Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 [Full Chapter]

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
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In my youth I believed that good works would get me into heaven. The thing is, that made getting into heaven up to me. If I was good enough, if I worked hard enough, if I kept on the straight and narrow I could earn my way.
My belief has changed. It is important for me to be a good person and strive to be what God wants me. However, God’s grace has been given to me as a free gift. That is so hard to grasp. Does it free me from responsibility for my behavior? No but I am not perfect and never will be. It is only God’s grace that can save me and it has been freely given.
Thanks be to God!

Down the rabbit hole

down the rabbit hole.

In order to get the most from our faith we have to dive in. Like Alice we need to jump down the rabbit hole. Immersed in scripture and fellowship with other Christians we can plumb the depths of God’s plan for us.

Down the rabbit hole can be a scary place and jumping down can feel like letting go of everything that feels safe but it is the way to draw closer to God. Take that leap.

Follow

I really think this section of Romans says it all. We don’t need to add to it …just follow it.

 

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Romans 12:9-18

Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.[e] 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;[f] do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 1

 

Always Pray!

Prayer is as natural as breathing. Sometimes we may pray without even knowing like smoke lifting toward the sky. But we do have to pray. We have to keep at it. There is no formula for prayer although we can use a formal prayer. Sometimes it is easier to recite something we have memorized but don’t be afraid to reach out to God in anyplace at any time.

You can pray out loud if you want. Sometimes my prayers are sung as in a meditative song or chant. God is listening no matter what. Be persistent in prayer. Keep on…keep on…keep on even if you feel that there is no one there. Feelings can get in the way. PRAY NO MATTER WHAT!!

Equal

The person who looks up to God rarely looks down on anyone. from God is in the Small Stuff by Bruce and Stan

We are all equal in God’s eyes. Equally loved. That doesn’t mean that because we believe in God or go to church that we are more equal than others. Equal means equal. Thinking that we are better than someone else is not how God sees it. Looking down on someone because they have less money or better clothes or a better education is not how God expects us to be.

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Remember, in God’s eyes there are no “better thans.”

 

Praise every morning

But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress.

Psalm 59:16 NRSV

I try to remember every night in my prayers to thank God for that day and everything good in my life. I know that God is present in my life even when things are bad….especially when things are bad. It is so easy to remember to call on him when things don’t go right and so easy to forget to give him thanks and praise. Maybe I will try to get up each morning and sing a joyful and thankful song.

 

His love has no boundaries

Embrace

God’s gift of love to us in Jesus does not separate us from those who are different. It unites us, in one loving embrace. We forget that when we believe we are God’s favorite, to the detriment of all others.

-Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

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How many Christian denominations want to believe that they are the chosen. That if we do not believe as they do we are not OK. We are the outcasts. Jesus spent lots of times with those who were outcasts. He did not discriminate. His love embraced everyone. Remember that.

God will forgive

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

Psalm 86:5 NRSV

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Free will gives us the ability to make wrong choices. Sometimes those choices hurt other people. Sometimes the mistakes hurt us. The fact that we made a mistake is not important. What is important is that we acknowledge the mistake and learn from it. God knows that we will err and forgives us.

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Be a servant

​Mark 9:35

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

This is such a radical statement.Who really wants to be a servant. Maybe the servants in some British show like Downton abbey enjoy what they do but not all of them.They even had a pecking order.Yet this is what Jesus calls us to do.I have always loved the hymn called the servant song.I especially like the verse that says I will be the Christ light for you in the night time of your fear.

 

 

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Remember to pray!

Today I spent the day with a friend whose husband is ill. I called people I know will follow through and asked for prayer. Sometimes prayer is the only thing that we can do. We need to remember that it is the most important thing that we can do. No matter what else we do to help don’t forget to pray.

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