Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Grace

What Is Grace?

A devotional by Allison M. Wilson

Key Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-9, John 8:32, John 15:5, Philippians 1:6, Micah 6:8 (NASB)

About a decade ago, God sent me on a journey by using a book by Steve McVey called Grace Walk. I had a bit of an understanding of what grace was, or so I thought, and went into the study with little expectation. It rocked my spiritual world.

I was taught the acronym of GRACE – God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense – when I was a child. I knew grace wasn’t something I could earn, however much I struggled in believing it. I still felt like God didn’t love me unless I was doing what was right more often than what was wrong. My feelings were what drove me to be relentless in my self-doubt, condemnation of my efforts, and belief that I could never measure up to the perfection He wanted from me, as a person who had accepted salvation. Ever feel that way?

All of those feelings kept me in slavery. I don’t use that word lightly. I was chained to what I thought would make God love me more. I was shackled to disappointments and guilt every single day. I didn’t feel as if John 8:32 was anywhere near my grasp.

Through that study, I began to see what had been in the Word all along! Philippians 1:6 is clear about Who does the work, and Who has the responsibility to complete it, but I never read it with understanding eyes. I started to learn about a freedom that seemed too easy. How could I believe that my only requirement from the Lord was to abide with Him? The passage in John 15:5 is familiar to most of us, but we still think we can do something good in ourselves. We’re told in Micah what is required of man, yet, do we ever really believe it? Is it truly that simple?

Yes, it is. We, humans, have complicated God’s grace in troubling ways. We lay burdens on our shoulders, and those of others, which were never intended to be there, nor could possibly be carried!

We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves (perfection in all things), and then, when we don’t achieve those lofty goals, we beat ourselves up. Even worse, we expect things from others that they could never attain, and beat them up when they don’t reach the mark.

We, as believers, are wanting things of other believers, and the world, that they aren’t capable of doing. We want a moral compass in those who don’t know the Lord at all. We want perfection in relationships with others when God’s not done with us yet, so how can we expect He’s done with that other person? Damaged people do damage, and hurting people hurt people. Until we allow the Lord to begin His work of healing in our lives, those two things will continue to wreak havoc, but that’s another post!

This year is going to be a study in grace through my posts. I long, now, for others in the faith to understand the real freedom Jesus Christ died to give us. No condemnation. No guilt. Wouldn’t that be an amazing life? It’s ours for the grasping, but only as we understand who we are and Whose we are. Come on the journey with me.

Let’s Pray: Dear Jesus, You are amazing in so many ways. The most astounding part for me is that You don’t think poorly of me when I don’t understand something. You want to show me, through Your Holy Spirit, what is right, and long to guide me into all of Your truth. Give me a softened heart, an open mind to the things of You, and a willingness to learn what is true. In the Name of Christ, I pray, Amen.

*Editorial Note from Alexis (founder of "God is Love" blog): Allison's devotional today reminds me of a song by Larnelle Harris called, "Were It Not For Grace." Listen to it here. God bless you!

Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals. 

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

Connect with Allison:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.