Friday, November 23, 2012

Grace Trails

Well hello, little blog. I realize I haven't touched you in a while.... Life has definitely had it's shares of joys and pains lately. Remember how I told you about God at work in me? Well, I'll have to save that story for another time very soon.

I just jumped on here because I wanted so much to share this thought with you:

Have you ever been taken down a "Bible Rabbit - Trail"? (I love these because usually when they happen, things I heard all my life suddenly make all the more sense as a reality in my life!)
Have you ever heard this jewel of a verse that's nestled in John 14?
"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he is is that loveth me."

Rabbit - Trail #1 What are these commandments to which He is referring? That seems rather stiff and daunting. The disciples listening knew enough about the Old Testament commands that had been passed down through Moses. There seemed to be a gazillion of them, and no human could get them all right!
But remember, Jesus gave them the new command in just the chapter before, "love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." The first and greatest commandment He classifies as "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength."
So, THESE are the commands that are specifically directed to us, as followers of Jesus. And according to John 14:21, if we hold them close and DO them, it proves our love for Him.

Are you with me? I know it could be easy to zone out during all this word-y-ness, but I want so badly for you to get it. Because this is awesome stuff! The next part of John 14:21 tells us,
"And he who loves me will be loved of my Father"

Rabbit - Trail # 2  Can you believe it!? This same Father who would not tolerate a speck of sin in His sight. The same Father who sees the wandering hearts of us on earth and calls us an adulterous generation, wicked and perverse - He will love anyone in the world who chooses Jesus, the only name under heaven whereby we must be saved. And by the way, love for Jesus is not - no not ever! - something to be ashamed about.

Which brings us to the last portion of the verse. "And I will love him and manifest myself to him." 

Rabbit - Trail # 3  Whenever I see the word "manifest" I automatically exchange for the phrase, "make bigger." As a result of our choosing to love Christ, He will no longer be a mystery. Instead, He will purposely be "made bigger" in our line of vision. He will reward those who diligently seek Him with... Himself. In order to get more of Christ, you have to WANT more of Him. If you knock on that door He promises it will be opened. If you ask, you receive.
You might be familiar with the verse that explains, in the end we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
That brought it all together for me.... Not just for my future, but for my "now"! As I love Him more, making conscience choices day by day that draw me closer to Him rather than farther away, then He will start to show me more of who He is. I'll start to see what He really looks like, instead of what I just always imagined or desired Him to be. And as Jesus shows me more of Himself, than I can't help but be like Him!

In all His splendor, His glory and righteousness, wisdom, gentleness and ultimate love, how could I catch a glimpse of Him and not begin to incorporate it into my own life?

Sometimes, especially lately, this walk feels like an uphill battle. But sometimes I make life too complicated. Living for Him is really just a beautiful cycle of

loving Christ  --------   seeing Him

seeing Christ ---------   emulating Him 

emulating Christ ------ loving Him. 

So friends, I've got news for you. We are not under the Law and the Commandments anymore! Christ has come and brought the new perspective with Him. We live in the Age of Grace now, not to take advantage of it for our own gain but to take full advantage of it to HIS glory and gain.

It's crazy, even though I've known all these pieces of the truth for a while, it's taken these rabbit-trails of thought to penetrate the reality of the grace concept deeper into my heart. I suppose then, you could call them "Grace - Trails."(But you don't have to if you think that's a little corny. :-)

Well, I should go to bed. I've written much more than I had anticipated tonight and I'm going to be tired working both jobs tomorrow. Thanks for listening to my ramblings, little blog.