Monday, January 9, 2012

Grace Living

Last week when everyone else was determining their “words” for the year, I was left wondering what one word would I want to lead me through the upcoming year. Thinking perhaps I should just move on and leave behind any yearly resolutions or words, it dawned on me.

At the end of 2011, I began to realize the burden of self-reliance I had been carrying through much of the year. Every corner I turned was about how I could make all the difference. I could make the difference in my home. I could determine my children’s obedience. I could determine their future. I could determine what people thought about my family and me. I became so caught up in the appearance of godliness that I lost the heart of true, Holy Spirit-driven godliness. For the first time ever, I was looking at myself and thinking, “Legalism? Me? Nooo!” The sin of self-righteousness was speaking boldly to my face. I knew what had crept into my heart this year.

So, Sunday I claimed it. Grace. This year is my year of grace. The year where I remember His grace...

Grace in regeneration.

Grace in sanctification,

Grace in parenting.

Grace in relationships.

Grace in communication.

Grace in living.

I want to see grace in what I read, in what I pray, and how I walk. I want to give grace as it was given to me. I want to precede knowing that God receives glory out of ugly, rebellious, disobedience just as much as He receives glory out of lovely, devoted, obedience. I mean, without the ugly how could we really know how much we need Him?

God hasn't left me alone to search for grace but is immediately making grace real in His word and through the story of Joseph. Joseph, betrayed by his own brothers and yet so willing to offer grace to them. Not only grace, but the very best of everything he had. He kissed them and wept over them, the same men who planned his death and took him away from the land he knew. Joseph truly understood God’s sovereignty even through His hardships. He spent years in prison for being wrongfully accused…and yet, he could see God’s purpose in it all. He could see that God glorifying grace is not always lovely and not always what we would choose for ourselves.

“His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50: 18-20 (ESV, emphasis added)

2012...a year to remember and grow in grace.

6 comments:

Ma said...

“Legalism? Me? Nooo!”

It happens!

I love your attitude for the new year:)

Gregg said...

Ah, Grace. That ever abundant benefit of God to His children, yet ever so elusive at times.

I too, need to seek a year of grace.

Holly said...

Lovely.

Susan said...

Absolutely! By grace alone through faith alone! :D

Susan said...

By the way, that word 'faith' is the word I've been struggling with. I used to think it was something I had to strengthen within myself...but that is antifaith, because then my faith is in my faith, not in God. When my faith is in God and all He does, it frees me from doing anything, including flexing my 'faith muscles'. It requires that I release it completely into God's hands and stop trying to meddle with it (which will only botch it up).

When I did "do it (faith) right" God would answer at a time and in a way that showed me He wasn't bowing to my manipulations to get what I want, but was showing me something, teaching me something about Himself in the process, that He is loving and does things perfectly, and allows me a glimpse of that, when that faith truly rests on Him. :)

Camille said...

What a BEAUTIFUL post Michelle! Thank you for sharing your heart...it is lovely to read. I *love* the story of Joseph!! How MUCH he went through and how amazing his reaction to it all! The verse you quoted sounds like Romans 8:28 in the Old Testament, don't you think?

Yes, Grace! OH how I need it!!

Blessings,
Camille