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Covered By Grace

Earlier today, during my time of reflection, I was able to listen to the last few minutes of a sermon being preached on television.  The preacher was talking about grace within the context of relationships.  What really resonated with me was that no matter what our challenge or challenges in relationship may be, we are covered by grace.

When we’re in challenging situations in our relationships, we can at times become so focused on whatever the issue is, that we don’t pay attention to the fact that whatever the challenge, whatever the dilemma, God has graced us to be able to deal with it.  Sometimes, we fail to remember that God has graced us to be able to handle it. He’s graced us to walk through it to get to the other side.I want to encourage you no matter the situation-be it infidelity or a relationship riddled with addiction, whatever it is that’s going on, I encourage you to not focus more on the issue than on the grace that God’s given you, and is able to provide, so that you can work through the situation.

Now, I’m not saying that you don’t have to deal with whatever the challenge may be.  What I am saying is this: don’t let your thoughts and your concentration be so concentrated on the issue that you render yourself unable to turn to God; the One who can AND WILL grace you to deal with the situation.  Let us not be so caught up that we don’t look to God and ask for the grace to handle it. Let us not be focused on the issue that we don’t ask for the wisdom, understanding and words, to guide us in our communication with our spouse. Ask God to give you what to say and when to say it.  Ask God to grace you to be able to say it with the love and the compassion that He would give you.

Ask God to grace you to be able to extend the grace to the other person. When we begin to do this, God is gracing us to turn our circumstance around.  When we allow God to enable us and show us how we are covered by grace, we are improving on the challenges or the places within relationship that needs to be worked on, through grace!.  I’m not saying that we don’t work on the issue, instead, I’m saying when we allow ourselves to focus on the grace God gives us, we won’t make the issue so big in our minds that we forget God is bigger and greater that the issue. We won’t allow the issue to become so large that we don’t turn to the one who can grace us to handle it.

When we remember that we are covered by grace, we will ask and enable God to grace us to not only extend grace to our spouse, but we will also allow grace to help us through the situation.

Clean House

The Lord brought this to my attention today as I sat in the living room of my home.  The living room is full of things-things from my past as well as my present.  Some of the things are intermingled, you know, the old mixed in with the new. Sometimes, I couldn’t find what I needed to do something, because it was mixed in with things.  Some of the new things that I had were hidden, or covered up, by the old things.

The Holy Spirit showed me that here I was in this new place, still with old stuff.  Some of the stuff was useful, but a lot of it wasn’t.  He also allowed me to see that the same thing was occurring inside of me.  Some of the stuff in me was useful, and some of it wasn’t. Old belief systems, even some relationships that were stifling new ones, that needed to be formed and nourished. There were new things that the Lord desired to place in me, but because of the old stuff, there was no room.

To get to the new things and even to obtain new things, as well as determine the old things that were useful, I needed to clean.  Cleaning required me to go through and sort things out.  Sort the old from the new.  Determine what was useful and what could be discarded. Sorting, clearing out and then deciding what to keep requires a process.  It also requires time; dedicated time. Most importantly, it required me to seek help, because there was a lot of stuff!  Help from the Holy Spirit and help from others gifted to help me clean!

What things are being hidden by the clutter in your life?  What giftings are being hidden by old thought patterns, or old ways of doing things?  Are there things that aren’t working anymore; old relationships, old belief systems, habits, that you’re holding on to?  Is there room for the new?

Why not ask the Holy Spirit to help you to clean house today.

Prayer for Today:

Lord, thank You for my home.  I recognize that there are some things in this home that need to stay and some things that need to be discarded.  I ask that You help me on this day.  Help me to sort out those things that need to remain and need to be thrown out.  I thank You for the ability to be able to keep that which is needed and the strength to discard what no longer has a place.  Thank You, that in this process, You are enabling me to make room for the new things You desire me to have.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Push Through The Pain

There are times when moving forward hurts-when putting one foot in front of the other feels like such a daunting task.  Sometimes growth doesn’t feel good, and yes, it even hurts.  Consider a woman who is in the midst of giving birth.  With each contraction comes pressure.  That pressure hurts.  With each contraction, the natural inclination is to push until the baby comes.  Why?  Because instinctively, the woman’s body recognizes that in order to get through the contraction she is required to participate in the process.  She participates by pushing.  As she pushes, the unborn child moves down the birth canal.  This process also brings about pressure, but it brings about something else as well.  It brings for the child!
On today, I want to encourage you to push through the pain.  Yes, the situation you are currently facing does hurt.  Yes, the pain may at times seem as though it doesn’t have an end.  However, if you become stunted or remain at a standstill, refusing to push, you will remain in that same place.

