Today, you are a vessel that God wants to use.  You are.  You are someone who God has created, who He loves, who He desires to walk beside and love, who He desires to forgive, redeem, and use for amazing things.

There’s not a single thing in your life that God doesn’t want to use for His glory.  Even your failures.  Even the things that you have done wrong; even your mistakes.  God will use those too.  Listen to what it says today in Psalm 106: 4-8:

4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favor you have
for your people,
and visit me with your saving help;
5 That I may see the prosperity of your elect
and be glad with the gladness of your people,
that I may glory with your inheritance.
6 We have sinned as our forebears did;
we have done wrong and dealt wickedly.
7 In Egypt they did not consider your marvelous works,
nor remember the abundance of your love;
they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.
8 But he saved them for his Name’s sake,
to make his power known.

Psalm 106 is one of those Psalms that recounts all the things that God has done and all the ways that God has done it.  it is one of those powerful passages that shows how over and over again, God desires to save His people.  But why?

So many reasons.  He loves them (and us).  But it isn’t just He loves them (and us) but He is love.  He is grace.  He is peace.  He is God.  But we see in verse 8 one of the reasons that He shows grace.  And it shows how He will use even our failings.

He saved them (and us) to make His power know.

When He gives us grace, when He uses us, when great things are accomplished through us, all the credit, all the glory, it goes back to God.

Warm-Sunset-Reflection-Through-Car-Side-Mirrors__IMG_8780_cr-347x480A perfect God uses the imperfect people to accomplish His mission of grace.  Wow!  So in spite of all that we’ve ever done, He still wants to use us to change the world.  And when someone as imperfect as me, or you, or any of us, is used, it has to be because God is awesome!  Even our mistakes and our faults, they can’t stop God’s amazing grace.

Today, there’s not a part of your story that God can’t, and won’t use.  Even those mistakes.

When He uses us in some powerful, good is accomplished, and He gets the glory.  We are just mirrors, reflecting His light and His grace.

Today, as those who have been shown grace, may we show grace to others.  And may God receive the glory through it all!

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Grace upon Grace

Grace is not a one-time thing.  It’s really not.  God doesn’t just see our mistakes, forgive us one time, and then be done with us forever.  No, God constantly gives us grace.

He gives us grace to forgive us, He gives us grace to empower us, He gives us grace to lead us.  For us, and for the world, grace is not a one-time thing.  It’s over and over and over again.  I am thankful that God is always lavishing us with grace and mercy.

That’s how it works between us and God.  But, how should it work between us.  God always forgives us when we ask Him, but what about you and me? What are we to do when we keep messing up?  I mean, really, can’t they get it right?  How much grace do they get?  Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 18: 21-22:

21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

grace_candle_logoNow, notice what Peter asks.  He says, what if another member of the church sins against me.  Two things popped out.  One is “sins against me.”  That means does something to harm that relationship.  Something that’s not good, something harmful and destructive.

Something that may leave a mark.  Something that really may just hurt.

That’s tough to deal with.  Tough to work through.  Tough to process.  It’s not easy.

What else jumped out at me?  “another member of the church.”  Someone that’s family.  As Christians, we are called to love. That’s one of our main commands and duties as believers, to love. We are called to love, because God is love. That’s our purpose and our mission.

Love the world.  Love each other.

But especially love each other.  Because we are family.

Church, we’ve got to love each other.  If we are always fussing and fighting among ourselves, then why would the world want o be part of us?  Sometimes the fights are over theology, or worship, or leadership, or a million different things.

Jesus tells us what to do.  Love.  Forgive.  Show mercy. Be graceful.

Even when “they” don’t deserve it.  Because we don’t deserve it either.  That’s why it’s grace.  It’s never earned or deserved.  It’s always, always, always given and received.

Today, you and I have received grace from our Loving God.  Today, may we show that grace to the world, and especially to each other. Because loving each other may be one of our biggest witness to world.

In a world that is angry and bitter and hurting, folks want to know that they are loved.  When we as the church live that out, I truly believe that we can change the world.

Today, may we show grace!

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