Monday, January 21, 2013

The Grace Diaries

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him."
Isaiah 18:30 ESV

After recent battles with sin {specifically discontentment and idolatry}, I've been divinely inspired as to new ways to preach truth to myself. I have started my own project called The Grace Diaries. It's not really an art project so much as it is a writing one. Reading through an old prayer journal last weekend, I was blessed to recall the ways in which the Lord has been so faithful to me by answering many of prayers specifically and in my favor (well, He really answers all of them in my favor but I usually don't see that initially). I do love to journal my prayers but this usually takes more time than I have in a typical day. I've decided that I am going to keep a log in a notebook that will include the date and a bullet point list of examples of God's grace that occurred in my life for that day. When I am feeling discouraged, lonely or that God is not hearing me {all lies} I can read through my Grace Diary and see how faithful He has been to me specifically. When battling sin it is common to feel that you are alone (which is a lie if you follow Christ because His Holy Spirit is dwelling in you!). I realized that in battling sin, I would rather feel the tension of the battle than nothing at all because at least that way I know that I am fighting. It is humbling to be able to see God's grace and understand how unworthy I am to be a recipient. I recently complained to a friend about not wanting something until everyone else had it and I didn't {idolatry}. Through that I was able to see God's grace in providing me with friends who are able to empathize with me and care enough to speak truth to me in a gracious way. There was a weekend past in which I was disappointed and knew that eventually I would be in situations in which I would be reminded of that disappointment. I was ecstatic and slightly giddy as I realized that God was being gracious to me and protecting me from those reminders. To everyone else, the circumstances were typical. To me, they were a divine gift. Looking for God's daily grace toward me as a sinner also allows for me to be put in my place (which unfortunately for me, needs to happen quite often). I falsely believe that there are certain things in life that I am entitled to or things I deserve. I was already given Christ's mercy when He paid my penalty of sin on the cross. For my wicked heart, there are days when I fail to remember this truth, and I {falsely} believe that it's not enough. Mercy was Christ sparing me from the eternal punishment I deserve. Grace is that He continues to allow me to enjoy things in this life even though they won't last - and I can do nothing to earn it and most certainly don't deserve it. My view on grace completely changed when my pastor informed our congregation that God saved us so He could be kind to us. According to John MacArthur,

 "The purpose for which God saved us was not primarily to keep us out of hell, we were saved primarily so that God could shower His grace and kindness on us,". 

I hope this encourages your soul as much as it did mine and that you are able to see His grace toward His children daily.



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