Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grace Still Finds Us

“God shouts over the world’s noise that grace still finds us, love restores us and hope's enough to get a little boy home.” – Bob Goff

That’s a tweet from Bob Goff, back in March.  It was about getting a Ugandan boy back home after some pretty horrific things happened to him due to the conflict.  But, out of context, that could be any of us reaching for our relationship with God.  We all have a way of getting off the right path (or being pushed off) and needing to be helped back.  The neat thing is that God is always there to guide us and take us back.

Our founding Pastor often spoke of Grace as giving us what we don't deserve and Mercy as taking away the negative we do deserve.  Both divine Grace and divine Mercy are privileges of our relationship with God.  But God allows all of us to get a taste of that privilege, a window into the full blessing package that comes with salvation.  When we're part of God's team, His thoughts toward us are, "“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness....”  That's the beginning of 2Corinthians 12:9, where Paul continues to say that he's ready to glory in any negative things that come his way because God will shine through those circumstances and will be glorified in those things we can't handle by ourselves.

This week, the theme of our international convention is "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).  And often we skip the second part of that verse.  It reads, "and to die is gain.".  Despite what we say we believe as Christians, death retains a negative connotation.  But it isn't a bad thing at all.  Consider a friend's wife who passed this week.  The results of some health issues had her in pain, not focusing on much else besides the pain.  Knowing that she would be with our Lord, is it a negative that she got away from the pain?  Of course friends and family would feel a loss without her here.  But we'll get over that.  For her, as the vernacular puts it, "it's all good.".

There are martyrs whose death drew converts to Christ in greater numbers than they did in life.  And we could go on, showing how various negative circumstances can be positive things.  Addictions, mishaps, all kinds of situations. It doesn't matter what's going on.  God can use it to draw us, to bless us, to take our experiences to a new level of relating to Him.  That's part of the "benefits package" for Christianity.  The circumstances are less important than how we're able to deal with them, thanks to Grace.  We get to see positives in everything.

If you haven't developed a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, I urge you to consider making that change in your life.  If you're already a Christian, but you can't quite latch onto His Grace, it's there for you.  In either case, reading the Gospel of John, in the New Testament, can be a good start.  And finding a good church and Pastor to hear more will help guide you in the right direction.  Having that relationship with God is a must.  Don't hesitate!

If you're in the Baltimore, MD area, come to our convention.  Tonight (Wednesday) is free -- it's our usual midweek service.  And there are lots of people who would be happy to discuss that relationship with you.  And guide you toward God's peace and love.  Let His Grace be sufficient for you!

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