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Mar 19, 2017

Forgiveness & God's Grace...

Did you know that the times that you wake up from your sleep can be super important? Especially if you are waking up each day at a specific time. (My Pastor has told us this a lot as its one of his challenges.) We went to a Conference and we have been challenged to PRAY MORE and GET INTO THE WORD more. Time with God is important, and sometimes (not always) the times that you get up correspond to a Bible Verse that is meant for you to read, meditate on or live out. Maybe God is trying to talk to you, but you are too busy sleeping, so He wakes you up to get your attention. If you are anything like me, you wake up, check the clock (too early) and roll over & go back to sleep (maybe get up to the washroom if necessary LOL). But at these times God may be calling you as He did to Samuel. If it is the same time every morning, then obviously you need to get up and search the Word. Thankfully we have GOOGLE and the BIBLE on our phones, so technology can be used to our advantage to find the verse that is meant for us. Sometimes there will be MANY Bible verses with the address of the time you wake up. (IE 3:16 AM could be John 3:16, but there are also Mark 3:16, Revelation 3:16 and more... even 1 Kings 3:16 LOL!! So clearly its not all the verses that God is speaking to you, but maybe it is John and God is reminding you of His love, or maybe it's Mark and God is calling you like Jesus called His disciples, or even Revelation, which would be a conviction, as He says "So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you our of my mouth". Hopefully its not 1 Kings 3:16 -I'll leave you to read that one ha ha!)

So I have been challenged to write down the times that I get up and to find a corresponding verse that I believe that God is speaking to me. It has not been everyday at a certain time, so I am starting to use this blog again as a 'verse of the day' devotional. 

Somehow I have been searching for Chapter 7, verse 42... however I woke up way before 7:42 today. LOL... not exactly sure where those numbers came from (but of course God). There are a few books of the Bible that have this chapter and verse, and the one I found that speaks to my heart today is Luke 7:42.

"But neither of them could repay him. so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?" Luke 7:42 NLT

This verse speaks of God's forgiveness and His grace on us. Like the man in the 'parable' or story that Jesus told, Jesus cancelled our debts. We are like the two debtors who owed for our sin. Jesus took our sins, and cancelled them by dying on the cross for us. Death is the only thing that cancels sin. However, He rose again triumphantly, and we can have that resurrection power through Christ too, so that we may live eternally in Heaven one day. Our love should not be conditional to what the Father has done for us. But our carnal bodies love conditionally. Our spirits love unconditionally like the Father. His grace that He bestows on us is what gets us through each day. No matter how small or big our sin is, we are carnal bodies who are born into sin. It is only by His grace that we are saved. He loved us even in our sin, and continues to love us even when we sin again. We cannot repay the debt on our own, only through the precious blood of Jesus are we saved.

In this Bible account, Jesus was sitting with his disciples and others, when Mary came in and sat at his feet. She annointed his feet with precious perfume, and then proceeded to wash them, and wipe them with her own hair. She broke her precious alabaster jar, and poured out all she had in worship to the Messiah. She was then forgiven that day, and Jesus said she had many of them. In verse 47, Jesus says, "I tell you, her sins - and they are many - have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."

During the Conference, our friend was also challenged to have more 'Mary' moments than 'Martha' moments, and this is so true. (This Mary is a different Mary than the one mentioned above. This Mary is Martha's sister. The one aforementioned is Mary Magdelene). There is another Bible account (Luke 10:38-42) where Jesus and his disciples came to visit at the home of Mary & Martha. Martha busied herself preparing food, etc for the visit but Mary just sat at the feet of Jesus listening to all He was doing & saying. Martha got upset that her sister left all the work to her and was just sitting at Jesus' feet. Jesus told Martha that she need not be upset over so many things, but that Mary had chosen what was better. Jesus' love could not be taken from her, but the material things of this world can be gone in a minute. A 'Mary' moment could then be defined as 'sitting at the feet of Jesus'. 

As a teacher and one who is passionate about children, I always picture sitting at the feet of Jesus like the kids sit with us when we read stories or sing songs. I enjoy sitting on the floor with them, and even having them sit in my lap to read. Being one who's love language is 'Physical Touch', I always picture sitting in Jesus' lap. Since a small child, I have been very affectionate, and am drawn to worship songs that mention physical touch of some kind. These moments of togetherness with Jesus and God are what draws you close to Him. Maybe your love language is different (maybe you have no idea what 'love languages' are - google it. Dr. Gary Chapman 'The Five Love Languages') - it could be 'Quality Time' (which is another of mine), 'Receiving Gifts', 'Acts of Service' or 'Words of Affirmation'. Whatever your love language is, is also how you receive love best from God. He of course shows us love in all the ways possible (even more than we can dream or imagine). It's in these intimate times with God that we can continue to grow closer to Him and grow in our faith. Times with our fellow believers at church is a time of growing too, but we grow the faith we have from our intimate times together. We have rivers of living water inside of us, and they can be overflowed to the world.

God's grace is an unbelievable thing to our carnal minds. His grace and mercy are amazing. Grace - God giving us what we don't deserve
Mercy - God not giving us what we do deserve

We have to then show grace and mercy to others around us. When we walk in forgiveness, we walk in His grace, mercy and love. Shine the Love to everyone. 

Enjoy this song by Gateway Worship and let God's grace flow through you!

Be blessed to be a blessing,
Mitzi


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