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Week #4 ~ Words Worth Remembering

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 NIV

I grew up on a dairy farm where there was always work to be done. As a child I was fascinated by the equipment my dad & uncle used to accomplish it all, but the Bobcat skid-steer loader was one of my favorites. It was used for many tasks around the farm but its daily role was to clean the free-stall barn housing the milk cows with open stalls and wide aisles. Every day the aisles were scraped and the dregs scooped up and dumped into the manure spreader parked outside the door. It wasn’t difficult but could be tricky to maneuver around the corners. The stall railings were tall enough that the bucket had to be raised to get around them, but not too high.

I’m not sure what fascinated me about that job but as I watched Dad & Uncle Ken I wanted so badly to be trusted to do it myself. When the day finally came I was overjoyed. Dad felt I was finally old enough and experienced enough to take on the task. I boarded the Bobcat, started down the first aisle and carefully began the cleaning process while he milked inside. Things were looking good and I was pretty proud.

Freestall Barn

Then it happened. Rounding the corner I lifted the bucket, cleared the railing, and was home free…almost. As I manipulated the levers to get to the next aisle I turned…in the wrong direction. The crunch I heard announced the tearing of steel as a corner of the bucket went through the wall of the barn. I was devastated. I had messed up big time!

I don’t remember how long it took me to go into the milking parlor to confess to my dad. I don’t even remember exactly what he said. But I do remember he didn’t yell or berate me for being careless. He forgave me and told me to be more careful in the future.

I was blessed with parents who disciplined me but were always there no matter how badly I screwed up. Perhaps you did too, or maybe not. Maybe you avoided facing your parents when you did wrong, unsure of their reaction and fearing the consequences of your confession.

For me confessing to God was not so easy. I could somewhat predict my parents’ reactions because I knew them. I felt secure in their unconditional love even when they were upset with me. But I didn’t have the same security when it came to God. I knew Him mostly as a judge who gave us rules to follow and was unhappy with us when we failed. It was difficult to face Him with my wrongdoings, especially when I messed up the same thing over and over. I didn’t think He would keep forgiving me.

The more I’ve gotten to know God and learned from His Word I realize how much more He loves me than anyone here on earth. God created each of us and is proud of His creations. He knows our hearts even better than we know our own. God sees the motives of our hearts and when we confess our sins we can be certain He will forgive us and then forget the sins.

grace_heart

His grace will help us to pick up the pieces of our mistakes and move on, leaving our sin behind us and moving forward in His grace. 

It takes a measure of faith, but remember if it’s in the Bible it’s true!!

I encourage you to hide this word in your heart throughout the coming week so you can bring it to mind when you need God’s grace and are reluctant to stand before Him.

blessings and peace to you this week!
Paula

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Week #1 ~ Words Worth Remembering

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

This is one of those verses that I have sort of known but have not “hidden in my heart” until now. I believe it is truly the crux of our beliefs as Christians. When we have asked Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and become the leader of our life we are saved from our sins and will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. God desires that we live a life pleasing to Him and allow His Spirit to work in and through our lives to demonstrate who He is to anyone our lives touch.

But our salvation is not dependent on what we do.

It is a gift.

We can’t earn it.

heart mittens

Salvation: deliverance from the power and effects of sin
(from Miriam-Webster Dictionary)

It can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially for those of us who like to have a list to follow and know that if we check off each thing we are closer to our goal. Salvation doesn’t work that way.

Look at the last part of this verse. It is what puts everything into perspective for me:

“it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

God knew that we humans would have a competitive spirit in us and by nature want to be better than our ‘neighbor’. With His gift of salvation He solved that dilemma for us. The exact same eternal gift is given to each person who desires it. What freedom that offers!

We can screw up and we don’t lose our salvation. When our hearts are set to please God and serve Him to the best of our abilities we can be assured of our place in Heaven. (How we use the other gifts God gives to us as individuals is a topic for another post!)

Praise God for His gift of salvation and eternal life!!

Please join me this week in committing this verse to memory and hiding it in our hearts. Do you have additional insight on this verse and how it impacts your life? Please share below!

blessings and peace to you as we begin this journey together!
Paula