Grace for This Year

 Grace is a word we bounce off our tongue with ease. We bandy it about, sometimes carelessly. These five letters pop up frequently in sermons and songs, and in many ways have become part of the Christian lingo. Some might even think of the word grace as cliche’ and over used.

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Yet grace is like oxygen; we simply must have it in order to breathe and survive the crazy days on this planet. Like air that fills our lungs and fuels the cells of our bodies, we are often unaware that we are constantly breathing grace.

Like gravity, that invisible, inseparable constancy that keeps our feet on the ground, God’s grace set’s and holds us together.

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By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus….We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:1-2 MSG

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Grace Defined

 Amazing grace…how sweet the sound” is the beginning of my favorite hymn. Today I am sinking into Romans 5, where the word grace is repeated at least five times, but the concept of grace is restated many more.

Reading this chapter in The Message as well as the New American Standard Bible brings even more expressions God’s grace. Take a moment and prayerfully read aloud all of these statements of grace–the sound is indeed lavishly sweet. Click here if you’d like to see both versions side by side.

Expressions of Grace

                            New American Standard

The Message

Peace with God Set us right with Him
Hope that does not disappoint  Make us fit for Him
Love poured out through Holy Spirit Wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory
Christ died for us while sinners and enemies  Christ’s sacrificial death

Amazing friendship with God received

Reconciliation received Rescuing gift
Saved by His life God’s gift poured
Free gift abounds Generous, life-giving gift
Abundant grace Breathtaking life-recovery
Gift of righteousness Wildly extravagant life-gift
Grace reigns This grand setting-everything-right
Eternal life Aggressive forgiveness
  Winning grace
  Invited into life—eternal life

Recognizing grace in this day…as it is.

Current decisions and questions pull at my insides with the twist of uncertainty. Wanting to trust God when the future seems uncertain, I push down anxiety that tempts me to worry about this new year. I am all too aware of the gap between my faith and my feelings.

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Yet a winter wind blows the first snow of winter as flakes swirl willy-nilly, stirring up magic on this beautiful day. A rare visit with a sweet friend brings joy. I smile watching a neighbor boy help an older couple shovel the icy sidewalk. My children are home and we’ve enjoyed countless blessings this Christmas and New Years.

A task list that seems a mile long weighs heavy as time ticks by too fast. Feeling behind before I have begun, the new year opens in a prolonged season of transition.  God is still bringing us through.

Remembering the challenges and joys of a year passed, I wonder what this new year will bring. Grace abounds as anxiety gives way to anticipation. Humility and awe mingle as I recount God’s grace displayed in so many ways this past year.

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In all these moments, the good and the hard, I speak truth to my soul as peace settles:

God's grace is sufficient

May you have a happy new year overflowing with grace and God’s peace.

With love,

Ginger 

I’m happy to begin this new year by joining with the lovely communities at Coffee For Your Heart, Tell His Story,  Cheerleaders of Faith, and Three Word Wednesday.

Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150 kkgz tellhisstory-badgeKelly-Balarie-23

8 Comments

  1. “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” —> I love this translation of that verse. Do you know the song “The Outsiders” by Needtobreathe? That version reminded me of that song. Your words may grace so attractive, which, you’re right, does sometimes get chalked up as cliche. I needed your reminders here. Thanks for linking up for #ThreeWordWednesday.

    • Ginger Harrington

      I will check out that song. Thanks so much for visiting today and hosting Three Word Wednesday! It is a lovely community of bloggers.

  2. I love the Message translation–it always resonates with me and makes me think outside the box. I usually read the verse of the day in five or six translations (from the You Version app)–I love how easy it is to access so many versions nowadays! Grace is a beautiful thing, and something that I need to remember to extend to others more often (I have that legalistic, condemning attitude problem :/ ).

    • Ginger Harrington

      I’ll have to check out the You Version app. I’m ususally on my computer so Biblegateway is my go-to. We all need grace and we all struggle with some facet of judgement and attitude. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. “I am all too aware of the gap between my faith and my feelings.” And thank God for His grace in that gap! This is where I find myself often. Lovely! Just lovely! Found you on Kelly’s link-up. When I have time, I want to come back to read your thoughts on anxiety. Anxiety and I are VERY well acquainted!

  4. God’s grace is sufficient. It is more than enough. It is complete. Thank you for this. I know my heart needs to rest on this truth more and more. I so value your words and detailed explanation.

    • Ginger Harrington

      So glad it has been a benefit for you. I need to reread these pretty frequently! Blessings and thanks for visiting today.

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