Grace

But [Jesus] said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV)

Sometimes I end up being thankful for things that initially I was annoyed or grumbling about… Like missing the bus one Thursday evening because I answered the phone at work just as my shift ended and it was a call that took a while to handle. It was the last bus of the day and a fine evening so I walked home listening to music on my iPod. The very last song I listened to was my favourite Keith Green song, Grace By Which I Stand. This reminded me of my many weaknesses, fallings and failings in faith, the fact that at any time I am only a decision away from denying Christ or making a mockery of my confessions of faith.

This may sound despondent and morbid, but it is actually a good place to be. When I am weak, then I am strong. Knowing that it is only by grace that I stand in Christ makes me more secure, not less. If I stand in my own strength that strength fluctuates daily, hourly even. My strength will fade as I age, is weak in the face of temptation and is untested against what is yet to come in my life. Whereas God’s strength is unwavering, proven in His raising Christ from the dead, knows the end from the beginning and He holds all of it in His hand.

Lord, the feelings are not the same,

I guess I’m older, I guess I’ve changed.

And how I wish it had been explained, that as you’re growing you must remember,

That nothing lasts, except the grace of God, by which I stand,

In Jesus.

I know that I would surely fall away,

Except for grace, by which I’m saved.

Lord, I remember that special way,

I vowed to serve you, when it was brand new.

But like Peter, I can’t even watch and pray,

one hour with you,

And I bet, I could deny you too.

But nothing lasts, except the grace of God, by which I stand,

In Jesus.

I’m sure that my whole life would waste away,

Except for grace, by which I’m saved.

(Keith Green, 1980)

Gifts I have noticed this week (215 — 224)

  1. A quiet house.
  2. That our goal is perfection in Christ, not simply being better than others.
  3. The pleasure of lying down and closing sleepy eyes.
  4. A comfy bed.
  5. The security of being able to sleep without fear.
  6. A satisfied stomach.
  7. Being wakeful enough to function.
  8. The enjoyment of watching my little boy and dog playing with a ball together distracting me completely from what I was doing.
  9. Appreciation for my hardworking neighbour as I hear him mowing his lawns.
  10. Daughters missing home while on holiday at Grandma’s.
  11. Another dawn in our beautiful city.
  12. Tiredness reminding me of early days with new babies.
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