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“Oh, God, give me grace for this day. Not for a lifetime, nor for next week, nor for tomorrow, just for this day. Direct my thoughts and bless them Direct my work and bless it. Direct the things I say and give them blessing, too. Direct and bless everything that I think and speak and do. So that for this one day, just this one day, I have the gift of grace that comes from your presence …”
— Marjorie Holmes —
“Mostly, though, I prefer to believe that God has no grace to give. Because the alternative is that He gives grace capriciously or, even worse, that He plays favorites. Some desolate valleys become places of springs, and others wither until they are sere beyond hope, and if God is the one who chooses which is which then I would rather live in a universe lucky enough to have escaped His notice.”
— Joel Derfner
“Our weaknesses may never go away but when we give them to God, His grace will turn them into something beautiful …”
— Heather Bixler
“I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.”
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“God has given you grace. Maybe you should give yourself some too.”
— Todd Stocker
“It is the moral anesthetic of our day to ask God and our friends to only understand our sin from our point of view. This mind-set of seeing sin from a personal point of view has led to, at best, weak Christians crippled by sin and untouched by gospel power, or at worst, wolves in sheep’s clothing who hunker down with offices in the church, teaching feeble sheep a perverted catechism, one that renders sin grace and grace sin, one that confuses doubt with intelligence and skepticism with renewed hope. When we live by the belief that sin is best discerned from our own point of view, we cannot help but to develop a theology of excuse-righteousness. We become anesthetized to the reality of our own sin. One consequence of this moral anesthesia is the belief that you are in good standing with God if you give to him what the desires of your flesh can spare. But sin, biblically rendered, is both a crime and a disease, requiring both the law of God and his grace to apply it for true help.”
— Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
“God receives none but those who are forsaken, restores health to none but those who are sick, gives sight to none but the blind, and life to none but the dead. He does not give saintliness to any but sinners, nor wisdom to any but fools. In short: He has mercy on none but the wretched and gives grace to none but those who are in disgrace. Therefore no arrogant saint, or just or wise man can be material for God, neither can he do the work of God, but he remains confined within his own work and makes of himself a fictitious, ostensible, false, and deceitful saint, that is, a hypocrite”
— Martin Luther
“God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”
— Reinhold Niebuhr
“Dear God, I don’t want to have invented my faith to satisfy my weakness. I don’t want to have created God to my own image as they’re so fond of saying. Please give me the necessary grace, oh Lord, and please don’t let it be as hard to get as Kafka made it.”
— Flannery O’Connor
“When grace happens, we receive not a nice compliment from God but a new heart. Give your heart to Christ, and he returns the favor.”
— Max Lucado
“Jesus shed His blood on the cross. He died for you, even when you did not deserve it. And He rose from the grave and offers forgiveness and salvation for anyone who turns to Him. But the Bible also says that we can’t ask Him to forgive us while refusing to forgive others.” Elizabeth nodded. “I know, Miss Clara, but that’s just so hard to do.” “Yes, it is! Yes, it is! But that’s where grace comes in! He gives us grace, and He helps us give it to others. Even when they don’t deserve it. We all deserve judgment, and that is what a holy God gives us when we don’t repent and believe in His Son.”
— Chris Fabry
“God, give me by Your grace what You give to dogs by nature.”
— Mechthild Of Magdeburg
“God won’t permit temptation beyond your strength. It is true that temptations come to all, but God will give you the graces you need to withstand them, if you ask him to and if you are willing to cooperate with his grace … In God’s presence, consider: Do I put up a fight when temptations beset me, or do I give up quickly and surrender myself to them without a struggle? Do I rely on God’s grace to conquer temptations, or am I conquered by them?”
— Patrick Madrid
“God takes great delight in surprising His people with His goodness. He delights in being there for us, in coming through for us. He loves to give us the good gifts of His provision and grace that reveal to us His nature and His character.”
— John Paul Jackson
“Consumer Christianity is now normative. The consumer Christian is one who utilizes the grace of God for forgiveness and the services of the church for special occasions, but does not give his or her life and innermost thoughts, feelings, and intentions over to the kingdom of the heavens. Such Christians are not inwardly transformed and not committed to it.”
— Dallas Willard
“Love is reckless; not reason. Reason seeks a profit. Loves comes on strong, consuming herself unabashed. Yet in the midst of suffering love proceeds like a millstone, hard surfaced and straight forward. Having died to self interest, she risks everything and asks for nothing. Love gambles away every gift God bestows. Without cause God gave us Being; without cause give it back again. Gambling yourself away is beyond any religion. Religion seeks grace and favor, but those who gamble these away are God’s favorites, for they neither put God to the test nor knock at the door of gain and loss.”
