When I was about eight I stole something. This event ranks as one of the top 10 of all my childhood memories, right up there with nearly drowning. I remember it so clearly.
The word grace is a short, simple word. But understanding the biblical depth and meaning of grace can take a lifetime of study and application. It's almost a shame that a word describing suppleness of movement or a short, quick prayer before a meal is the same word we use to describe God's unfathomable love for sinners. Nevertheless, it is grace that moves Him to offer us the free gift of salvation and forgiveness.
Grace is what compelled the Apostle Paul to write of a mystery never understood before (1 Corinthians 2:7-13). Grace is also what allows us to relax into another's accepting embrace as he or she gives us the freedom to discover our unique journey laid out by God. So relax as we journey together down the path toward freedom and the wonderment of the surpassing riches of God's grace!
Honesty is the quality of being genuine and uncorrupted. And from that core, like the trunk of a tree, it branches three ways.
One Monday morning my wife left me. Packed up some earthly belongings, our only daughter, and a Visa card before heading west for a week, leaving Jeffrey, Stephen, and me to fend for ourselves.
I had never given the idea of compassion much thought until a few months ago when in the midst of a friend’s crisis, I felt gut wrenching pain and realized, for the first time, this was what true compassion felt like.
For the rest of the missions trip, I thought about Jesus' ministry and the compassion He must have felt for the many people He encountered. People He taught, healed, and those who desperately cried out to Him.
Looking back more than 60 years, I've learned a valuable lesson: when people are hurting, they need much more than an accurate analysis and a quick diagnosis. More than professional advice.
Satan and his demons operate by deceiving us, seducing us, blinding us, accusing us, and seeking to influence us in such a way as to defeat us and thereby rob God of His glory (Ephesians 6:12).
“I know I should never question those God placed in authority of the church, but I'm starting to feel exhausted always trying to measure up to their standards. It never seems like I can do enough or be enough.”
We can use a lot of energy and resources in our lives to build up our internal sense of worth or to form an identity for ourselves. Who we believe we are defines how we behave.