The reality of loving God is loving him like he's a Superhero who actually saved you from stuff rather than a Santa Claus who merely gave you some stuff.
Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above and I fly! Grace always conquers! Be graceful in everything; in anger, in sadness, in joy, in kindness, in unkindness, retain grace with you!
Life makes fools of all of us sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you'll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, you know, its our own expectations that crush us.
Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day's chalking.
All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.
The hand on my hair moved to my back, and I realized someone was singing softly. The voice was familiar, and something about it made my chest ache. Well, that was to be expected. Angels' songs would be awfully poignant. 'I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, when I met you...' the voice crooned. I frowned. Was that really an appropriate song for the Heavenly Host to be--
Realizing the seriously ruthless, venomous habits and agendas of evil always instills a more fierce passion and longing for a closer God. Men, out of pride, may claim their own authorities over what constitutes good and evil; they may self-proclaim a keen knowledge of subjective morality through religion or science. But that is only if they are acknowledging the work of evil as a cartoon-like, petty little rain cloud in the sky that merely wants to dampen one's spirits. On the contrary, a man could be without a doubt lit with the strength, the peace, and the knowledge of the gods, his gods, but when or if the devils grow weary in unsuccessful attempts to torment him, they begin tormenting his loved ones, or, if not his loved ones, anyone who may attempt to grasp his philosophies. No matter how godly he may become, God is, in the end, his only hope and his only grace for the pressures built around him - it is left up to a higher authority and a more solid peace and a wider love to eclipse not just one's own evils but all evils for goodness to ultimately matter. If all men were gods, each being would dwell in a separate prison cell, hopeless, before finally imploding into nothingness.
God judges men from the inside out; men judge men from the outside in. Perhaps to God, an extreme mental patient is doing quite well in going a month without murder, for he fought his chemical imbalance and succeeded; oppositely, perhaps the healthy, able and stable man who has never murdered in his life yet went a lifetime consciously, willingly never loving anyone but himself may then be subject to harsher judgment than the extreme mental patient. It might be so that God will stand for the weak and question the strong.
Love as a concrete foundation for an authentically functional civilization requires the around-the-clock labors of forgiveness. Without it, Love fails, Friendship fails, Intelligence fails, Humanity: fails.
Always seek justice, but love only mercy. To love justice and hate mercy is but a doorway to more injustice.
Our true nature is one of innocence and freedom to choose how we live. We need to be brave enough not to give that away. Don't give up on your right to, and sense of, TRUTH, Justice, and GRACE.
Take lightly what you hear about individuals. We need not distort trust for our paltry little political agendas. We tend to trust soulless, carried information more than we trust soulful human beings; but really most people aren't so bad once you sit down and have an honest, one-on-one conversation with them, once, with an open heart, you listen to their explanations as to why they act the way they act, or say what they say, or do what they do.
Our love grows soft if it is not strengthened by truth, and our truth grows hard if it is not softened by love.
Aye me, how many perils do enfoldThe righteous man, to make him daily fall?Were not, that heavenly grace doth him uphold,And steadfast truth acquite him out of all.
...there is therefore now no condemnation for two reasons: you are dead now; and God, as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, has been dead all along. The blame game was over before it started. It really was. All Jesus did was announce that truth and tell you it would make you free. It was admittedly a dangerous thing to do. You are a menace. Be he did it; and therefore, menace or not, here you stand: uncondemned, forever, now. What are you going to do with your freedom?
She had said he had been driven away from her by a dream,--and there was no answer one could make her--there seemed to be no forgiveness for such a transgression.And yet is not mankind itself, pushing on its blind way, driven by a dream of its greatness and its power upon the dark paths of excessive cruelty and of excessive devotion. And what is the pursuit of truth, after all?
And yet is not mankind itself, pushing on its blind way, driven by a dream of its greatness and its power upon the dark paths of excessive cruelty and of excessive devotion. And what is the pursuit of truth, after all?
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Men will allow God to be everywhere but on his throne. They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow his bounties. they will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends Hes throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. And we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter; then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust.
God is not an employer looking for employees. He is an Eagle looking for people who will take refuge under his wings. He is looking for people who will leave father and mother and homeland or anything else that may hold them back from a life of love under the wings of Jesus.
God's grace is not defined as God being forgiving to us even though we sin. Grace is when God is a source of wholeness, which makes up for my failings. My failings hurt me and others and even the planet, and God's grace to me is that my brokenness is not the final word ... it's that God makes beautiful things out of even my own shit. Grace isn't about God creating humans and flawed beings and then acting all hurt when we inevitably fail and then stepping in like the hero to grant us grace - like saying, Oh, it's OK, I'll be the good guy and forgive you. It's God saying, I love the world too much to let your sin define you and be the final word. I am a God who makes all things new.
The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you.
To be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing.
The Word we study has to be the Word we pray. My personal experience of the relentless tenderness of God came not from exegetes, theologians, and spiritual writers, but from sitting still in the presence of the living Word and beseeching Him to help me understand with my head and heart His written Word. Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of *knowing* Jesus Christ personally and directly. When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.
As fallible humans, we usually slip too far over one edge or the other - all wrath and judgment or all grace and love.
Even when you don't see Him working, He's busy working on your behalf. Forever grateful for God's grace!
My belief is that, morally, God and Satan are vaguely on the same page. According to the common understanding of Satan's origins, holiness must be in his blood: but a corrupted formula. The vital difference is that God is willing to offer grace for our sins; he delights in grace. God is the one and only holy and just punisher of sin, yes, but that is partly so because punishment for the sake of punishment is not something he loves. Whereas Satan, as the accuser, and as it is written, actually seeks God's permission to punish; he, being a seasoned legalist, delights in finding wrongs and will defy his own morality just to expose immorality. This is why both the anti-religious soul and the violently religious soul are, whether consciously or unconsciously, and sadly enough, glorifying their biggest hater: Satan is not only a lawless lover of punishing lawlessness, but also the greatest theologian of us all. He loves wickedness, but only because he loves punishing wickedness.
Were God to show grace to all of Adam's descendants, men would at once conclude that He was righteously compelled to take them to heaven as meet compensation for allowing the human race to fall into sin. But the great God in under no obligation to any of his creatures, least of all to those who are rebels against him.
The love of Christ is always there and unchanging, no matter what we do, but it is when we are obedient that we actually begin to feel it.
Grace has to be the loveliest word in the English language. It embodies almost every attractive quality we hope to find in others. Grace is a gift of the humble to the humiliated. Grace acknowledges the ugliness of sin by choosing to see beyond it. Grace accepts a person as someone worthy of kindness despite whatever grime or hard-shell casing keeps him or her separated from the rest of the world. Grace is a gift of tender mercy when it makes the least sense.
I experience religious dread whenever I find myself thinking that I know the limits of God’s grace, since I am utterly certain it exceeds any imagination a human being might have of it. God does, after all, so love the world.
...I believe in a God of scandalous grace. I have pledged allegiance to a King who loved evildoers so much he died for them, teaching us that there is something worth dying for but nothing worth killing for.
If grace belongs to God, there are those who say that luck belongs to the Devil and that he looks after his own.
The nativity mystery “conceived from the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary”, means, that God became human, truly human out of his own grace. The miracle of the existence of Jesus , his “climbing down of God” is: Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary! Here is a human being, the Virgin Mary, and as he comes from God, Jesus comes also from this human being. Born of the Virgin Mary means a human origin for God. Jesus Christ is not only truly God, he is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us, he is like us.