A lot of my bible study and focus lately has been, well on numerous things, but two words that stick out are humility and grace. I'm constantly reminded about how selfish my flesh can be, and that without God's grace and my constant seeking of Him, I tend to make things about me, me, me. That's not the plan! I had made out a bad schedule for myself now that Eric's home for the summer: staying up way too late, then not getting up and getting 'fed' by God's word FIRST, and thus, being cranky and tired with my kids. So last night, I went to sleep at 9:30 and it felt good. God has blessed me with alone time :) and His word has tasted oh so good.
I'm reading a book and what struck me last night was how much like my children I am! God made me in His perfect image, (Gen 1:27), and I choose to reject Him, unless I focus on the power of His grace. Take this paragraph from Raising Kids for True Greatness:
"Think about it. Why would a holy, righteous God give a second thought about created beings who have worked over time to reject everything about Him? He's given us all that we need to enjoy a fabulous and eternal love affair with Him, and instead we spurn His love, mock His law, and reject His lead in our lives. We deserve nothing less than God's complete and unbridled judgment."
You know a 'raising kids' book almost always leads back to the parents heart right? I'm so glad I'm reading this book. It's not the first time I've heard these thoughts or ideas, but maybe my heart is just a little more open to taking them and acting them out now. Lord, I pray you help me show grace to my kids today, and every day. That you help me to act out Your undeserved love for them through me. One more piece of a paragraph I just loved that talks about grace...
"It motivates us to stand when everything else is encouraging us to run. It challenges us to reach out and engage when selfish logic says we should focus on our own best interests. It enables us to endure a lifetime of being inconvenienced on behalf of God's glory."
WOW. That last sentence hit me hard when I first read it. Then I couldn't get off that page I was sucked into the words. I just think back to how many times I've made decisions based on my comfort or convenience. How many times I've taken God totally out of the equation, when He's yearning and deserves to be at the fore-front of my mind, daily, hourly, through every thought I have. How I consider my glory and accolades instead of His in my decision making. And I feel weak, lost, sinful....
And then God reminds me through His still small voice: you are not perfect, but I AM. And I have given my grace to you to USE. It empowers you. It quiets that evil in your head and it makes you stronger.
2 Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I am so thankful for grace. Especially when it leads me to humility of spirit. I've been camped here on and off in my study time. I love these words and am working on memorizing all of them. I love words like redemption, grace, forgiveness, love lavished, sealed. It eases my mind back to where it should be focused. Praise be to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Ephesians 1:3-14: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,to the praise of his glory.