The Beauty of Grace

…they will be attracted to an unusual beauty, a sweetness of spirit, someone who is effective and willing in helping them.

Meditation Thought: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“I put on you the mantle of my grace for all to see. The beauty of my grace is to shine immediately to all those who look at you. My power is beneath that grace, working through you – but if you are not cloaked in my mantle of grace, and appear powerful in your own right, people see your human power, which will blind them to my power working through you.

The mantle of my grace protects you. If your own pride and thirst for power and recognition grow to the point that they burst open the fasteners of the mantle and it falls away, then what is visible is only your arrogance. If you stay meek under your mantle, keeping yourself healthy and fit and the proper size by feeding on My Word and My Guidance, and not indulging in the food of the world – false pride, selfishness, greed – so that you get too fat for my mantle of grace which I have thrown over you, the ones to whom I would have you witness of Me will not see a common, gross, unattractive creature, unappealing to them; they will be attracted to an unusual beauty, a sweetness of spirit, someone who is effective and willing in helping them.

In the first attraction they may not perceive that your power to help them, and their attraction to you, is not of your own doing, but is due to your dependence on Me. In deeper communication with you they will understand that your effectiveness is based on My power released in you: This is the purpose of each of my believers – to bring my beloved children to recognize Me as their Father and to delight in Me as their Guide and Protector, and the One who created them in love.”

Over. Come.

The evil says “come”  the Lord says “come”. We must decide where to go.

Meditation Thought: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

Overcome: Over. Come: “over” implies a movement upward – we move “up” to God’s higher methods, more effective methods, when we consult Him. “Come” – implies the invitation to movement. The evil says “come”  the Lord says “come”. We must decide where to go.

We have our “manual” – all we need to do is to consult it, to determine which destination we must choose. Good is always concerned with love, with peace, with joy, with giving – evil is always concerned with malice, with conflict, with envy, with taking.

 

Perfect Method

Help me to be alert so that I can be an apt pupil.

Meditation Thought: “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 GNT)

“works for good” – the good is not limited to those who love God, it extends to others too – often resulting in adding children to God’s Kingdom.

“with those” – “those” are needed to be used by God, and in order to be used, they must be aware of God’s call, to heed that call and act on it, and to trust God with the results, not judging the Immediate results, but knowing that the ultimate results will be good for everyone and for God. The trusting is as important as the initial response, for the trusting is the acting on the faith – the believing that keeps the energy moving toward the completion of the purpose of God – whether that purpose was initiated by a call from God, or as by His response to a call to Him in prayer.

“everything” – Life is made up of a series of “things” – things involving seconds, things involving years – things that are crucial, things that are irrelevant, things that change the course of history, things that seem to not matter at all – but every one of these “things” is important enough for God to express His care, and His interest. All of creation is His and He is vitally concerned with all of it – He does not judge, as we do, that some “things” are so unimportant as to be unworthy of His attention. We need to think more in line with God’s example, so that as we work in tandem with Him, we accomplish His purpose more quickly than if we seek to accomplish that purpose by devising our own methods being ignorant of His more perfect method.

Prayer: Dear Father, I ask You to work in me in such a way that I will be using Your methods of accomplishing the tasks You set before me. Help me to be alert so that I can be an apt pupil. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Listen More

Put your mind at rest now that you know how to proceed.

Meditation Thought: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) and “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

If I remain alert to His leading, and am obedient, He will have me be a doer, for I will recognize and acknowledge the true Giver, who is using the attributes which He gave me. I can be happy in what I am doing, but must remember that what I’m doing has no meaning aside from obedience to God, and I must constantly check to see that I am on the path where He wants me to be.

Perceived reply: “Oh, my child, relax – I did not give you qualities which I want to use to cause you distress and doubts. I gave them to you to further my kingdom, to the extent of your willingness to dedicate them to me.

Listen, listen more than you ‘do’; this assures our harmonious working together for a common goal, and should enable you to push aside doubts and fears, as you concentrate your energies with a devotion and dedication that shuts out evil forces. Do not try to proceed to the work without fully understanding the instructions, for that is where danger lies.

Put your mind at rest now that you know how to proceed. Spend adequate time in reading My Word, and communicating in prayer, in serving others as a privilege of serving Me, and be open to my instructions through all channels. This formula will not fail, for your energies will all be dedicated to Me, and not siphoned off in useless contemplation.”

Power and Vitality

We must look to Him for His power to be available to us.

Meditation Thought: “And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:19)

His power – our belief – one is connected with the other. We must look to Him for His power to be available to us. We can be spending much energy, working so hard, hoeing in our garden – and all along, the power rototiller was right beside us, waiting to make our work light and easy – but we didn’t look for it, so we couldn’t use it.

God touches us lightly, so as not to violate our free will – but He does try to make us aware that His power is waiting, unlike an inanimate rototiller. We however, must not be so engrossed – perhaps in resentment at our task – that we cannot be aware of His touch. If we miss it, we miss out on a totally new, totally improved way of living our life, of doing our tasks. When we see that power, when we trust that it will work for us enough to make the effort to take hold of it and try it, then our belief and our acting on it is justified, and proved, by a new way of life – most visible to us, but visible to others also. They may want to find this more effective way of cultivating their garden of life, too and we can bring new lives and new vitality into the Body of Christ.

Contemplative Rest

Look for my guidance, and you will find it.

Meditation Thought: “O Lord… chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest.” (Psalm 139: 1,3 The Living Bible translation)

“Sometimes you have the impression that because you are aware of many needs to be met, that I want you to constantly be working at them. This is not so, I designed you for rest – not only physically, but you need the contemplative time, the relaxation time to understand the who, how, why, where of new activities.

‘Look’ for my guidance, and you will find it. The proper balance of activity and contemplation will allow my Spirit to work more effectively in prompting your spirit to be so attractive to others that they will seek me through seeing the balance which makes your attitude attractive to them. When you are so completely aware of my Spirit working that you are unaware of your own spirit or thoughts or activities, then you are doing My will for you at that moment. Practice makes perfect, and as you exercise listening to me and obeying me, then your spirit will become more accustomed to yielding to My Spirit, and harmony will result.”

 

Jeweled Crown

And so what appears to be death of self is actually the resurrection of self in new glory

Meditation Thought: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

When we place our delight in the Lord, we will have constant delight – for the Lord is always loving, caring, helpful, dependable, powerful – and willing to fulfill the desires of our heart. When we learn to be adept at taking our delight in the Lord, we will rejoice in the fulfillment of our desires as a natural consequence.

The ability to become adept at taking our delight in the Lord, however, is one which must be rigorously developed and practiced. There must be time to learn His Word, to listen to His Counsel. There must be courage to act upon His instructions – and His instructions may well bring the ridicule of the world, and most devastatingly, even our loved ones. We must learn to seek truth and not accept face values, we must “fight city hall”, we must be active and not passive, we must put duty above pleasure, we must sacrifice ego to become God’s weak vessel into which He pours His strength.

When we are able to submerge ourselves into what we thought was a swallowing up of our identity into God’s will, we learn that miraculously the very burying of ourself in Him crystallized us into all we were meant to be: we are fulfilled in an unsuspected joy as we emerge more totally individual than ever before – a new creature in Christ, a jewel set off more brilliantly because of our placement in His crown. And so what appears to be death of self is actually the resurrection of self in new glory, the clay reworked by God into a new and beautiful vessel to be used by Him, to be delighted in by Him, a completion of His creative process.