Exodus 33:17 ‘So the Lord said to Moses, I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.’
Isn’t that great to know that one day you will audibly hear God whisper your name? The creator of the universe knows your name. The creator of the heavens and the earth wants a relationship with you. The creator of the stars placed each one in the sky just for you to enjoy. If that doesn’t give you chills, you need a spiritual double-check!
In searching for the Bible references to the word grace, Paul probably used the word more than any other writer. It was possibly because of his prior experience with grace and the journey that his life took before encountering Jesus on the Damascus road.
Talking about God’s grace and defining God’s grace are two completely different things. You see, the definition of grace cannot be found in the dictionary nor can words be assembled in a sentence that can give the word justice. I’m afraid that God’s grace cannot be expounded upon. We can use words like good will, favor, lovingkindness….but even those words fail in comparison.
God’s grace was wrapped in swaddling clothes. God’s grace is in His healing touch. God’s grace is in the sunset. God’s grace is in our salvation. God’s grace is _____. We can fill the blank with anything. That is God’s grace. Paul made attempts in the book of Ephesians but he could only use adjectives and descriptive words like ‘the glory of His grace’ Ephesians 1:6 and ‘exceeding riches of His grace’ Ephesians 2:7. The bottom line is that we are not worthy of His grace. His grace is also free. We must only believe that we can put our faith in God for anything at anytime for anyone, period. We can do all the right things, live for Him, pray, minister, teach, do great works, write, sing, worship, but it still isn’t enough to deserve His grace. That is compassion, that is love….that is grace.
10 characteristics of God to encourage and strengthen you.
God can’t get tired.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.
God can’t take on a job he can’t handle.
Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.
God can’t be unholy.
And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
God can’t be prejudiced.
In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him.
God can’t break a promise.
My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips.
God can’t remember sins he’s chosen to forget.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
God can’t make a loser.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.
—2 Corinthians 2:14
God can’t abandon you.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, he is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
God can’t stop thinking about you.
How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with you.
God can’t stop loving you.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
I Will Sing Praise
“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.” The Psalms are full of versus proclaiming how we should praise, how often we should praise and how genuine we should praise.
1. How we should praise? Praise can be defined as gratefulness in words or song. You don’t have to be great singer to sing praise. God wants us to admonish Him with our voices. Just simply recognizing that a blessing situation or experience came from Him is praise. In all things praise Him for He gives us things to bless us and strengthen us.
2. How often should we praise? One word…. continuously. Everything we have everything we feel, everything…. comes from Him. He created us to be able to work to supply our basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. He created us to be strong in Him no matter our situation in life if we lean on Him. Every moment of everyday we should praise in some way shape or form.
3. How genuine should our praise be? Don’t straddle the fence. 1 Kings 18 talks about Elijah and Ahab. There was a famine in Samaria possibly caused by Ahab and his family’s practice of idolatry. Elijah stood on Mt. Carmel proclaiming God and His provision. IN the face of adversity, Elijah stood firm and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him”. V21 The people didn’t answer. It is so easy to straddle the fence. We are caught in a world where we flip from one side to another. The pressures of life can easily find us on the “greener” AKA easier side. So, what does this fence story have to do with genuine praise? Everything! Elijah, in the middle of a struggle, in the middle of pain, in the middle of heartbreak; or on the fence, so to speak, spoke out for God! His praise was proclaiming the source of his strength. Ours may be the same. Ours could be teaching, singing, writing, raising your hands, building, giving…. if you believe with all your heart that you are living on the right side of the fence all the time and every time. With God, there is no in-between. Honestly, praise doesn’t come natural. Praise and thanksgiving should bookend our days. First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. We should thank Him and praise Him for everything. Our praise is music to His ears and He rejoices when we rejoice. Others need to see His love through us. Drink in His spirit from the well of Living Water and find rest and freedom in His peace.
Take Heart Dear Daughter
One of my favorite stories is found in Matthew 9:20-22. We find a woman who suffered for 12 years. For 12 years she bore a burden that she thought she would have to endure for the rest of her days. She was so ashamed of her condition that she approached Jesus from behind crawling on the ground. Ridicule and insecurity became a way of life for her. The look upon her face was heart-wrenching. No friend would associate with her. Her family disowned her. She hears about this stranger with healing powers and thinks to her, “what more do I have to lose?’ She thought, “if I don’t take the risk, I will forfeit the miracle.” She believed. She had hope. With all her strength she had left in her, she reached for His hem. She was healed instantly when she reached for His cloak but because God is God, He gave her so much more that day. He questioned, “who touched me?” Even though He knew who did, He still questioned. He desires for us to reach to Him in faith and when we do, He wants us to be bold enough to proclaim His power and use it for His glory. Her faith made her complete. Imagine running a 5K. You are exhausted but suddenly you see this finish line. Your pace picks up and you focus on the finish line and run with determination. That is exactly what she did. She focused on God, pushed forward with faith and crossed the line. She had exhausted all her resources and rested in the fact that Jesus was her only hope. I love that Christ called her daughter. It confirmed that He desires to be our Father and we can go to Him for every need that He will supply according to His will. Can you imagine something so powerful that it could completely change your life? Her life changed, her gait changed, her body changed, her face changed and her heart changed. We carry burdens too. Sometimes for 12 years or longer. How does carrying that burden affect your life? When we keep carrying that burden, we limit God. He desires to take it away but we won’t let it go. She showed up expecting miracles and walked away the daughter of a King. She came to Him broken, empty, physically ill, shattered, unloved, discontented and frustrated. She left complete, full (not to the rim but overflowing), well, loved, satisfied and whole. That’s what our faith does. Faith takes us to the Rock and heals everything. Mere words are just words when it comes to this healing power. This power is at our fingertips if we would just have the courage to touch the hem of His garment. Have the courage to make the change. Reach out to Him in faith.
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Therefore, David blessed the Lord before all the assembly and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness. The power and the glory, the victory and the majesty. For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.
David’s prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving, praise and a petition. He openly praised God. Not just praised Him in general but praised Him for power, glory, victory and majesty in all things. David exalted God above everything. He simply acknowledged that He is Lord of all and mortal man is nothing. His name is excellent in all the earth. Everything is the work of His hands. He created all things and we should praise Him with uplifted hands all day, every day. He is the refuge, strength of our lives, source of peace. He is mercy and justice. He is love, constant and hope.