For, In, Through, and With

It’s Monday Grace!

One of the most amazing things about grace, as I define it, is how personal it is. God connects with me personally. But, more than that, His activity, His love, is at work for, in, through, and with me.

For me: He has already provided for my salvation in the work of Jesus. He has washed away my sins, forgiven me, and prepared a place in eternity for me with Him. The fact that this is personal is found in the call for me to respond in faith. Even though He has done this for me, I still get to choose. That reminds me I am loved.

In me: Any change He wants to see in me, He is already at work accomplishing. The life that flows in me is His life, transforming me to the good He sees in me. His Spirit in me connects me forever to Him. That reminds me that I will never be separated from Him.

Through me: He chooses to touch the lives of others through me. As I submit to Him, He works through me to encourage, protect, and provide for them. I no longer have to worry about results as I trust in His work. That reminds me that I am worthy.

With me: He has made me unique among all His people, with special gifts and perspectives. He associates with me as an individual as He does His work. He is not afraid to allow me to be who I am as I serve Him. He is not interested in making me like everyone else. That reminds me that I am respected as a person.

When I feel alone and unappreciated, I remember that God has chosen to connect Himself with me. To Him, I am worthy, valuable, important. Understanding grace is understanding the relationship He chooses to have with me. While I am humbled in His presence, I am also strengthened by the glory He gives to me.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “For, In, Through, and With

  1. Jeff

    Reading about Grace is always hard for me. I understand Grace as being undeserved favor, at least in what is to come after this life is over. I see grace being given in this life to the person who sexually abused me as a child. I see grace being given to the “mother” who’s narcissism, lies and manipulation propelled me into a life of suffering and paying severe prices while now suffering emotionally since the scales fell off my eyes.

    I and many others who suffer thru abuse and it’s many insidious after affects would like to see justice, a commodity that appears to be in ever decreasing supply when one looks at the world today. Would like to see those who have hurt us deeply, many times those who’s responsibility it was to protect, care and nurture us, finally pay a price instead of going on their merry way seemingly invincible to accountability, while usually leaving more victims in their wake. Some, looking in from the outside, would even say they are “blessed” because the outside is a well prepared charade resulting in a shiny mirage that they effortlessly portray while the elephant sits in the middle of the room.

    Grace… as far away as God’s love appears at times. But Faith… believing in the unseen but what has been tangibly felt and experienced will get me thru.

    • Jeff, you understand grace far better than most people. All of what you say is true. Jesus offers grace to those who hurt us. That’s hard thing to accept, in the flesh. The spirit, however, knows that level of love must be available in order for us to have any hope. Forgiveness, to have any meaning in my life, must mean the same thing for those who have hurt me.

      But there is justice. Jesus took the punishment of my sins on Himself. The wrath of God was satisfied against my sins. I was found guilty and then saved by His sacrifice. He served the death sentence that should have been mine. Justice was served. I still find that hard to fully accept.

      Of course, many of those who have hurt us over the years will pay for their own sins, because they will not come to Jesus. They will choose to stand before God in their insolence and cruelty, and they will suffer for what they have done. I know there are those who claim that a loving God would allow no hell, that His love is so great He will just forgive everyone, but the just God will allow those who stay in their sins to have their way. While I don’t want anyone to go to hell, I know that separation and pain is the right consequence for abuse and cruelty.

      But there will be some who will find Jesus in a real way. He will, as He has promised, wash away their sins, even the ones against you and me. He will not just sweep them under the rug or consider them trivial. Abuse is never trivial. Jesus will suffer (has suffered) the penalty for those sins. And those people will be in Heaven with us. They will be as grateful for their redemption as we will be for ours. They will have repented of their evil, just as we repented of ours.

      When I think of the people who have hurt me, I have to also think of those I have hurt. If I am grateful for my cleansing, through the love I will never fully understand, then I must allow them the opportunity for that same cleansing—because of that same love.

      This is serious business, isn’t it?

  2. Jeff

    Yes sir, it is serious business. And thank you for your heart felt response. It’s as the saying goes… life is not fair. I try and focus on the suffering of Jesus on The Cross for reconciliation of my experience, but sometimes it is hard. My “brother” who was the person who molested, abused and basically brainwashed me with my “mother” from childhood mocks God. My “mother” only looks at God for whats in it for her, a “god of convenience.” I have gone “no contact” with my “brother” since finally confronting him in 2017. Unfortunately, I still have to deal with my “mother” because I am in charge of some family holdings which keep her living the lifestyle she thinks she so richly deserves because as she says, “she is not like the common people.” She even went so far as to tell me a few years ago that I could not confront my “brother” telling me that he will go away and if I die, she will have nobody. I had finally reached my limit on New Years Day 2017 and confronted him with text messages after not seeing him since a few years before when my father died, Christmas Day 2014. I actually pushed him away when he tried to hug me while my father lay growing cold in his bed.

    It reminds me of the movie Shawshank Redemption where Andy chiseled away at that prison wall for years after being wrongly convicted and ended up swimming thru almost a mile of human filth in that sewer line leading to the iconic scene where he finally comes out the other side, standing in the rain, thunder and lightening, which is cleansing the human filth that has been perpetrated on him and what he had to swim thru for freedom. That scene always makes me tear up because of it’s significance. And I just keep swimming…yes sir, redemption is serious business.

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