Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grace [in place of] Grace

“Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” ~ John 1:16

Have you ever sat by a stream for hours, mesmerized by its constant movement?

It doesn’t sit stagnant.  It’s constantly flowing.
It never runs out.

There’s always new water to fill the place where the “old” has already been. 

Amy Carmichael says that’s what grace is like. 

“Grace for grace” means “grace [in place of] grace.” 
Grace in place of grace that was there before. 

Like a constantly flowing stream that never empties, grace never runs out.

Tomorrow comes, and new grace takes the place of the grace we needed yesterday.
As that grace is no longer needed, new grace arrives to take its place.
Always around the corner is new grace.
“Grace for Grace.”

Our need for grace seems to chase us sometimes.

Why are frustrations allowed to remain? 
Why must we endure day after day the ever-present hopeless needs that can’t seem to ever go away?
Why can’t they just go away . . . .?

Maybe a better question is . . . . Why do we try to escape our need for grace?

Our Father allows the need for grace to keep us in His grip.  
To keep us touched by grace.
To keep us realizing that grace will always be there.

A constantly flowing supply that never runs out. 
Always there.

And always around the corner.

“Grace [in place of] Grace.”

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Perfect Christmas Gift

I’m so thankful we have Christmas to celebrate.
Once a year, we take time to remember that Jesus came.

But year after year, He is portrayed as simply a helpless baby. 
Always in a manger.
Or held in Mary’s arms.
Sometimes Santa Claus joins the manger scene.

His "picture" is on the front of cards, ornaments, and posters.

But always. . . a helpless baby.

I’m thankful He came as a baby. 
He became a man, so He could bleed.  And He bled on the cross for my sin.

I’m thankful He didn’t come as a full-grown man, indifferent to the fact that we go through stages in life and live a day-to-day existence.  He came as a baby, so He could experience what we experience.

But He wasn’t just a helpless baby.

He was everything you and I need and desire . . . the “Perfect Gift.”

The prophecy of Isaiah tells us Who He really is (Isa. 9:6):

A Wonder.
Beyond our understanding.
We can only stand back and be amazed.

He was both God AND man.
He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor.
He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death.
He died for us, while we were yet sinners.

We can only “wonder” at all He is and all He did for us.

The Preeminent Counselor.
The “only wise God.”
No one is wiser than He is.

Since the beginning, mankind has had a desperate need for wisdom.
So, God promised to give us a Counselor.
One Whose counsel planned salvation.
One Whose counsel you and I can seek on a daily basis,

The Mighty God
God Himself.
Qualified to be our Savior and powerful enough to save.
Ready to meet our needs.

The Everlasting Father
The Life-giver.
The “Father of what is Everlasting.”
“Whoever believes on Me,” Jesus said, “HAS everlasting life.”
It can ONLY be found through Him.

The Prince of Peace
True Peace.
To know Him is to know the Greatest Peace.
Jesus told His disciples before He went to the Cross, “Peace I leave with you. MY peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives. . .”
True peace is ONLY found through Him.

God’s Son was not just a baby laid in a manger.  He was everything God knew we needed and desire.

The Perfect Gift.

A Gift only God could have given.

We have only the Lord to be grateful to that we have Christmas to celebrate.

(Click here to listen to "Thanksgiving for Christmas")