“Let God work in you, give the work to God, and have peace. Don’t worry if He works through your nature or above your nature, because both are His, nature and grace.”
— Meister Eckhart
“Praise lies upon a higher plain than thanksgiving. When I give thanks, my thoughts still circle around myself to some extent. But in praise my soul ascends to self-forgetting adoration, seeing and praising only the majesty and power of God, His grace and redemption”
— Ole Hallesby
“Come away, my dear brethren, fly, fly, fly for your lives to Jesus Christ; fly to a bleeding God, fly to a throne of grace; and beg of God to break your heart; beg of God to convince you of your actual sins; beg of God to convince you of your original sin; beg of God to convince you of your self-righteousness; beg of God to give you faith, and to enable you to close with Jesus Christ.”
— George Whitefield
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It was a day full of “feedback.” A lady approached me after the worship service and commented on my children’s behavior during the sermon. This was after a fellow teacher had disagreed with my plan to teach a weighty subject in Sunday School.
I wanted to find a hole and hide. Instead, I had to find the energy to explain God’s glory to a room of energetic elementary school kids.
I know the truth: My identity in Christ is not dependent on my works – and these people meant well. So why was my heart so thrown off by comments that were meant to be helpful?
My Passion for Man’s Praise
The answer is pride. My heart is inclined to grasp for man’s approval. I strive to get people to like me, and I’m constantly measuring myself up to others. I can receive 10 compliments and one criticism, and the criticism will haunt me for the rest of the day. My dread of losing someone’s admiration controls my heart.
This is a precarious way to live because my desire for admiration will never be satisfied by people. We are a fickle lot, we humans, and prone to judge one another. My passion for praise is a no-win situation. In fact, the desires of my sinful heart are at war within me and ultimately lead to death – death of relationships and ministry and joy in the Lord.
But our gracious God has a remedy.
James 4:1-6 says:
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
The War within My Heart
While I was not physically brawling on the floor with my critics that morning, my heart was certainly at war. I may not have plotted their murder, but I was enjoying the thought of how it might feel to egg their house. I was praying, but it was a prayer that I would be justified to these people, that the feelings of admiration they stole from me would be returned.
I was asking, and did not receive, because I asked with the wrong motives. While I was committed to serving and loving God, I was courting a friendship with the world and its value systems. This passage in James spoke directly to me, and I saw what I desperately needed. I needed God to give me more grace—
But I also saw the condition attached to this gift.
God’s Response to My Betrayal
God doesn’t tell me my sin isn’t a problem, simply because he gives more grace. He yearns jealously for his Spirit to dwell in me, and my grasping and clinging to other people’s praise is adultery against my Creator who saved me for himself.
However, God’s response to my betrayal isn’t condemnation (my greatest fear), but more humbling grace. To be honest, I don’t love grace like I should, nor do I love the God of grace like I should. My flesh resists the idea that I have no merit of my own before God. But there is great freedom in letting go of the passions of my flesh and embracing in humility the Spirit I’ve been given by grace alone.
The Daily Grace of God
Since that morning, the Lord has been opening my eyes afresh to see my constant dependence on his daily grace. We don’t have the strength to stand when our hearts want to flee, or hold back when our hearts want to lash out. We need grace daily:
- Grace to walk in the spirit, not in the flesh (Romans 8:4)
- Grace to submit to God (James 4:7)
- Grace to embrace weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- Grace to serve (Philippians 2:5-6)
- Grace to follow God’s wisdom (James 3:17)
- Grace to bear with one another (Ephesians 4:2-3)
- Grace to count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds (James 1:2)
- Grace to take hold of the eternal life to which you were called (1 Timothy 6:12)
Those who daily receive more grace from God are those who are humble before him, recognizing their need and seeking him in meekness.
The Means of Grace
Regarding growth in grace, J.C. Ryle says, “When I speak of ‘means ’, I have in view Bible reading, private prayer, regular attendance on public worship, regular hearing of God’s Word and regular reception of the Lord’s Supper” (Holiness, pg. 20).
All of these good things – Bible reading, private prayer, worship attendance, etc. – are channels God uses to pour out more and more grace to us when we use them to seek him in humility.
And this was my experience.
- As I read God’s Word, I was convicted and strengthened by grace.
- As I confessed my pride to the Lord, he gave me grace to rest in the splendor of his gaze alone.
- As I prayed for grace to extend to the critics in my church family who meant well, he was faithful to give it.
- As I returned to worship the following week, I experienced his freedom and joy.
Freedom in God’s Grace
The words “God opposes the proud” have pierced me as I’ve meditated on them. My fixation with my own merit, and the accomplishments I’m so proud of, have not gained me one ounce of favor in God’s eyes. In fact, he opposes them. But he does not oppose me. The grace God gave me when I trusted in his saving work through Jesus is immovable and forever fixed on me.
