It’s Sufficient

1 Timothy 1:14 (the message)
Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus.

(Amplified)
And the grace (unmerited favor and blessing) of our Lord {actually} flowed out superabundantly and beyond measure for me, accompanied by faith and love that are {to be realized} in Christ Jesus.

I need grace.

Sometimes grace is so substantial I can feel it in my hands, sense it ooze through my fingers.  The reality of my freedom to let go and hold on lifts every burden.

Other times grace seems like a mist I can’t quite capture.  I want to reach out and take hold of it but my reaching turns to grasping and I come up empty-handed.

I am completely convinced that Jesus is with me, every moment, regardless of my comprehension.  It’s really the only reason I press on in my journey with Christ some days.  I know Jesus said He would never leave me or forsake me.  I know that nothing can separate me from His love.  Nothing.

But I like the days when I let grace be enough.  Those are my best days.

This morning, as my sick little Leighton coughs and clings, I’m thirsty for it.  See, I feel so inadequate some days.  So inept.  You know…the sitting in the bathroom with tears because you really, really can’t do it all kind of days.  At least not well.  Or not as well as you think you should.  So often I can’t seem to tear my eyes away from my weaknesses, my failures, my shortcomings.  I equate myself with lack.

Oh, wait now.  There it is.

On the better days, the grace-filled good days, my heart and mind trend toward Jesus and how He equates with fulness.  With everything I need…everything given to me although I don’t deserve it.

Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me.

And all because of Jesus.

To be realized in Christ Jesus.

I’ve experienced grace.  Real grace.  A revelation that turned me inside out and upside down.  Grace is easy to sing about but can be so hard to absorb into our lives.  But it is the realization that grace, God’s undeserved blessing and favor, is ready for the pouring all due to Jesus.  As in my inadequacies don’t stop the flow.  My weaknesses don’t staunch the downpour.  My failures don’t shut the faucet off.  My weaknesses and failures as a human being are the very reason God gives grace.

True grace does not soothe my guilty conscience while I go on unchanged.  True grace lets me let go.  Turns my attention from self to Jesus.  True grace looks my sin and weakness in the eye and says I love you more, child.  Grace sets me free to be loved.  Love builds my trust and faith.  Faith enables me to obey and follow.

Earning and grace are juxtaposed.

When I live in self-condemnation I spiral further down into this earning and failing mentality.  When I live in Jesus-magnification I grow stronger in Him…in who He made me to be.

Sin and weakness, our failures, are not to be brushed under a rug.  When we hide them, all the while trying to prove to God and the world they don’t exist, we have lots and lots of I can’t do this in the bathroom days.  The truth is I can’t do it but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

I might have to kick and swing like a fourth grade boy in a schoolyard fight, but I’m not going down like this.

I’m forgiven.  I’m new.  I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.  I have purpose and destiny.  I’m purchased with His blood.  It’s no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.  My old has gone…His new has come.  I am more than a conqueror.  I overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony.  I walk beside still waters.  He prepares a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.  I may stumble but He never lets me fall.  I may anger Him for a moment, but His love and compassion endure forever.  Forever.  He’s for me and so who can be against me?  He’s greater on the inside of me than anything I face on the outside.  When I’m weak, He’s strong.  He’s preparing a place and then He’ll be back for me.

Until then, His grace is enough.  It’s sufficient.

 

 

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