I reposted this last week on Facebook. I saw many of my friends repost it as well. This resonated with many. Why? Many reasons. It’s truth. It’s encouraging. It’s hopeful. It’s a reminder of what God has done for us. It puts us back into the right perspective in our mind.
Truth is something we don’t see much of these days. We are skeptical of most of what we read. Even things we read from friends on Facebook. I have made a decision that my Facebook posts are only inspiring or vulnerable. I may ask for prayer and put something I’m struggling with online. Or I post a reminder to have your “tea with God” time. Or a fun picture. I want my Facebook feed to be an encouragement to others and full of truth. I want to be one of the places people can feel uplifted.
As I ponder this reposting, I remember when I did a presentation at Bible Study where I talked about the difference between grace and mercy. I actually had my toddler son record a video explaining it. It was precious and proof that it’s a simple thing. However, receiving grace and/or mercy isn’t so simple for our human minds.
Grace is an undeserved gift. Some of us are wonderful at receiving gifts. Others feel guilty and like they owe you afterwards. I’m somewhere in the middle. The more generous the gift, the more I feel like I owe someone. When God gave us grace, the gift of salvation through His son, Jesus’, death and resurrection, we could never repay that. Never. We didn’t deserve it. We can’t pay it back. We can only receive it. We can pay it forward and tell others about it. Next time you receive an undeserved gift, receive it fully. That is grace.
Mercy is no punishment when we deserve one. This one I am much better at receiving. I remember coming home at 2 am in high school after being out dancing at Knott’s Berry Farm. This was pre-cell phones. My mom was so mad. I was grounded forever. The next morning her anger and fear had subsided and I had no punishment. I deserved to be punished. I broke curfew (in my defense my friend’s car wouldn’t start.) Whew! I got mercy. Honestly, my biggest issue with mercy is when someone who wrongs me doesn’t get punishment. I’m OK when I’m absolved for a wrong I’ve done but NOT OK when someone else gets away with it.
I hope you can grow to be a receiver of grace and grateful when mercy is extended.
Dream Big! Pray Big!
P.S. Sorry for my 2 weeks of silence. I had 2 teaching events for work where I literally worked 12 am – 8 am. It wiped me out. I’m back to a more normal schedule. Missed you and my blog.
Good morning! This is what I woke up to today! God painted a beautiful sunrise. I stood in front of my home in my PJs and snapped pictures while I said “thank you Lord.” Wow. Read what Jesus said to those listening to Him teach.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, whatyou will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
This says it all. Let it go. Let go and let God. Release it. Whatever mantra you need to say to yourself to focus on today, this moment, and all God has for you in the present. I worry about too many things that are inconsequential. I have food, clothes, a home, and Jesus. We often think we need more. There are many who don’t have even these basic things. We can’t add an hour to our life or an inch to our height by worrying and fussing. I have things to fuss and worry about today. I am choosing to stop the thoughts when they arise. I will replace the thought with “thank you Lord for …” If I can’t think of anything to be grateful for at that moment, I’ll thank Him for the morning sunrise.
Peace only comes from God. Period. No other source has lasting peace. It’s that simple. Our church is observing a 21 day fast. Fasting can take on many forms. For details on what fasting can be and for the 21 day daily guide, go to https://madeforfellowship.com/21dayfast/. If you have questions, let me know.
Yesterday’s reading is below.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:15-17 NIV
I woke up without peace today. More friends have Covid. More friends are sick in general. Friends are struggling with a myriad of things. I didn’t sleep well. I woke up feeling anxious. My first thought was I need time with Jesus. I couldn’t wait to get my tea and connect with Him. I know you have seen posts of my tea mug and porch view on Facebook. So to not overwhelm you all, I don’t post every time I do it because it is nearly daily. That is my goal for 2022. Daily. Daily with God! I knew I couldn’t do today without Him. I was already nearly in tears when I woke up. I dove into my 21 day fast guide and decided to spend more time on yesterday’s passage because yesterday was rushed. Some days just are. Today I had time and needed to make time.
The passage in Colossians showed me something. With so many friends struggling, I want to make sure I am pointing them to God for peace and hope. This passage tells me 2 things:
Peace is a command. “As members of one body you were called to peace” – Called to peace. We are told to have peace. How do we get that peace – Jesus. Only Jesus. Not any amount of yoga, chamomile tea, long walks on the beach or anything will give us that peace. You add Jesus to those practices, that works. Connect to Jesus, our Prince of Peace, you will find peace. You are required, called, commanded to peace. The only way is time with Him. Thus, we are commanded to be with Him to find peace. Command=Peace. Peace is derived from time with God. Command = Time with God. (That’s my math brain kicking in.)
We are to “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit“. When I encourage my friends, my encouragement should be wisdom – this comes from scripture and songs of His truth. Sometimes I will attach a verse to a friend in need. Now I always will. Or I attach a link to a song on YouTube or words from a song. We need His truth which is found in all these things. We aren’t just called to peace but to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.
I’m excited for these new revelations today. God never disappoints. I am seeking His peace in a world that is full of woe, disease, pain, suffering, fun, adventures, relationships, and more. As we live this life, let’s share wisdom with one another. Share a link to your favorite song of truth. Open your hymnal for your devotional time. Sing to Him. Read the hymn, if you prefer. So much truth in those hymnals. Read the Psalms. Sing the psalms. Make up your own tune, even if it’s out of tune. We aren’t to live as those without hope. Lean on our Prince of Peace. Obey His command – you are called to peace. Seek Him, gain peace, and pass it on.