Skip to main content

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came from you. They believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world but for those you gave me, for they are yours by right. Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, and my life is on display in them. For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world; they'll continue in the world while I return to you. Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, so they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind. (John 17:6-11)

After a not very restful night's sleep, the first thing attacking my conscious mind this morning was the awesomeness of being "given" to Christ. So many times we think we "came" to Christ - like it was some doing of our own. The most amazing thing to me is our utter inability to find our way to Christ! Without his being "given" us as his own, we'd never have "found" him! We belonged to God the Father, given as a gift to his Son, Jesus! Have you ever thought of yourself as an "inheritance" - something of value given to another by the one who owned it in the first place? By this very definition we are more than "junk" cast aside, but rather a personal possession of the God of the Universe - made to give him glory and honor - given in tender care as a matter of "birthright" to the Son of God! It should give us immense joy to know God considers us of the highest worth - for only things of worth are given as an inheritance!

The truth is it may take a while for those given as an inheritance to actually do as they are instructed to do. Just belonging to Christ doesn't make us immediately obedient to all he desires, does it? "They have NOW done what you said..." The very use of the word "now" suggests some point in time of  each one of us NOT doing what God instructs. This certainly pictures my life! I know I have those moments of absolute surrender - I think there is a Christian worship song which refers to these as "second chances". We serve a God of huge second chances! This is truly awesome news for me - since I need so many of those 'second chances' in my own life! Nothing we get from Christ is "stale" knowledge. He gives us what he receives directly from his Father. It is alive, life-giving knowledge. What else could the Creator of all things do but share knowledge which is capable of producing life for those who will embrace it? Here's the rub - we have to embrace it! We settle for something "stale" so many times - when the freshness of the Creator's touch is right there for the taking! God's greatest joy is in sharing and producing life!

Christ's life is on display in us. This is no after-thought on Christ's part - he is purposeful in his prayer to his Father about each of us. He knows we are the display of his grace - to a world who will have no knowledge of the Creator without the evidence of his Son displayed through us! We are trophies of his grace - displayed for the world to see. Our every action, reaction, and even our lack of action displays the character of God (or it should). Yet, his prayer is for us to be guarded - with a "watch" set over our lives. Not just a "watch" to ensure no one destroys us - but a watchfulness to ensure the display of his grace is not tainted by our tendency to mess things up. Jesus knew we'd struggle with the simple stuff in life! Jesus' prayer is for us to be of one heart and mind - moving in the same direction, spurring each other on toward grace and goodness. We can allow the simple things to divide us, or we can focus on the truths of God and build upon them in unity. I think this is what Jesus had in mind as he prayed for us so many years ago. The next time you are tempted to "gloss over" some of the "familiar" stuff in the Word - don't! The truths we skip may be the very blessing we need! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean