Finding Grace

Finding Grace

Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

 

“There we will receive His Mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” I need God’s Mercy every single day. He provides it each morning and I gladly scoop it up. I am strong-willed, idealistic and control is my nature. So when I get up to face each day, I must come to the Cross and humbly accept the mercy of God to get me through today. I want to serve God in every attitude and action today but let’s face it when people are involved and the enemy is real this can be a real challenge. Thank you Jesus that He is our high priest who sits on the Throne of our lives giving us just what we need to make it through each day. The Lord knows because He did it – He lived an ordinary life with extraordinary potential just like we do. The only difference is that Jesus was able to do it successfully without sinning. Well, that’s not my case. We approach the Throne of God and He gives us mercy on the spot or we would be consumed in His Awesome Perfection. His Righteousness would destroy us simply because we have sinned. But the Blood of Jesus covers us so we can come boldly. It is in this place of humble surrender and full acceptance of His Mercy that we find the grace we need to live this life in love with Jesus and others as instructed.

What would life be without people? A lot less dramatic. It is the diversity of people that brings flavor to life but like food in the kitchen – we do not always appreciate the aroma and taste of every selection. We have always taught our children to thank their host when given a meal even one that they did not care for. Eat a little and be gracious to the person who sacrificed for them. Rather than eye rolling, gagging and voicing their displeasure or distaste. Our old dog is quite the drama king. If presented with dog food that he doesn’t like – he gags and then tries to bury the food in the rug offended that we offered it when he could simply walk away. No I believe he wants us to know his displeasure and feel sorry for him so we will feed him something else. Years ago, he had some teeth removed. We tried to give him wet food which was the first time we encountered such a fit. But after a couple of days of not eating, the vet suggested I grab some chicken hearts and livers cooking them down for the little guy. He ferociously devoured them thus proving the vets theory that he was refusing to eat not unable to. It’s called rebellion. Ouch! I see myself in this story when I do not get my way and go to God for an answer only to discover I need His Mercy and must give His Grace.

Matthew 4:1-11 (NLT)

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil[a] came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

Jesus knows our weaknesses. Who better to give us the mercy and grace we need to overcome them. The enemy wants us to think that God is too high to reach us and Jesus too good to save us. He wants God’s People to feel isolated and insignificant so he can steal the blessings God has for us. People are all in the same position. We all need mercy. We all must find grace. Without these two vital essentials in life, we will not make it through alive. Mercy like faith are personal. It is something we need for ourselves every single day. It is prescribed for us and enjoyed by us. But grace is like hope, not only does it benefit our life but we are given an abundance to share with others. I cannot give you my faith. I cannot extend God’s Mercy to you. But I can offer you hope and show you the grace that I have been given.

Some things that the Lord has impressed upon me today as I bring my weaknesses to the Cross in exchange for His Mercy, I will share with you. First and foremost, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray. We must never forget our primary objective in life to follow Jesus. Wherever the Holy Spirit leads us there we should go. After forty days of fasting, the man in Jesus took over and He was hungry. I cannot imagine totally fasting for 40 days and nights without causing great bodily harm to a person. Maybe that’s why Jesus was alone….only kidding. When Jesus was at the end of his own human strength, the enemy showed up in his moment of apparent weakness. First the enemy tried to get Jesus to succumb to natural desire over spiritual destiny. (Verses 3-4) Then he tried to get the Lord to challenge the Will and Way of God. (Verses 5-7) Finally, the enemy attempted to offer Jesus what He had already been given. (Verse 8-11) Jesus overcame the enemy with the Truth. His Spirit was strong despite His Body’s Weakness. We must become strong in the Lord so each testing and trial will strengthened our spirit and not be ruled by our flesh. Jesus understands our weaknesses intimately and intellectually for He has overcome them all.

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT)
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows
that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

 

Jesus doesn’t just know our weaknesses but dealt with every single one of them. He is an expert on the subject so who better to provide everything we lack to overcome them. He has it covered … with His Blood. Every single sin past, present and future have been washed in the Blood. We need only accept His Mercy. We have it simply by living our life in love with Jesus Christ. It is here we find grace as well. Mercy covers us. Grace extends to the outermost parts of our life as a result. I have faith in God. I know God is good. I know the many things that He has done for me and my family. I have witnessed the vast depths of His Love firsthand. I can give a first person account of how love has rescued me.

Lamentations 3:21-24 (NLT)

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His Mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Each morning as I approach the Throne of God and enter His Presence, I accept His Mercy for me that day. I put my hope in Him. My faith is in the Lord. Now if this declaration is true, my total and complete expectation is met in that moment. There is nothing that I “need” or should “want” as I have decided to put my faith in Christ and live in confident hope which means every other person in my life is off the hook. I believe this is what it means in Hebrews 4:15-16 when it says, “There we will receive His Mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Every single day of my life I am tempted to rebel against God’s Favor and reject His Mercy by deciding that there is something I want, need and desire outside of Christ. But when I put all my faith and hope in Him, I accept His Mercy and find His Grace which changes the dynamics of my life completely.

Even though God has proven to be completely faithful in my life and always good and although Jesus is more than enough, I am challenged by human weakness just like everyone else. There are days when I expect more out of others than they are able to give. Days when I decide that being right prevails over love. Times when I decide to step out of mercy and forget about grace only to find that my weaknesses prevail and I succumb quickly running back into His Presence where I belong. Nobody is perfect, that is why He gives us mercy every single day. We need each other and that is why we must find grace.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Every single day that I choose to walk with Christ is a struggle for as much as He wants me to have a rich and satisfying life, the enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy everything good that is within me. (John 10:10) When I accept the Lord’s Mercy, I remain in covenant with Jesus. This partnership empowers me to overcome human weakness and live in God’s Power. This doesn’t mean that I will get it all right or never experience another hardship. In fact, the Word of God says quite clearly that “when I am weak, then I am strong.” When we humble ourselves in the Presence of God accepting His Mercy saying “Lord, I can’t do this without you today” He fills with enough mercy to meet every challenge we will face today. But that’s not all, it is in this place we find grace. Grace that is enough to fulfill our heart, satisfy our soul, and give us the victory. Grace is a place of power in the midst of humble weakness. Laying down our life to everyone else to allow Jesus Christ to be our High Priest and Conqueror. I am so thankful for Jesus today! I am thankful for His Mercy! I love that it is there that I find grace!

Psalm 51:10-15 (NLT)

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.

 

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