Welcome back, it was amazing to see so many of us gathered on Monday, new faces and old friends. It is great to be working together looking at God’s word and encouraging one another in grace.
Huge thank you to Anne and Kathy for putting together such a wonderful evening to catch up and be inspired with all that God has for us this year.
I was really challenged by the teaching on Monday and here are some brief reflections that I had.
God’s gospel grace is something I find so easy at a head level and so hard at a heart level. I can totally get the grace of forgiveness of sins at conversion;
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
It can’t really be put any clearer than the way John Newton wrote all those years go. I understand this and accept it giving thanks and praise to God.
BUT fresh gospel grace each day after so many years of being a Christian? Believe me, I totally know I need it! However the issue lies with whether I fully trust God will give it to me.
You see the issue that really hit home on Monday that I am half Amy and half Imogen and very rarely Cindy (if you have no idea what I am talking about see Kathy’s notes from the talk on Monday on this website). I spend half my life striving to try and please God and the other half feeling guilty I have failed. So fresh grace every day seems very distant.
I think about how annoying it is when I have to ask the kids for the 10th time not to leave their shoes in the middle of the kitchen floor; or how irritating it is to find that yet again all the mugs at work are dirty. Do you find it frustrating when your husband, sister, mother does that thing which really grates on you? So how must it be for God, when everyday, for the last twenty years, He has had to remind me to see people how he sees them…to curb my impatience, tame my tongue and so much more beside. Doesn’t He just get fed up of me and say “she has had her chance and she has blown it?”
No He doesn’t!! How amazing is that.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
He loves us and forgives us day after day, we don’t ever deserve it, it is all from His great love. He forgives us continuously without end, just He as expects us to forgive others.
Matthew 18:21-22 (ESV)
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
SO the challenge for me this month is to preach God’s gospel grace to myself each morning, to trust in His forgiveness and to rest in His joy. By doing this, I pray His spirit will work in me to slowly transform me into the woman He wants me to be able to do all the good works he has prepared for me.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.