At the Start of Day

Rejoicing in the new day

Rejoicing in this day

It is God’s grace that turns this day into a special day with eternal purpose. All that is needed is God’s grace upon grace. His grace that forgives and makes me right, followed by grace to give me strength to do His will. At the start of each day I need to let these verse wash over me.

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Rejoice for this is the day that the LORD has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

Approaching the Throne of God

moonclouds

The heights of heaven

I can approach the throne of God in His grace and be confident I will find mercy and help. (Hebrews 4:16)
I can leave my past behind and know that it does not cling to me.
Life is be pure again.
It is not mine to lose or spoil, I can only receive it, and it is a new gift every morning.
This amazing grace comes with God’s power to live for Him,
And the knowledge that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
I do not have to worry about tomorrow for the end of my story has been written.
I can breathe in the peace of God.
I can rest in the knowledge that God will cause all things to work out for good when I walk in His love. (Romans 8: 28)
When I get lost, He finds me and restores my soul.
What Jesus has started in me will be carried onto completion by His grace and power not mine. (James 1: 6)
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. (Psalm 145:8)
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1)

Saying Grace

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The beginning of another day at Icicle Gorge

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

Before each meal I say grace, following the example of Jesus. The purpose is to give thanks for what God has provided, and ask the Lord’s blessing upon the food.

This morning as I lay in bed thinking of the coming day it struck me I could say grace over this day, following the same pattern of giving thanks and asking for God’s blessing. Saying grace over the day reminds me that God wants to bless it, to transform it into the fullness of why He has given it to me. Maybe the greatest transformation is in my perspective of the meaning and purpose of this day. After saying grace, it is no longer “just another day,” but one filled with God’s presence at every turn. The same possibility of blessing applies to the people we pray for: family, friends, and even person who cut us off in traffic.  What an awesome gift is grace, for we get to lavish it around on everything and everyone that God brings into our lives. This day will be forever changed simply by praying for God’s grace upon it, and with this simple prayer this day is elevated to eternal purpose.

Grace and Peace

Winter Along Icicle Creek

New snow, new day, peaceful and serene along the Icicle Creek

The scene is the Icicle Creek near Leavenworth WA. The photo was taken the morning after a snow fall in early winter. All is at peace with only the rushing of water for background music. I like to think of this moment as God’s salutation to me:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every letter in the New Testament begins with this greeting. The reason is grace and peace go together, with the gift of grace comes the gift of peace (see Romans 5:1). But I have to admit, often in accepting God’s forgiveness, I fail to also receive His peace that comes with it. Instead my mind falls into old ruts that rob me of the fullness of grace.

These are my ruts. I am sure you can add others to this list:

Grace and “Don’t let it happen again!”
Grace and “What a mess you’ve made.”
Grace and “You’re no good.”
Grace and the temptation to give up on myself.
Grace and fear.

Truth is I need help to receive all that God wants to give me. I need His help to put down the cacophony of lying voices in my head. I need His grace applied not only to forgive my sins, but also to let His peace rule in my life. Quite simply, I need grace upon grace.

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. (John 1:16)

Therefore, as you live by God’s grace don’t let your thoughts lie about the conditions of His grace. Instead ask for grace upon grace, so that you can walk in the peace that God has for you in Jesus Christ.

Grace, like new fallen snow, covering everything with His peace.

Grace Like Falling Snow

skier sleeping lady

Snow flake upon snow flake bringing winter joy.

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16

Thank you Lord, that Your grace is not a one time gift, for I would have used it up long ago.

Thank you Lord, that Your grace goes beyond the forgiveness of my past sins to include my future.

Thank you Lord, that grace is also about the assurance of Your presence in my life, that You will be with me in all that takes place (O Immanuel).

Thank you Lord, that by Your grace, You want to change me from what I am, to what You want me to be.

I praise You that this miraculous transformation happens by Your strength not mine.

Thank you Lord, that Your grace soaks up what I have spilled, not just in my life, but also in the lives of those I have hurt.

Thank you Lord, that grace will never lose its power with use, or become dull with time.

Grace upon grace springing up eternally from Your fullness to my wholeness.

Fear on the Horizon

Storm rolling through Idaho farm land

Storm rolling through Idaho farmland

I feel weak and have a fragile faith.
When I reflect on the past, I see little accomplished and am disheartened.
When I consider the present, I have trouble overcoming my tendency to procrastinate.
When I think of future, I am fearful that I will fail.

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

So my past is a story of God’s great grace.
My present one of seeking help to take the next step.
My future? I try to leave in the Lord’s hands.
Struggling to accept that whatever may come is from His hand,
And He will help me through it.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

I don’t understand why I’m this way.
I am only able to stumble along letting Jesus continually catch me.
When I stand before the throne, truly it will be an act of grace.

Rockrose

Tweedy’s lewisia is a wildflower that grows in the cleft of rocks, thus the common name, Rockrose. Such beauty springing from granite is remarkable.

Tweedy lewisia

Tweedy lewisia, Rockrose

God’s grace is similar, it makes beauty where there was nothing but wasteland (read all about it in Isaiah 35).

“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy….

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
‘Be strong, do not fear;…’

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert….

and the ransomed of the Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

To get the full impact, I encourage you to read and meditate on the complete chapter in your Bible.