Grace

The promise for Chapter Six of Sheila Walsh’s The Shelter of God’s Promises was grace.  It seems like such a difficult concept to wrap your mind around, when it is put into the context of human relationships.  In those type of relationships, there are definite consequences and rewards for our actions.  However, with God it is completely different.  He loves everyone equally, no matter what we have or have not done.  This is because “when God sees us, He only sees the redemptive work of His Son.  There is nothing we need to do to earn God’s favor; it’s already been done for us by the only One who could do it – Jesus” (The Shelter of God’s Promises Participant’s Guide, p. 110).  Jesus took care of it all, we simply need to believe in and take hold of the grace that God offers to each one of us.

I cannot think of the word grace without thinking of my dear Sunday School teacher, Helen Chezem.  She impacted my life in so many ways.  Mrs. Chezem taught us an acrostic for grace – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  That takes this difficult to grasp concept and brings it down to simple terms.  Christ paid for us and now we can receive the gift of grace.  Not only do we need to accept this gift, but also we need to strive to become more like Christ.

The verse for the week was “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  The promise lies within the first part of this verse, “my grace is sufficient.”  In the storms of life, it is easy to become overwhelmed and think there is no possible way that God’s grace is big enough.  However, this is a promise and no matter what else is falling down around you, God will continue to shelter you.  Sheila does an excellent job of expressing this idea, “it is one thing to claim that Jesus is the Good Shepherd when times are good; it is quite another when you find you cannot stand and His staff is the only thing that holds you strong” (The Shelter of God’s Promises Participant’s Guide, p. 119).  Many times the grace of God is used to turn a setback into a victory.

Take a quick moment and think of the strengths that God has given you.  Now, also think about your weaknesses.  Which list was easier to come up with?  If you are like me, coming up with the weaknesses was very easy.  I tend to look at my faults and not my strengths.  However, I have found through this chapter that in my weaknesses, God is my strength.  He is waiting for us to reach out to Him and take His strength and live under the shelter of His grace.

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