Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Gift of Grace

Hebrews 4:15-16 We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of GRACE, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

I'm wondering today at the use of "receive" and "find" as it relates to mercy and grace (in that order).

I began understanding mercy under Pastor Fred Sindorf's teaching about the mercy seat at the Risen Savior church in Milwaukee (well, West Allis to be exact).

I definitely experienced God's mercy in those days - unmerited favor or more simply, not getting what you deserve. Mercy is the direct opposite of justice - getting precisely what you deserve.

But in the 30 years hence, I still lived somewhat under the law/justice mode, expecting punishment whenever I didn't live up to God's standard. Make no mistake, I know that God was not happy with some of the choices that I made, but it was my choices He hated, not me.

It was only 3 years ago when Michael and I went to a Tres Dias weekend that I "found grace". Or should I say, it found me. I now fully understand the rest that is possible through his sympathy with our frailty, instead of expecting punishment. And I know that someone else stood in for my punishment, which is the ultimate form of grace.

I want to share with others His rest, which is understanding His GRACE.

Lord, use me to demonstrate the peace and rest possible through your grace. Thanks for the gift of grace and serenity in the midst of chaos.


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