I had to share this devotion from one of my favorite books entitled "Morning & Evening" on the beautiful grace of God so perfectly written by C.H. Spurgeon
"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
2 Timothy 2:1
"Christ has grace without measure in himself, but he hath not retained it for himself. As the reservoir empties itself into the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out his grace for his people. "Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." He seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it. Like a tree, he bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which he has not bestowed upon his people. As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and his Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from him, we shall behold him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse."
As Women Finding Grace ~ Lord, help us always remember that you stand as an ever~flowing fountain of grace which we need never fear will ever run dry.
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written,
Be ye holy; for I am holy." I Peter 1:15-17
"We live in a day when we are more afraid of Holiness, than we are of sinfulness."
It comes as no surprise to see the shocking array of sinfulness displayed in our culture today. There is an unveiling or uncovering of such depravity with loss of all shame in the society of our time it can leave one speechless or in danger of becoming desensitized. The church is consistently bombarded with messages of tolerance instead of messages of holiness, with our standard being Christ alone.
As we are nearing the season of Passover and the celebration of Christ's Resurrection our church will be doing a six-week series taught by R.C. Sproul on "The Holiness of God." There could not be a more appropriate need for the timeless truths taught in this series as there is now, both seasonally and culturally. These lessons are full of reminders that our approach to God is not (as Dr. Sproul puts it) a smorgasbord or buffet approach. We don't serve a God in which we can pick and choose which attributes of His nature that we like and ignore the rest. Everyone want to claim the "love of God", but who wants to look at His Holiness? When we take only the attributes of God we are comfortable with and set up an image of God to serve -- it is just that...an image. If ever the church as a whole is in need of seeing God as He truly is..it is now. There is no difference now as there has been in every single generation. If anyone looks into history you can see the same pattern of mankind displayed all the way back to Genesis. Culture always finds its way back into depravity. And yet...there is in every generation those who truly seek to serve God in righteousness and truth speckled throughout all of history.
I do not want to live cliche, it's too common.
"Encouragement on the Path of Righteousness"
by John Calvin
"To prompt us toward righteousness more effectively, Scripture tells us that God the Father, who has reconciled us to Himself in His Anointed One, Jesus Christ, has given us in Christ a model to which we should conform our lives. You will not find a better model in the philosophers—in whom many expect to find the only correct and orderly treatment of moral philosophy. They, while doing their best to encourage us to be virtuous, have nothing to say except that we should live “according to nature.” Scripture, however, draws its encouragement from the true fountain. It teaches us to contemplate our lives in relation to God, our Author, to whom we are bound. And, having taught us that we have fallen from the true state and condition of our original creation, Scripture adds that Christ, through whom we have been restored to favor with God, is set before us as a model whose form and beauty should be reflected in our own lives. What could be more effective than this? Indeed, what more is needed than this? We have been adopted by the Lord as children with this understanding—that in our lives we should mirror Christ who is the bond of our adoption. And truly, unless we are devoted—even addicted—to righteousness, we will faithlessly abandon our Creator and disown Him as our Savior.'
I love this excerpt from John Calvin. It is truly a reminder of our true calling, one in which our standard is Christ.
There is so much clamoring going on for acceptance, tolerance, and love, but who is calling out for the holiness of God and for His name to be Holy?
The foundations have been broken. This generation needs to see a fresh and restored vision and call to the Holiness of God. One look into His Holiness sets all things in order and in place as they should be and stops all confusion.
Lord, I pray that above all the noise and clamoring of this culture, we, as women finding your grace, could look into the beauty of your holiness and walk there...for it is in that path we find you.
~ A few quotes on Holiness ~
"Holiness provokes hatred. The greater the holiness the greater the human hostility toward it. It seems insane. No man was ever more loving than Jesus Christ. Yet even His love made people angry. His love was a perfect love, a transcendent and holy love, but His very love brought trauma to people. This kind of love is so majestic we can’t stand it." R.C. Sproul
"A god who is all love, all grace, all mercy, no justice, no holiness, no wrath is an idol." R.C. Sproul
"Holiness has never been the driving force of the majority. It is, however, mandatory for anyone who wants to enter the kingdom." Elisabeth Elliot
"A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to 'accept' Christ without forsaking the world." A.W. Tozer
" In the year of the death of king Uzziah, I saw also the Lord sitting upon an high throne, and lifted up, and his train filled the Temple. The Seraphims stood upon it, every one had six wings: with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the lintels of the door cheeks moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said, Woe is me: for I am undone, because I am a man of polluted lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of polluted lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, and Lord of hosts." Isaiah 6:1-5
The teaching series from Dr. Sproul on "The Holiness of God" is offered free of charge at www.ligonier.org/learn/series/holiness_of_god/
As Women Finding Grace ~ Let's remember that our lives should be lived according to the standards of God's holy calling. Let's not let the culture blur our vision and true calling to lead by example of this standard. And let us never forget ~ Holy is His name. Luke 1:49; Isaiah 6:1-5
The wonder of simplicity has been on my heart afresh in the past weeks.
Early morning stillness after a stormy night
Finding nineteen fresh eggs all at once which had been securely hidden by your hens
Simple spring weather in the middle of winter spent grilling with family
Handmade gifts from grandchildren
Beautiful full moons
The sky set on fire at sunset
Conversations with children
In the midst of so much ~opportunity~ we sometimes lose the ability to relish in the simple gifts of every day.
Life in itself is a gift and one not to be taken for granted. Our every breath is given as a gift from God.
This simple acronym caught my attention this Valentine's Day.
The simplicity of God's Love towards us. Christ's Love for us.
Things have weighed heavy on my heart this past year and even coming into this new year. I have struggled with being able to see the simplicity of God's love toward us and His promises. It has only been recently that He has brought me back to the simplicity of life and His promises for us. His gift of life and love every day that He extends toward us. His promises that we can take and stand upon.
My gift back to Him is Trust and belief that He has my good in mind.
But I must Trust and believe.
This is what He is looking for.
"...when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8b
I pray for faith renewed and refreshed. I want to be found dwelling in Christ and living in faith when He returns.
Life's blows can certainly knock the wind out of us and certainly can shake our faith and trust. It is our duty and service back to God to hang on, take a stand, and claim His promises.
"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
to stand." Ephesians 6:13
May this Valentine's Day and every day bring renewed hope and refreshed faith.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2
Happy Valentine's Day
~ Blessings ~
As Women Finding Grace ~ Let our hearts be filled with God's love towards us this Valentine's Day and every day allowing His grace to refresh and renew our hope and our trust in Him and be reawakened to the beauty that lies in the simple.