Monday, August 19, 2013

God's Grace...

One thing God has shown me about myself is the lack of grace I give people. I can be a very impatient and over analyzing person. This comes as a second nature to me because I see the world black and white. For example, when a person ignores my time by showing up late and does not text/call me; I find this to be very inconsiderate. I use to think to myself, "Why are you late? Is your phone broken? You know we were supposed to meet, I am on time. Why is your phone not charge, you know we were going to have to communicate? Why didn't you think this through? I never do this to you." Sounds very impatient and not understanding, right? It is because it is. As if everyone is supposed to be and think like me. When I would confront the person, I am often very wrong and they always have a legitimate excuse. Instead of choosing to give grace, I would think about how it affected me. Thank goodness, I am not God because we would be lost! The amazing thing about this is that God does not struggle with grace, He just gives it. It is unearned and undeserved. The biggest mistake anyone can make is thinking we can earn God's grace and love.

GRACE: I understand what Jesus Christ has done for me; therefore I can’t help but do works for Him and put His love on display.
RELIGION: I don’t know if Jesus Christ is going to let me into heaven, but if I do these works I can somehow earn it.
We are not a part of a religion as Christians, but a relationship. 

God's grace is so amazing because there is nothing we do to earn it. If we think coming to church voids being drunk in the club Saturday, then we do not understand God’s grace. If we believe giving to others in needs voids our unforgiving heart (Click here to learn about forgiveness), then we do not understand God's grace. If we have the mindset that being nice to certain people voids passing BAD judgment on others, then we don’t really understand the grace of God. We are not saved because we go to church, volunteer, help others in need, and are nice to people, or have a good moral code. For by grace, we have been saved through our faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the basis of our "good" works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:6) It is because of His grace we are not a slave to sin if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. God not only pardons us from our sins, but empowers us to flee from sin. In the book of Jude, they talk about how man has changed the grace of God as a license for immortality, which is still a misunderstanding of God's grace. God’s grace is not an excuse to sin, but a motivation to repent. We can't say we live in Him, seen Him, or know Him and continue to choose to live in sin. (1 John 3:6) God’s love and grace should motivate us to make us to want to be like Him and less like ourselves. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace. (Romans 6:14) Is Grace amazing or what?!  

If you are struggling with understanding the concept of Grace, it's because it's that amazing! It's like why do you still love me, want a relationship with me, and call me your own when I do the things you hate the most? And wait there is nothing I can do to earn Your grace? Yep! It's that simple. Check out the quick video below to get a better understanding of God's grace.

How I learned and still learning to give others grace:
1. Humble Attitude - I have/had to humble myself. I had to realize that I make mistakes too and people are going to make them. It is not my job to punish them, but to encourage them and give them grace. Are you a punisher? Click here for encouragement. 

2. Seek to Understand - When I come in contact with someone I disagree with or they did something I did not like, I try to seek understanding before being understood. We think if we try and understand someone that means we are wrong? No. This just gives us time to understand and empathize with them then we respond differently. The more grace we give, the more we experience it. (Matthew 5:7) Click here to learn how to be more understanding. 

3. Fall in love with Jesus Christ - Last, but most important. When you give your life to Christ, He shows you things about yourself that is not like Him. Don't get discourage because when you start to see the person you really are, you might not like it yourself. Just know it's an everyday process, but very rewarding. (Romans 8:18) The closer you are to Jesus the more you will act like Him. Click here to learn more about building a relationship with Christ. 

We did not cover God's grace to its entirety, but grab your bible, open your heart, and discover His grace for yourself....
After a 5k Mud Race!
Eph. 4:22-24


Friday, August 9, 2013

Inspirational Mondays - Gabrielle M

Gabrielle M of Project Paperie
1. Why did you choose Christ?
 I chose Christ when I was four-years-old, because various church leaders and family members had talked about Jesus dying on the cross. Although I was young, I realized that Jesus loved me and wanted to forgive my sins if I would accept Him into my life.

2. How did you change?
   Because I was so young at the time that I became a Christian, I don't remember the immediate changes that happened. However, God has been doing incredible things in my life during the past few years.

   In July 2010, I had the opportunity to attend a Christian youth conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was at this time that I realized that I had been living for the world and not for Christ. I felt empty inside and far away from God. Although I felt unworthy of forgiveness, the conference speakers reminded me of the truth that God loves me no matter how far I drift from Him.

   At that point, I realized that I needed to make some 180 degree changes in my life. I realized that many of my decisions had been self-serving, ungodly, and hypocritical. I spent the next few months diving into the Bible and trying to figure out God's purpose for my life. I decided that I wanted to spend my final years in high school truly making a difference. I wanted to stop living for myself and start living for God.

   Since then, God has given me incredible opportunities to impact others for Him. I've gotten to travel to Mexico on a mission trip, witness to several friends who are atheists, meet both Christians and non-Christians through blogging, and simply share how God has changed my life.

We hope your were inspired! Enjoy your Monday! Interested in learning more about us? Click here to learn "Why We Change" and click here to read "How We Change".

Eph. 4:22-24