Greetings! It has been SO long since I posted. Thank you for still hanging out with me! So, as the title alludes, I am turning 30 in 30 days! I can hardly believe it! God is SO faithful and kind toward me and I am grateful. It hit me today to do something special leading up to my 30th birthday, now I am only praying I can be consistent with it, but I will be giving 30 lessons I learned in my 20s. I will not claim to have perfected all of these lessons, but I will share the ones that have deeply left an impression on my heart. Ready? Here we go!
Day 1, Lesson 1: Grace
Grace seems like an easy concept to grasp… until you need it. Those closest to me often tell me and have told me for years that I am very hard on myself. I can be very critical and not give myself grace when I need it. I’d make progress in an area, for example, cleaning one room of my home, and instead of celebrating how far I’ve come, I only see how far I have left to go. This was identified in statements like, “Yeah, I cleaned my guest room, but my office is a hot mess and there is no way I’ll be able to get this done. I should have never let it get this junky!” See what happened? I missed a moment of grace and celebration for how well things went in the other area.
This may seem like a silly example, but what about when it comes to bigger, more weighty matters like sin? I’d find myself in patterns of sin and feeling defeated and powerless to overcome them. I knew I didn’t deserve pardon and that I rightfully earned whatever punishment that The Lord felt due. I was finding my heart drifting into the pattern of Judas’ heart rather than Peter’s when they both betrayed Jesus. In Matthew 26:14-16, Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, betrays Jesus by setting up and opportunity to get Jesus killed. In Luke 22:54-62, Peter denies knowing Jesus 3 times to protect himself from persecution. Both betrayed, but their heart posture after says a lot to us. After Judas’ betrayal, he hung himself on a tree. After Peter’s betrayal, he ran back to Jesus in repentance. One took justice into his own hands, while the other left justice in God’s hands. Now we will talk mercy later, but today Holy Spirit highlighted to me that Peter was extended Grace.
What is Grace?
Grace is defined in Merriam Webster’s dictionary as: “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.” Whew, that is packed with some heavy-hitting truth! Unmerited in short means undeserved or unearned. Regeneration in short means to be restored to a better state. Sanctification in short means to be set apart for holy use. Pack that all together and in laymen’s terms, God is giving us underserved assistance to be restored to a better state and be set apart for holy use! Thank you Jesus. Upon repentance, you and I can enjoy this grace that is so lovingly given to us by God.
I’m learning to have a Peter heart
Peter was a heavy hitter before and while traveling with Christ. He was always ready to brawl for Jesus, by word, go to the deepest depth with him, and even die for Jesus. He even cut off a mans ear for the cause of Christ, which Jesus was NOT down with. Jesus knew Peter’s heart was well intended but needed refinement. He knows that about our hearts too. That is why, upon salvation, he offers us a gift by name of Holy Spirit who is sent to indwell us and give us power to overcome sin. Now, Peter received this gift, and still had areas of grey in life that his brothers in Christ had to check him on. But Peter’s heart always leaned back to Jesus, even to the point of death. Peter received Jesus’ grace; unmerited assistance to overcome sin and to be restored to a better state and set aside for holy use.
Just like I needed to have grace on myself when cleaning the outside of the cup (my home and what people can see), I need just as much, if not more grace, to clean the inside of the cup (my heart and mind, what people cannot see). Check out Matthew 23:25-26 for the cup reference. This is done by repentance (turning away from sin to Christ) and acceptance of God’s grace in the person of Holy Spirit. Will you turn from your sin daily and receive Holy Spirit to empower you to live free and successful today? I am. Join me.
I pray this encourages you as I continue my journey to 30. See you tomorrow, if God delays his coming.
#30in30series #day1grace #refreshher