Overwhelmed by Grace

Years ago, I used this title for another article; it was similar, but different in many ways. It spoke of an overwhelming grace experienced during an earlier time in my life. Jerry and I were still young with both feet on the ground.; we were enjoying what we considered success, our children and small grandchildren; the Lord was doing great things in our lives. We could easily have said, “Then was the best time of our lives.”

We had begun to learn and know God’s covenant of grace. The power of His grace was something fairly new, but it was becoming a great work in my life, a life I had never known. To “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) was a beautiful thing. The overwhelming grace that He had bestowed grew stronger and nothing seemed to hinder even during the few difficult times.

I don’t know where my former article is stored, but I know that His grace was stored within my heart and mind, so that in these last days they have not been lost. During these last days, when the adversities have become overwhelming, God’s grace is far more, able to temper with the greatest of difficulties in this life. God is Greater Than is an older article posted here years ago. His grace was working then and now, continuing to grow and bearing fruit for His name and glory.

“These are the worst of times, and the best of times” ~ the worst of this world, but the best of heaven, and that overwhelming grace is that by which He will wing us to heights unknown and to our eternal home with Him.

An older hymn sung at our church this past Lord’s Day attests to this grace in His faithfulness to us through all times and all things.

Dear Father in heaven, as we consider all that you have done in our lives, we can but know how powerful is your grace that fills and thrills, and spills over wherever we are. We praise you for such a work, a supernatural work, that only your grace can accomplish. We pray that you will continue to grow us as your people, as a witness of your presence and power through all of this life, however difficult and tedious it may become for us. Believing that all the darkness of this world is meant to be a backdrop for your light and goodness, keep us faithful, loving, and gracious; enable us to stand in the truth of your grace revealed through the life, death and resurrection of your Son, our Lord and Savior ~ in whose name we pray, thank you and praise you. Amen.
Related Article: Why Me?
Image: Google

Expect Great Things

As I was getting out of bed yesterday morning I was given the words “Expect Great Things.” This kind of leading is not unusual, but this one seemed profound, so I hit the floor running. When the Lord speaks, we don’t always receive clarification, just direction. We are reminded of Abraham’s story and his obedience to God’s calling. He did not know where he was going but trusted the Lord’s direction.

Three such words as these ~ “Expect Great Things” ~ carry a lot of weight when we consider the source. No one could have given these words except God, the Father, through the presence and power of His Holy Spirit in me.

Upon first hearing these words, the temptation was to think that God had something special in store for me. But then, the same Spirit brought correction to my first and fleshly inclination. The next thought was for me to focus on the source of the words; not the words, but on God, Himself.

Consulting the concordance for the word “great” we find that God created “two great lights” (Genesis 1:16).

His work of Creation was just the beginning of the revelation of His “greatness.”

He promised to make of Abraham a “great nation” and to make his name “great” (Genesis 12:28).

He did a “great work” upon the Egyptians (Exodus 14:31).

(Every time I go to the concordance, I find more than I intended for one article; enough for another book. So, for sake of time and space, I encourage you to search other references for yourself.)

How do we then, understand these three words? If not for me, then who are they for?

In the end, I was led to realize that God is the great One, doing great things even before the beginning of the world. He will always be doing great things beyond my knowing. Where ever He has chosen, He reveals these great things; to whomever He desires. It is just for me to believe who He is, as God, Creator and sustainer of all things, and Redeemer, accomplishing all things He has planned for His own glory and our good.

In the process of realization, His greatness, through His power of creation, came to mind, His awesome deeds of deliverance for His people, His miracles of incarnation, resurrection and ascension, His redemption for us to whom He reveals His greatness, the new birth by His Holy Spirit and new life through Jesus Christ, His Son, and the continual leading of His Holy Spirit in the lives of HIs people. His greatness is revealed through HIs Holy Word. We read and believe though we cannot always understand.

Is He doing “great things” today? Do we need to ask? Or do we trust His revelation to us as the Great One who does “great things” every day, even though we cannot know or see them. And wherever He is working, His greatness has a ripple effect throughout humanity.

Dear Father in heaven, “The Great I Am,” whose “great love” is beyond our understanding, we praise you for your greatness, for the greatness of your grace and your glory. We are not always the direct recipients of what we would consider “great things,” but knowing you, we believe you are everywhere present and powerful every moment of everyday. Let us forever live in this joy and expectation, desiring to hear where you are now working; knowing this in our own hearts and lives as you are continuing to “conform us to the image of your dear Son” ~ in whose name we pray. Amen.

Image:Google

Which is the True Image?

When I saw the picture on the right posted as “The Best Image of Eclipse 2017” on Facebook Wednesday, I was impressed. When I went back to share it on Thursday, it was no longer there. When I searched Google, I understood why.

Neither of these are a true image of the 2017 eclipse. Brandon, the designer created his own image in 2011 and posted on Devianart. Someone copied the image and turned it so that the light appeared as a cross and posted it on Facebook.

True Image of Christ
This reminded me of all the images of Christ that have appeared throughout many generations. Yet, none of them are the same. Some are embarrassing and blasphemous. There are none that I care to look at. He remains but a silhouette until I see Him face to face.There were no paintings of Him by anyone who saw Him in the flesh. There were no cameras.

Who has a true image of Jesus Christ?

There are as many images conjured up in our own minds as there are painted.

How do we know a true Christian when we see one?

Paul speaks to the church in Corinth of false apostles.

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”  2 Corinthians 11:12-15

There are those who have claimed to be Christ. Jesus warned His disciples that there would be false prophets.

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look,
here is the Christ!’or
‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
Matthew 24:23

Dear Father in heaven, give us wisdom to know you and your Son as our Lord and Savior. Keep us from those who are impostors. So fill us with your Spirit and your Word that we can recognize the false images of Christ. Make us true image bearers. Enable us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ so as to share His true image with others ~ for your glory. In His name, I pray. Amen.