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Archive for June 18th, 2022

Living in Grace

MEDITATION:

Written by Kyle Norman, a contemporary Canadian pastor and author.

“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).  When Paul penned these words, he did not have in mind potlucks, Bible studies, or liturgical services; nor were these words designed simply to conclude his letter in a crisp and poetic fashion. Rather, in writing these words, Paul pronounces a reality that  encompasses the lives of all Christians. Simply, the words of the grace declare a truth about your life. This truth has three components. Firstlythe grace of Jesus Christis upon you. Scripture uses the word “grace” as a shorthand for the entire redemptive activity of our Lord. The entire arc of salvation history is contained in this small 5-letter word. Grace is Jesus entering your world in the most vulnerable of fashions; It is him walking toward you amid threatening storms; It is Jesus touching you in the place of your brokenness and offering his healing presence. Grace is Jesus weeping with you as you mourn the losses and struggles of life; It is Jesus journeying into the place of death and sin, violence and pain, to dethrone their power over your life; It is Jesus rising in the power of God, and extending that resurrection like a blanket over you. Grace is the intimate presence of the Lord precisely in the places where you feel that you do not, or cannot, deserve it.  When Paul writes “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. . .be with you” everything stated above is declared to be a truth for your life. In hearing these words, you are invited to live in this reality and to allow these promises to enfold you. Jesus, the exalted Lord, surrounds you. Paul does not stop there. Paul also writes about the reality of God’s love over you. I encourage you to sit with the awesomeness of this proclamation. Consider the sheer delight in being able to declare, under the authority of scripture, that the love of the creator surrounds you. The declaration of God’s love isn’t just something quaint we say. It is not a slogan of faith that sounds nice but lacks reality. No, God’s love is extended to you. This is a fact.  Scripture is replete with declarations regarding the activity of God’s love upon our lives. No matter what is going on in life, no matter how far off course one may have gone, God surrounds us with the deepest expression of love that we can ever imagine. And to top it all off, such love will not change or diminish.  It will not lessen in degree or intensity.  The love of God is constant. LastlyPaul concludes this life-giving verse by invoking thefellowship of the Holy Spirit. This statement refers to an active engagement with the Holy Spirit in our lives. This flows naturally out of the other two statements. If we truly recognize that we are immersed in our Lord’s redemptive work, and rooted in the sacrificial love of God, then how can we not see ourselves as filled with the power of Spirit? The Spirit invites us to participate in God’s activity in the world.  We are invited to share in the work of the Kingdom.  

PRAYER:

Written by Louie Giglio, a contemporary American pastor and writer.

Father, thank you for the gift of your Son, the perfect One given for an imperfect one like me. Thank you that Jesus died the way He did so I can come to you just as I am. Jesus, give me grace to reach for Your scars, believing that when You suffered and bled for me, my wounds were healed. Let your peace and power cover and heal my heart. Amen.

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