EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Read |2 Timothy 1:8-10|
This morning I shared with my friend, that whenever I step out of God’s presence, I find that He always draws me back to His side. He responded, “How can you step out of God’s presence when He is always there?” A good question, indeed. And implicit in his response was a powerful and comforting reminder: my failure to be perfect does not drive God away. God is always with me-even when my feelings do not agree. The Psalmist David, in his rhetorical and poetic hymn, states just as much:
Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. (Psalms 139: 7-12, NRS) .
What a joy and privilege it is to know that our God loves us so much that His love pursues us beyond the apparently insurmountable barriers of our natural environment and those created as a consequence of our own frailty, brokenness and or sin. His love does not grow slack at the sight of us, but goes beyond our faults and ministers to our needs. This is what grace is all about.
The Greek word for Grace is Charis and it means “God’s divine, gracious favor and blessing; his goodness, benefaction and endowment”. (Fred R. Coulter). It is a multifaceted word displaying the many attributes of God’s love, as perfectly manifested through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
When the world was overrun by the devices of the devil; when people were groaning under the weight of sin and devouring each other by whatever means they could and; when people felt helpless to deal with the mayhem that had befallen them His divine grace, in the person of Jesus Christ, took the initiative. Grace came to earth to bear the weight: the weight of our sins on Calvary’s cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21). All this so that our identity as children of God, created in his image and likeness, could be reclaimed. All this, a lover’s rescue from start to finish. Nothing we could do to merit it. A divine gift, a gracious favor and blessing-His goodness in action.
Beloved, His love did not grow slack towards us in our frailty, brokenness and sin. Instead, it was emboldened to pursue and rescue us from the grip of death we earned. (Romans 6:23). Grace came rushing like a wave of cool water to soothe and cleanse the aching and sickness of our needy souls. It came in the form of our precious Savior, offering healing for the sin sick soul. (Isaiah 53:5).
I once watched a movie where a little boy was given a project by his Social Studies teacher, requiring him to develop and implement an idea that would make the world better. His idea was to pay it forward. He encouraged persons to whom a kind favor was done to do the same to others, or pay it forward. The implementation of his project set in motion an extraordinary wave of human kindness, which changed the lives of those both near and far. As I recall this little boy’s initiative, I am challenged to consider how I may pay it forward. The “it” being the perfect kindness of God expressed towards me in Jesus Christ.
While I am powerless to save, I am not powerless to witness of His goodness through a life set apart unto Him. As I wholly surrender my everyday life to Him, His perfect character is developed and expressed in me-an invitation to His kindness that can set in motion an extraordinary wave that not only tingles hearts, but resurrects souls and transforms lives for His glory. (2 Corinthians 5:20 and Matthew 5:16).
Beloved, let us heed Paul’s admonition:
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [but seek to please Him], by whom you were sealed and marked [branded as God’s own] for the day of redemption [the final deliverance from the consequences of sin]. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]. Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave [a]you. (Ephesians 4: 30 - 32, AMP).
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God through seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are confident that in living the truth by His Holy Spirit we will be transformed into women who bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body-women who are empowered to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God's Word, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.