Thursday, October 18, 2018

Grace and Gratitude

We get the teaching that we can do nothing to earn salvation, which is true, but that does not negate the responsibility of a response to God’s great gift of salvation and other related gifts:

· Forgiveness is ready but stays at the cross without the response of repentance.

·  Sanctification is a process as effective as the pursuance of it.

· Treasures in heaven are only as full as the storer’s commitment to abandon earthly treasure.

· James is clear and to the point:  Faith without works is dead.

· And even the hard gifts can only improve our perseverance and character if we respond God’s way.

Thus, grace does not exclude effort.  Yet, it is not a forced effort but a responsive one.  Gratitude is not “owing” someone, but a heart-felt response. Owing someone a response turns gift-giving into a business transaction and reduces the joy-response.  It turns heartfelt praise into duty.  And while there is nothing wrong duty, it should not come on the back of gratitude.

Gratitude is more like an echo that carries the original voice far and wide.  If an echo does not sound, it means there is something wrong with the chamber.  The main way to amend the chamber is to turn it into God’s.  The truest sense of gratitude is not just gratitude for the gift, but what it reveals about the character of God.  What the chamber seeking to reflect – itself or the voice.  Every return of favor is to extol the character of God, even in the demanding, the difficult, the discipline.

How much does the chamber of our being seek to know the most about God, seek the most of him? The hardest time to see God maybe in the difficult, but the hardest time to remember God is in plenty.

May we each desire the chambers of our heart to encompass all His gifts and echo his character to the world.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Dear Daddy - May 31, 2005

Oh, Daddy,

Don't let my heart be poisoned by negativity, by cruelty.  Please, lift me above the ashes of relationships that others have burned down.  Help me to heal.  Help me to initiate reconciliation.

I see, Daddy, why you want us to love each other; you want us to extend grace to each other.  It does not look Christ-like to be excluding others or by being unkind.  I look to you, Daddy, to help me rise above, to not be dismayed or put down or have my spirit crushed.

I want to be kind and gracious.  I want to extend You to others.  

Daddy, what will it take for someone to give their brokenness up?  When will healing begin?  Please, help!  Only You can change and heal those who need it. (and don't we all need it!)

Your devoted daughter,