Overflowing grace


I just found a plank in my eye. (I'm sure it won't be the last.) At this moment in my journey with both my faith and severe depression, I have more trust in the clearly definable, like a palette of acrylics. Colors, amounts, which way the peaks pointed...I am having a hard time trusting the indefinable, the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God (I Tim. 1:17).


Don't let panic get you down,
How could we forget God's amazing love

Hear my tears
this is where
you'll shake the nightmares free
~Jon Foreman~


I've lived a long time believing that there would be some account or consequence for how well you lived Christ - bad decisions, bad consequences; good decisions, good consequences. The problem is that Jesus turned that whole paradigm upside down with His saving blood. In Romans 2, Paul writes that God shows no partiality based on race. Just a page later, in Romans 3, he again states that there is no difference between Christians when heaven come.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)
Okay. Wait just a minute. I've known for a long time my good works did not earn me salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10). But I was pretty sure there were good Christians and bad ones. And equally as certain into which category I would fall when I reach heaven's gates. When God talks about my sin, I get two messages loud and clear. Confess and turn from the sin. And now it is "erased", "disappeared", "remembered no more". But that was just intellectual knowledge.

What I've never considered as that the richness of Christ's over abundant love for every person on all the earth may be so overflowing that it fills each of us right up to the top. No matter whether it filled in a small dip where a few sins are have been subtracted from a righteous Christian, nor if it filled in almost the whole cup for the believer who is missing God's will or deliberately disobeying it - the cups were filled!


I see Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
So I think of those before me who lived a faithful life
And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought

I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharohs court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see Harriet awakening to the value of her soul

I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sister standing by the dying man's side

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down the door

I see the man of sorrows and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
~When the Saints, Sara Groves~

I turn today on the quotation of a prophecy fulfilled found in Romans 3: Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin. Today, a day in which I will surely sin, I am blessed because God isn't counting. He's not keeping track. There will be no favorites of Jesus in heaven. No "it" crowd. No cliques. I'm not going to be stuck in the corner barely dressed, flaws flaunted, while the faithful and righteous sneer at our shame while they walk by in spotless white robes.

In heaven, only one thing will matter - being in love with Creator of the universe. He will love us each equally and our focus will finally forever be on Him instead of His other followers. Let's turn this world upside down and quit counting the damage.






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Gratitude Journal, #602-648
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609. Wearing my own clothes
612. Emerging from the cloud enough to MISS MY KIDS!
629. Yellow theme to my mother's day gifts.
633. Stress makes me feel so alive
637. Facing Sunday and Monday, winning
640. Recognizing the difference between cultural lies and reality-based expectations
644. Brand new sand buckets and shovels = a day happily filled with kids digging