Hopefully, this finds you all well and counting those blessings! Yes, you can find lots of things that don’t seem like blessings, but if you count those, how does it make you feel? On the other hand, when you count your blessings, you feel much better!
When I count my blessings, God’s grace and forgiveness are always at the top of the list. But for those two things, I have no doubt that I wouldn’t still be here.
In Christian belief Grace can be defined as the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. … There was nothing we could do to earn this salvation yourselves.
I am here to tell you, sometimes it is difficult for me to extend grace to some people with all that is going on today. Then God reminds me that HE had to extend that same grace to me, even though I was undeserving. There was not one thing that I could do to earn that grace and yet He gave, and continues to give, it freely. I was no better than a filthy rag but He picked me up, cleaned me off and told me He loved me, despite my past, despite my anger, despite my unloving nature, He still loved me.
Because of His grace, I can worship and serve Him. Because of His grace, I can put aside my past, my anger and my unloving nature to do my best at extending grace to those that don’t always live up to my expectations.
John 3:16 (NIV) says:
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
That, my friends, is a whole lot of love, grace and forgiveness!
|Grace Is Needed Now More Than Ever
By Rick Warren
|“God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, ‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.’”
James 4:6 (NCV)
|To make it through the extraordinary crisis of a pandemic and social unrest, you need to treat yourself and other people the way God treats you: with grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
Grace means that God always gives you what you need, not what you deserve. If you got what you deserved, you wouldn’t even be here. “God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, ‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6 NCV).
God opposes the prideful and arrogant because they think they can do it all by themselves, apart from God. They don’t think they need God or his grace. They approach life—even life in turmoil—with the mindset, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
But when you’re humble and admit that you can’t make it through this situation on your own, God opens the floodgates of heaven. He pours out his grace. And he expects those who have been shown amazing grace to then show that grace to others.
Everybody’s having a tough time right now. To maintain your emotional health, you need to cut yourself some slack and do the same for others. Everybody’s feeling the stress, particularly the millions of people who are out of work and concerned about the future—maybe even about how they will make it to the next day. Be kind. Be gentle. Even the hardest people to love are fighting some kind of battle right now and need your grace.
This will often take a lot of humility. With tensions high, it’s easier right now to return wrong for wrong, give a sharp answer, withhold the benefit of the doubt, and speak before listening.
Your neighbor needs your grace. Your children need your grace. The person you disagree with politically needs your grace. The world is on the defense, and there is nothing that will disarm people more than being given unexpected grace.
God has given you great grace. Go and extend that grace to others so they get a glimpse of what Jesus has done for them.