Timeless, Transformational  Grace 

2 Timothy 1:9   He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.

Nothing about us saves us.  We can’t redeem ourselves.  We can’t heal ourselves.  We can’t fix ourselves.  We can’t save ourselves.  We are broken, wounded, hurt, and imperfect.  We NEED a healer, a holy one who redeems us, calls us by name, purposes us for redemption, and saves us from ourselves.  By God’s grace, exemplified in Christ Jesus from the beginning of time, we are saved, redeemed, healed, transformed, and purposed for holiness. Who delivers us from our broken selves?  The Holy One because of grace.  We come empty with our woundedness, and are filled with His grace.  We transform into Christlikeness because of Christ!  His grace redeems us into a life of holiness, righteousness, healing, wholeness and purpose.  Give thanks for God’s filling our deep needs for healing, holiness and change with His timeless grace! 

Photo: New England

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Homecoming 

Joel 2:13-14

Change your life, not just your clothes.
    Come back to Godyour God.
And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.
    He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love,
    always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now,
    maybe he’ll turn around and show pity.
Maybe, when all’s said and done,
    there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God!

Come home.  God wants you to return to Him. He is slow to anger and patient when we stray; He compassionately holds us with His loving arms.  He is our loving, forgiving, gracious Father.  He changes our hearts to fall in love with Him.  Wear love as an outward symbol of an inner homecoming. He blesses us in softening our hearts and welcoming us home.  We are His beloved. Be at home in God’s love.  

Photo: Retreat of Robert Frost, Vermont

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Choose Joy, Patience, and Faith 

Romans 12:12.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Hebrews 4:16.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hope, affliction and prayer are states of being.  We can either be joyful in our hope in Christ or despairing in our hope in the world; choose  joy.  We can either be patient through our momentary affliction or recklessly impatient in our handling of difficulty;  choose patience. We can either be faithful in prayer to God or doubtful in His plans for our lives; choose faith.  Approach God’s throne with steadfast confidence in your hope, patience and faith in Him, and receive His ever-flowing mercy and abundant grace.  God meets you in your time of need, whether your state of being is hope, suffering or prayer.  God loves when you come to Him confidently, joyfully, and faithfully. The author of hope, the giver of grace, and the river of mercy that is Christ is with you.

Photo: Middlebury, Vermont

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Rivers in a Dry Wasteland

Isaiah 43:19 “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

Lookout for God’s presence in and around you.  Wait and see the promise of His newness appear. Watch overflowing  rivers spring up in the wasteland areas of your life.  See how  His love and forgiveness stream over your bitterness and hurt.  He is making a new way in your life, carving out a pathway in the wilderness places of your heart by His mighty rushing river of love, joy and peace.  His Spirit will pour out goodness, hope and faithfulness into your life.  Oh new creature in Christ, watch for His Spirit immersing you with His love, enlivening you with His energy, and filling you with His peace.  You will see new rivers of hope flow. 

Photo: Austin, Texas

  

Well-watered trees

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (AMP): “Most blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.”
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.” Blessing comes from fully trusting God; He nourishes the roots of our belief, reliance, hope and confidence in Him. He strengthens our resilience against hardship. He cuts off our fears and anxieties. He prunes our circumstances to draw us closer. He flourishes our futures. He yields fruit from our well-watered trees. Our lives look different: green and robust even in times of drought! We are rooted and planted in Christ to display His splendor. As we trust God, may He empower us, enliven us and bless us.

Photo: Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Wind

If you take a moment to contemplate in nature, you will see how the branches of trees are swayed by the wind. They mysteriously encounter the presence of wind and are moved by it. And so it is with God; we don’t know where or when we will feel His presence, but His Spirit comes mysteriously and moves us. Be present to His Spirit moving like the wind in your life. John 3: 6-8 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Picture: Portugal