Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Art of Being "Grace-Full"

I am not graceful. In fact, if you ask my Mama, she would correctly (and lovingly?) state that I am downright clumsy. She loves to tell people that I am "that girl" that can manage to fall UP the stairs. I find it rather an odd bragging right and slightly ironic, since the very thing happened yesterday morning. My flip-flop-tripping-up-the-stairs-experience was followed by a very loud cry of "OH BOLOGNA SANDWICHES!" as I stared down at my throbbing toes/knees. (I've been working on weeding out word-vomiting of the occasional profanities, hence the random reference to lunch items.)

Thankfully, I have yet to break a bone or receive stitches from my inability to balance, sit or walk like a "normal" person. (I still can't catch a flying object i.e. especially a baseball, but that is a story for another post.)  BUT the even better news is that we, as in you AND me, have been granted a bigger blessing to be grace-FULL... by the GRACE of God.

Understanding grace can be a difficult task. Before we begin, a word from Hebrews 4:16-- "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Ok. Ready to approach the throne? AND GO. What IS grace?  According to Webster, grace means mercy/forgiveness and/or charm/loveliness. God's grace encompasses both of these definitions. Other words for grace include benefaction, benevolence, charity, compassion, favor, forbearance, generosity, good will, goodness, kindness, leniency, love, pardon, reprieve, and tenderness. Intense, huh? (Didn't know you were getting an English/vocab lesson today huh? Eh, maybe it's a perk?)

Grace is mentioned 127 times in the NIV of the Bible. Of course if you count the "synonyms" listed above, that number grows exponentially. So why, oh WHY does God continue to forgive us each time we fall short? It is because of His endless, boundless, infinite love that comes in the form of grace via the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. Titus 2:11 says "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." It is as simple as that... He love us. He forgives us. He asks us do the same towards others.

If my God-message-interpreting radar is correctly calibrated, I have a feeling that we are going to continue to dig deeper into the topic of grace in future posts. After all, grace is even mentioned in the FINAL verse of the ENTIRE Bible. Revelation 22:21-- "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen."

So, I might not be graceful when it comes to climbing stairs, dancing ballet (that would be entertaining, HA!) or even walking down the street. But God has given us something much greater... He meets us where we are and has both showered and filled us all with endless grace. I am beyond thankful to be THAT kind of Grace-Full. How about you?

Food for thought: "I asked Jesus how much he loved me... He said 'This much.' Then He stretched out his arms... and died."

A Grateful and Grace-Full Daughter of Christ,

"The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you." -- 1 Corinthians 16:23

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