Saturday, 14 February 2009

Snakes and Ladders of Learning About Grace!

I have not blogged for ages! I have come to the decision that the Christian walk is very much like the game of snakes and ladders at times!!! Very profound I know! You could say the last 3 - 4 months have been a case of a few squares forward and then I have hit a 'snake' and gone down a row and then hit another 'snake' on that row and at times I have felt like I was very much back to square 1!

But over this last week there have been some changes - a timely prophetic word cut through the fog and got me thinking! Some encouragement from my husband and other trusted friends and then the decision to start once again to look at grace and to start over and ask God for some revelation and fresh focus.

This morning I started to read 'Captured by Grace' by David Jeremiah. I read the first chapter and to say that I was encouraged would be an understatement!
Here are some snippits from David Jeremiah's first chapter of this book!

"There is no more wonderful word than 'grace.' It means unmerited favor or kindness shown to one who is utterly undeserving.......It is not merely a free gift, but a free gift to those who deserve exact opposite, and it is given to us while we are 'without hope and without God in the world." (Quoting Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

'Grace happens and it acts. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8) Such grace can only come from God. It is the gift unsought, unmerited, unlimited. For no matter what we have done, no matter the depth of our transgression, the darkness of our hearts - grace overrules them all. God pursues us relentlessly, He will not give us up, and once He has captured us, He won't let us go.'

'Grace is the bridge over a chasm that seemed infinite - the canyon between our depravity and His holiness. That bridge is wide and sturdy and sure, beckoning to us to cross over into a life too wonderful for us to imagine.'

'Grace is too dazzling, too bright, for it is powered by the holy heart of God. Trying to comprehend it in whole is like staring directly into one thousand suns.'

Awesome quotes from David Jeremiah - but then he blew me away with this section and I have to type this up because it blessed my heart so much when I read it this morning - read this, drink of the awesome, generous, extravagance of our God who goes beyond mercy and blesses us with grace and with a bounty beyond words..............

Mercy is God withholding the punishment we rightly deserve. Grace is God not only withholding that punishment but offering the most precious of gifts instead.

Mercy withholds the knife from the heart of Isaac.
Grace provides a ram in the thicket.

Mercy runs to forgive the Prodigal Son.
Grace throws a party with every extravagance.

Mercy bandages the wounds of the man beaten by the robbers.
Grace covers the cost of his full recovery.

Mercy hears the cry of the thief on the cross.
Grace promises paradise that very day.

Mercy pays the penalty for our sin at the cross.
Grace substitutes the righteousness of Christ for our wickedness.

Mercy converts Paul on the road to Damascus.
Grace calls him to be an apostle.

Mercy saves John Newton from a life of rebellion and sin.
Grace makes him a pastor and author of a timeless hymn.

Mercy closes the door to hell.
Grace opens the door to heaven.

Mercy withholds what we have earned.
Grace provides blessings we have not earned.

Today is a new start on the road of the journey of learning about grace - I have key friends who will help me land on the 'ladders' but there is grace for hitting the 'snakes' - one thing that I have to learn that such a journey is not one to be journeyed alone; it is to be shared and it will be eventful!
I had to smile this morning as I put on a new jumper - never noticed this when I purchased it but the label inside says 'Grace', I brought another top at the same time and this one is also labelled with 'Grace' - so already today I am clothed in grace - God has a sense of humour!!!