Jesus has done for you what you cannot do. He purchased full approval and forgiveness for you. You cannot have grace without the Cross. But because of the Cross, you have full access to His grace.
Grace is God's kindness and goodness toward you without regard to worth or merit. As a believer, you have a duty to obey the Lord. But you can't earn grace, buy it, or barter with God to receive it. Grace is His free gift to you. There is only one thing you can do in regard to grace: receive it gladly!
-The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible; in reference to Romans 3:21-26
I'm on Day 4 of the study, and I'm hungry for more.
Today was a great day for our family! It was Sunday (so we were bound to have a good day already, right?), we led a new (to us) song during worship and it totally spoke to me (I almost lost it (cried cried cried) while leading), our Pastor's message was totally applicable to my studies, which I loved, I finally got to meet my friend's beautiful baby girl, it's Day 1 of 4 of dog-sitting an adorable French Bulldog, and on top of all of the other niceties (including a nap for this Preggo and an evening walk to the park), it was S+U+N+N+Y!
On days like today (practically perfect days, that is), it's really easy for me to forget to acknowledge God's hand in everything. Or to do anything besides just being content with life. It's something I've struggled with for... well probably for forever, but in the last 5 or 6 years my eyes have really been opened to this particular sin of mine: taking my life, and all God has done in it and for it, for granted.
I tend to be really hard on myself. As missionaries, I assume my husband and I are under a microscope viewed by any and all supporters (and especially opposers), and I react in moral light; I'm sure to do everything right: I read my Bible, share Bible verses or relevant quotes, post frequent updates about how our family is doing (albeit all via Facebook and Instagram), raise our son to love Jesus with all of his being, say 'yes' to almost everything (this I have slowly learned to correct), of course all-the-while volunteering my time at our little international school (that's what we came here for, right?) and becoming very involved in a local bi-lingual church. All good things. And there is nothing wrong with good things (and I love these good things!).
So when I catch myself in a quiet moment, and after some reflection and some gentle reminders from God, I have to really check myself (before I wreck myself, ha! sorry.). What is my motivation? And the question again from yesterday: Who is getting the glory? I can honestly say that I do all of these "good" things with the best and purest of intentions. But sometimes I think these intentions/motivations get lost in what becomes routine.
And this is why I'm so eternally grateful for promises like the one quoted from my Study Bible (above). GRACE. GRACE. GRACE.
My favorite line from today's study was this: "If the law is a glass of water, Christ doesn't pour it out, he fills it up for us." So pause. And really, just, consider that. That is true love; that is grace.
God gave His people the Law so they could understand their need for grace, not so that they could try to earn their way into His favor. The Law shows us our sin so that we will realize how helpless we are on our own and how great a gift Jesus has given us.
-The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible; in reference to Romans 3:20