Skip to main content

A fresh perspective

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:9)

I almost glossed over this verse today, but a seed thought sparked as I read it a second time. Have you ever given grace to someone BEFORE they even knew they would need that extension of grace? I daresay many of us have given grace in the moment, but have we really just extended it without any strings attached long before we even know what the individual will require grace for or way in advance of the individual realizing they stand in the need of our grace. God extended grace from the beginning of time - before we were even walking this earth. In advance of our many mess ups - way before we even took our first breath. No 'mess up' makes his grace any less available - it was already provided way in advance of us ever taking that first step toward sin!

The verse just before this one encourages us to 'never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord'. We don't need to be ashamed of God's grace - embarrassed by our feelings of guilt because we have acted in foolish ways. When we are ashamed of his grace, we are saying we are afraid of disapproval - we aren't confident in that which we stand upon. If you stand upon a foundation of grace you can be assured there is no firmer foundation from which to live life! The verse just after this one reminds us the power of death has been broken in our lives - all because of the death of Christ. In fact, Jesus 'illuminated the way of life and immortality' for each of us - another pretty 'solid' foundation upon which we stand. I don't know about you, but when I consider all I have received in this action of 'extended grace', I am brought to my knees.

As this passage goes on, the Apostle Paul says he will not be ashamed of the fate he has endured by being imprisoned for preaching the gospel of Christ. He knows 'the one in whom he trusts, and he is sure that he is able to guard what he has entrusted to him.' That is what grace does within our lives - it gives us the hope and peace that exceeds the expectations of others. Most would expect prison to break a man. Paul stood strong, continued to share the gospel message, and trusted his Lord for both the strength and wisdom to endure this season of captivity. He knew the grace he had received outweighed any worries of his presence circumstances. Maybe when we feel a little overcome by life what we need is not more of this or that, but a fresh perspective on God's grace already given to help us overcome those things that seek to overcome us. 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