Saturday, April 28, 2018

It Wins!

There is something grace does each and every time in our lives - it WINS! It has the upper hand each and every time - regardless of how 'bad' our decisions may have been, or how lame our excuses got as we tried to cover up our guilt. Grace WINS - no matter what! That is a message of hope, especially to a sinner like me. I am not exempt from compromise - I mess up and make wrong choices. I am not above speaking a cross word now and again - I get tired, frustrated, and a little bit selfish on occasion. But...each time guilt and shame think they have gotten the upper hand in my life - grace overcomes their moment of triumph and wipes the slate clean again. Grace WINS - hands down!

6 Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favor that he has poured out upon us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. 7 So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved; 8 and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace—for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times. (Ephesians 1:6-8 TLB)

Grace isn't given in limited measure - it is poured out upon us. Back in the day when Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness, God gave him specific instructions to use something referred to as 'anointing oil' in the ceremony of dedicating men as spiritual leaders over the tribes of Israel. These leaders were referred to as priests, but they differed a bit from what the church of today may call a priest. They had families and they took care of the 'temple' or church building. They spent time in study of the Word of God and they had the responsibility to tell the people what it said, challenging them to live according to it. They didn't have a Bible in every home in those days, so the people were dependent upon the priest to help them understand the Word of God - as the scrolls were unrolled and it was shared with them.

On the day of their dedication into service as a priest, the anointing oil would be poured over their head. It would be placed on their hands and feet, symbolizing that the entire body was to be dedicated to this 'work' of serving the Lord and his people. It was a sign of being made ready for service and also of being made 'clean' or 'set apart' as 'holy'. In essence, God was asking Moses to use the oil as a symbol of what grace does - it covers and it makes clean! There was no magic power in that oil, but it was symbolic. We don't use anointing oil much these days - but we still lay hands on those who will be commissioned into service for the Lord. We pray over them, asking God to make their lives a testimony of his grace - something all of us need to have prayer for, right?

Grace covers - much like the oil did. Oil also soaked in - it left an impact long after the visibility of it was gone. Grace leaves an impact much greater and deeper than oil ever could! It goes way beyond the surface and takes care of all manner of unholiness within! Thank goodness for grace - without it we'd all be pretty much a mess! Just sayin!