But God wants to give more grace. He wants to give me grace that humbles me as I grow in meekness, grace that ultimately frees me from the sinful cravings that hijack my heart and lead to death.
Through this grace, I can stop striving to exalt myself and patiently wait for the day when the Father exalts me, not for the works I have done, but because of what my Lord and Savior, Jesus, has done in my place.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10)
God gave me stylllle, God gave me grace
– God give me style, God give me grace
God put a smilllle, on my face
– Ha ha, God put this smile on my face
God make me shiiiine, like the sun
– God make me shine like the sun
Sometimes I feeeeel, like I’m the one
– Sometimes I feel like I’m the one
It ain’t my fault, I just reach for style
I’m hot, I breaks it down
It ain’t my fault, you can’t break it down
The way I break it down
Listen you can call me what you want, black and ugly
But you can’t convince me the Lord don’t love me
When my CD’s drop, they sell the best
You call it luck, why can’t it just be I’m blessed
I’m a track star runnin through life chasin my dreams
Best deal I made was tradin the mic for that triple beam
I zone off thinkin is there really heaven or hell
If so what happens to a changed man that dies in a cell?
I need no answers to these questions, cause time will tell
Got a date with destiny, she’s more than a girl
Don’t much good come from me, but my music
It’s a gift given from God, so I’ma use it – yeah
Some days I’m in the crowd, all by myself
Bunch of niggaz around, I’m still by myself
I drift off on a cloud, by myself
Thinkin ’bout nothin more, than life – what else?
These days it’s hard to tell who really cares for me
So when you hear this song, you should say a prayer for me
I put a message in my music, hope it brightens your day
If times are hard when you hear it, know you’ll be okay
A O.G. told me God’s favorites have a hard time
You’re out the hood, that’s good, now stay on the grind
I’m a sponge, knowledge and wisdom I ab-sorb fast
I’m in a class by myself, you do the math
It ain’t my fault, yeah
Shoutout to Reverand Floyd Flake
It ain’t my fault, Creflo Dollar, CD Jake
Ms. Chevetti Allah, is here shorty, ha ha
Wooo! Feels good
Oh yeah, can’t forget Bishop Moore
Cause my mama key on me, ha ha
Бог дал мне stylllle , Бог дал мне благодать
– Бог даст мне стиль , Бог даст мне благодать
Бог положил smilllle , на моем лице
– Ха-ха , Бог поместил эту улыбку на моем лице
Бог создал меня shiiiine , как солнце
– Бог делает меня сиять, как солнце
Иногда я feeeeel , как я один
– Иногда я чувствую, что я тот,
Это не моя вина , я просто достичь за стиль
Мне жарко , я разбивает его
Это не моя вина , вы не можете разбить его
То, как я разбить его
Слушайте вы можете позвонить мне , что вы хотите , черный и уродливый
Но вы не можете убедить меня Господь меня не любишь
Когда капля моей КР , они продают лучший
Вы называете это удача , почему она не может быть просто я благословил
Я звезда легкой атлетики Runnin по жизни Chasin мои мечты
Лучшее предложение я сделал было Tradin микрофон для этой тройной луча
Я зоне от думаешь есть ли действительно рай или ад
Если это так , что происходит с другим человеком , что умирает в клетке ?
Мне не нужны ответы на эти вопросы , потому что время покажет,
Получил свидание с судьбой, она более чем девочки
Не много хорошего исходить от меня , но моя музыка
Это дар, данный от Бога , Так я использовать его – да
Несколько дней я нахожусь в толпе , все сам
Букет ниггеры вокруг , я все еще сам
Я дрейфовать прочь на облаке , сам
Думал насчет ничего более , чем жизнь – что еще?
В эти дни трудно сказать, кто действительно заботится обо мне
Поэтому, когда вы слышите эту песню, вы должны помолиться за меня
Я положил сообщение в моей музыке , надеюсь, что это скрашивает свой день
Если времена тяжелые , когда вы слышите его , знаю, что ты будешь в порядке
О.Г. сказал мне, фавориты Божьи имеют трудное время
Ты с капотом , это хорошо , теперь остаться на рутинной
Я губка, знания и мудрость я аб – сорбировать быстро
Я в классе по себе , вы делаете математику
Это не моя вина , да
Передаю привет Reverand Флойд Flake
Это не моя вина , Крефло доллар , CD- Джейк
Г-жа Chevetti Аллах , здесь коротышка , ха-ха
Wooo ! Чувствует себя хорошо
Ах да, не могу забыть епископа Мур
Причина мой ключ мама на меня , ха-ха