Tag Archives: faithfulness

A Closer Walk: The Excellence of Grace

No one is as hard on me as I am—and I do realize that some of that—is the way I was raised.

My parents preached excellence to their kids.

I remember constantly hearing as I was growing up,”That everything I do, should be done with a spirit of excellence.”

The Excellence of Grace

Always my folks would tell us that they wanted “our very best” at all times.

Nothing wrong with teaching kids to strive for their best, but somewhere in my head (again) the word “best” got tweaked into the word “perfect” and that is impossible to pull off.

I still struggle with a healthy tension between excellence and perfection. (Don’t a lot of us?) It’s so easy to get sidetracked from doing my best, to striving for the unrealistic and unattainable perfectly-perfect.

(And, as we all know, the reach for perfection is a deadly-confidence-killer!)

Perfect just ain’t gonna happen no matter how hard we try. (Not in this life!) That’s why this simple little word “grace” is such a life-changing concept for someone like me; the guy who is so tempted to go for all-of-the-gusto, all of the time.

Giving grace to others, encouraging them to hang in there and not quit… that comes to moi, like rolling off a log. But, I have to admit, my “flaw-finder” is superb when I am looking at myself; at what I am planning, doing, creating… etc., etc., etc. No matter how sweet the complement, or how genuine the praise, that insidious little flaw-finder in my head, will kick in and go straight for (and magnify) the-only-thing… I should have done better.

(Heavy sigh.)

Enter… GRACE. Ta-Da!

The ONE SIMPLE THING that will save me every time: His grace… His sweet grace… His loving grace… forgiving grace… cheering-for-me grace… the ALWAYS THERE, new every sunrise, air-that-I-breathe, manna in the morning …grace.

Excellence splashed by grace

How serenely simple is the grace of God! Even a child can comprehend their need. (And oh darlin’ I do desperately need Him.) Each day. In every way, have-to-have-Him, and His grace. I want to roll in it, like a little kid rolls in mud, getting the gooey, lovely stuff, all over me!

A man I deeply respect once said, “Simplicity is a clear window.”

A lot of light bulbs went on in me when I heard those words.

That’s what grace is. Simple. So simple it’s easy for all of us to miss it. So, let’s not.

The Excellence of GraceInstead, let’s all abide in gratitude today, whatta ya say?

Let’s wallow in the always enough of Jesus Christ’s sweet loving grace.

Let’s splash around in the stuff splattering it on others. And to be sure… let’s save a few heaping handfuls for ourselves!

May we come up from that “Wilderness of Perfection” LEANING on GRACE for each stumbling-step—trusting that we are kept as His Beloved in spite of all our many failures.

Ah, the simplicity of grace.

What a lovely clear window you are!

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AS MUCH AS YOU NEED

Whether My grace falls in dew, or in showers, it will always be enough.

That is all you really need to know. Not, “Will it be good? Will it be bad?” No, no, these things matter not. They lead to a tenseness in your spirit, and anxiety, and worry.

(Am I there?)

Of course not!

My sweet child, all you have to do each day, is walk in the path prepared for you. I AM leading; I go before you.

For My children in days gone by I provided manna.

The Excellence of GraceAlways enough.

For you, it is grace, and like the manna of old it will be there for you each morning.

(Always there, for I AM there, too.)

Where I abide, grace abounds!

Did you get that?

As you obey, forgive, love… I abide. My grace flows freely from wherever My Spirit abides.

As you walk in the fruit of My Spirit grace flows freely from your life.

There is always enough for you and others!

It is the way to express constant power and strength.

(Now you see?)

But… I warn you. As in the manna of old, you may not store this grace from what you did yesterday, last week, or last month.

The Excellence of GraceMy mercies are new every morning.

Besides, you’ve experienced stale grace.

(Tasteless stuff!)

Not for you dearest… not for you. I want you to receive fresh new mercies, like morning dew, or summer rain.

Each day—as much as you need!

a closer walk

“…and your strength shall be renewed day by day like morning dew.”

Psalm 110:3Psalm 110:3
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your power, in holy array. Out of the womb of the morning, you have the dew of your youth.

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A Closer Walk: Sometimes You Need A Real Friend

We have all encountered Job’s “friends.” You know, those would-be comforters with their Biblical counsel that cuts like a knife.

But sometimes you need a real friend, like it or not.

faithful friend

I’m not talking about the, “Hey, how the heck are you?” kind of friend you see once in a blue moon. No, I’m talking about the kind of friend who will always be there, no matter what.

That kind of friend is very rare.

They walk in—when the world walks out.

Best Friends

So, there I was.

Life had ground to a complete halt.

Because of my daily blinding headaches I can’t work, I can’t drive, I can’t read or write, or even watch TV.

Now, it’s just God and me, and all the time in the world to chat.

Problem was, I didn’t want to talk. Not in those early days!

So, God did the speaking and I did the listening. What else could I do? I could barely walk across a room! Besides, have you ever tried to walk out on Omnipresence?

just a closer walk(Not likely!)

So, God begins to speak.

He starts by reminding me of others who had gone through a pretty rough time.

Guys in the Bible like Joseph, and Job, and Jeremiah.

I love the book of Jeremiah!

Jeremiah knew just what it was like to have his life fall apart, and yet he still wrote in the book of Lamentations,

Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends… Great is his faithfulness: his lovingkindness begins afresh each day. (3: 21-23)God was about to teach me this truth.

He is a faithful friend even when you don’t want Him to be.

Each morning He would show up dispelling my darkness with His Light and whispering His encouragement into my stubborn ears.

It may sound crazy, but in a way?

I resented His coming.

life is broken

Wasn’t it too late?

What earthly good would talking do now? My life was a mess with everything broken. (I mean, really broken!) I didn’t want to do damage assessment. I wanted things back the way they were!

God on the other hand, wanted me front and center—up close and real personal.

I didn’t know it yet, but He was there to bring the answer to a long forgotten prayer.

We were definitely face-to-face…

heart to heart with God

But heart-to-heart?

Not really.

So He asked me a question…

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ONE WAY

How do you think My children see Me?

Take some time. Really think about it.

What does the scripture say?

Jesus said to His friend Philip, “…if you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father.” You can always “see Me” by looking at My Son.

Now, look at the verse for today.

When I see you how do I see you?

When you see Me how do you see Me?

face to face with God

So often, My child, you try to see Me looking through yourself.

You wonder why your views of Me are clouded or distorted?

But, how could they be otherwise?

To see Me you must see Jesus. And to see you? The way I do? You must also see Jesus.

It is by your faith in My written word that you have been made right in My sight!

Where does your peace with Me (and with yourself) come from?

Yes, yes, being found right in My sight.

And, whenever I look at you, how do I see you?

Through My Son’s death and resurrection!

How often My children sing of “blood-bought and blood-washed,” but how few really SEE it!

walking with JesusI no longer see the darkness of sin when I look at you.

And you will never see Me for who I AM based on what you see in yourself.

There is only One Way, One Door, One Life. His name is: JESUS.

Now, do you see?

a closer walk“So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have a real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1Romans 5:1
English: World English Bible - WEB

5 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;

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