.  They are gone – forgiven – erased.

We know the incredible story of Easter.  God came to earth as a man.  He lived a perfect life.  He died on the cross to save us from our sins.  We know on the third day He arose and will come again to take us home to Heaven.  There are so many things we should learn from this story, but God is impressing one on my heart that I do not want to miss.  He has reminded me that Jesus was falsely accused.  He had done nothing wrong.  Has that ever happened to you?  For me personally, that is my biggest struggle.  Don't misunderstand me.  I am a sinner.  I mess up a lot.   But, I can hardly handle it when someone accuses me of something that is simply not true – no matter how small.  It is so hurtful to be misunderstood, for inaccurate assumptions to be made, for judgment to be cast.  But Jesus completely understands.  He walked right through that and showed us exactly how we should respond when that happens to us.  What did He do?  Well, He could have gotten angry!  He was being mocked and beaten.  His anger certainly would have been justified.  He could have reacted and retaliated.  That would be totally understandable.  He could have been prideful and boasted that they had no idea who they were dealing with and they would pay.  He could have judged them and condemned their actions.  He could have talked about them to the men on the crosses beside Him and even to God - criticizing them.  Or He could have tried to explain how he was feeling and gain their understanding – needing their approval.  But He did none of that.  He was blameless - totally innocent - and being crucified.  What did He do?  He showed us what we should do.  He said, “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they do.”  He was hanging on the cross, suffering, dying and giving grace to those who certainly did not deserve it.  He died for those who mistreated Him; for those who did not love Him; for those who thus far had rejected Him.

There it great lesson…one so great I pray it will never let me be the same.  When I am mistreated, unloved and rejected, let me be found giving grace.  I want to be caught giving grace.  I want to live my life giving grace.  Lord, help me be more and more like you.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

So…just like He was crucified and died for me – I must die for Him.  I must die to my self-centered ways – my pride, my wants, my feelings, my hurts.  These things belong at the foot of the cross.  I must get out of the way – so He can be seen in me.  I must pour out grace – forgiving, erasing, and letting go of the things that hurt me.  Instead, I must focus on Him – His goodness, His love, His giving grace.  Anger – and all levels of it – hurt, disappointment, frustration, etc. – bring about death.  Gratitude – and all levels of it – praise, joy, and thankfulness bring about life.  Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came so we could live life more abundantly.  I am in!  Or you?

Happy Easter!!!  May you and your loved ones have a special time celebrating our risen Savior who has poured out His eternal life-giving grace on us!  Thank you, Jesus!  We are eternally grateful!


(Seriously, as I am typing I am listening to music.  The last three songs have been about grace.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  {smile} God is so good!)

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