Sometimes in order to push through the pain we need help.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Just as the woman in the delivery room has a doctor there, a nurse, and even family members who are there to lend support as well, recognize that you too have that support system at your disposal.

Don’t allow the cloak of guilt, shame or even pride to act as an anestesia that lulls you into a place of comfort.  Believe me, that “comfort” will not last.  Instead, stretch forth and ask for assistance if needed.  Push through the feelings of doubt and fear.  As you push you move!  As you push help will come!  As you push, you get closer and closer to a place of rest, a place of peace.

No matter what circumstance has caused the need for you to push, push!! Push towards your healing.  Push towards your breakthrough.  Push towards forgiveness.  Push towards being made whole.  Push towards the Lord who has promised in His word to be your comfort.  Push all of your pain, all of your sorrow, your disappointment, and even your tears into the cross.  Allow the Lord to speak to you, to give you the grace and strength to push.

Moving Forward

Moving!  The word all by itself brings about many feelings.  Whether it’s moving to a new state, a new job, or even a new home, the process of moving brings about a myriad of thoughts and emotions.  With each of the aforementioned scenarios, they all lead to one thing; moving forward.  Choosing to move forward in life is no different.

Sometimes, our life’s experiences can have such an impact on us that we find ourselves having to move forward regardless of whether we planned to or not.  Maybe your spouse has made the decision to leave the marriage.  Perhaps the time has come for you to leave that abusive (emotional, spiritual or physical) relationship.  By chance you may find yourself in an “in-between place”, recognizing that you can’t just stay still.  No matter the reason(s) for your having having to move forward, know that you CAN move forward!

Yes, when you find yourself in front of the path that can lead you forward it can be scary.  It can even at times seem paralyzing.  Sometimes you may not know whether or not to put your right foot or your left foot first.  You may even be hesitant to walk because you can’t see where your foot will land or where the path before you will take you.  In those times, realize that the important thing is not that you always know exactly where to place each foot, but rather that you be confident and know that you’re steps are ordered by the Lord.  And because He orders your steps He will grace you with the ability to put one foot in front of the other, move forward and walk the journey set before you.

Your Healing is in the Journey

Whenever we read of someone receiving healing in the Bible we can be sure of this one thing ; they had  to walk.  No matter the healing, the person was required to walk in one fashion or another.  Some had to walk away from fear and walk in the direction of faith. Others had to walk from specific places, which often times required them to leave people and things behind.  Despite where they were walking from, they had to walk towards the ONE who was able to heal.  To put this another way, they had to participate in their healing.

Consider the woman with the issue of blood.  She knew that in order to receive her healing, she had to get to where Jesus was.  In fact, she had to not only walk, but the Bible tells us she had to press her way through the crowd.

Look at Naaman.  He had to not only walk towards the prophet, but he had to take some additional steps!  He had to be obedient to the word he received (walk in the direction of obedience), dip in the water, the dirty water nonetheless (walk towards the place of healing).  Then he was healed!

Can you recall the story of the ten lepers?  Jesus told them to walk into town-into the place they were banned from!

What would’ve happened if the woman with the issue of blood said, ” This journey to Jesus is too long?  I can’t walk that far.”  What if she had said, “I ain’t pressin’ through all those people!”  How would Naaman’s skin become softer than a baby’s if he had refused to walk towards the water?  Despite how Namaan and the woman with the issue of blood felt, they walked anyway!

What of the ten lepers? Well now, let’s see.  The Bible tells us that as they walked they were healed!

My friend, if you’re in need of healing, be it physically, emotionally, or even spiritually, I want to encourage you to walk!  As you walk realize that your healing is in the journey.  It was only as the woman with the issue of blood walked, pressing through the crowd, that she got to the place to receive her healing.  It was in the journey into town that led to the lepers’ healing.  Naaman made it to the prophet, and received further instruction.  It was in walking a little further that made the difference for him.

Your healing is in the journey!  Just as every example noted above, as they walked their assigned path, they found what they’d been traveling the journey for; their healing.  Be encouraged and walk for your healing is in the journey.