Gift of Grace – For the Win!

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When I retired as school secretary, I had to train my replacement. While teaching the person who took my place to run the machines and do the reports and follow all the protocols, we had an opportunity to talk about the students. Sometimes we don’t know their whole story.

Sometimes a student who is consistently late to school isn’t irresponsible. It may be their job to look after younger siblings until a parent gets home from their night shift. That may also be the reason their homework isn’t complete and they can’t stay awake in class. I imagine there were times when I was the only grace kids received during the school day.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

The grace I receive from God isn’t what I deserve; it’s a gift. A gift I want to share with others. Have you ever invited someone to church, and their reaction went something like: “Oh, no! I’m sure the walls would shake and the ceiling would collapse if I ever darkened the doorway of a church!” There are people who believe their sins are so terrible that God could never love them. But this is part of the gift: he does!

We learned about the “good person” in the weekend message. Those are the people who say things like, “I don’t tell lies, or steal, or cheat, and I haven’t killed anyone, so I’m confident God is happy with my life.” They tell stories about helping the poor and elderly or neighbors. They boast of contributions to their community. They think all their good will save them. It won’t, but still, you’ve gotta love them. No, seriously!

Mark 12:29-31
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

We will hear more about the commandment, the conduct, and the commission this week. Don’t miss opportunities to join God in the work he is doing in the hearts of people around you.

The Bottom Line: Winning with others is why we are still here.

Have you ever passed judgment on someone before hearing the whole story? Has anyone ever passed judgment on you? How did that make you feel?

Next Steps:
Continue to read the LivingItOut each day this week and write down one take-away from it. Ask questions and dive deeper into the whole story. Start looking for your top  five people.

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21 Days of Prayer

Day 15 Focus – To Declare my Dependence on Him (Psalm 121:1-2)

Dear Lord, when things become difficult, I know you walk beside me. You will cross the desert with me and weather any storm with me. When things become unbearable, I know you will carry me to the other side. Today, I declare my dependence on you. You give me my strength and are the only one who can truly replenish my weary soul. Amen

Today’s Parent Prayer

This post was written by Julie Estep, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut, who is grateful for the opportunity to reflect, write, and share what God is doing in her life. She’s glad you came today!

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3 replies
  1. Luke Shortridge
    Luke Shortridge says:

    It’s so easy to jump to conclusions or to tell yourself a story that assigns character deficiencies to people! Thanks for the reminders here, Julie! God bless

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