Grace


Grace. Generous, free, totally unexpected, and undeserved. John Piper says we are to “suck it up through our roots and grow by it; that we might soak it up like sunshine through our leaves and grow by it.”

For many, myself included, it is hard comprehend that God desires for us to receive love and mercy just because–not because we have done anything to earn it, but because he is good.

“Grow in grace…” 2 Peter 3:18

Set a Fire

Taos 24
On the whole, we are both desperate for and fearful of God’s holy, transforming presence. Oh, may we walk out in faith inviting him and trusting that he is good! It is the only way forward in alignment with God’s purposes in and through us.

Set a fire down in my soul
that I can’t contain
and I can’t control 
I want more of you, God
– Jesus Culture

I want more of your Spirit’s ways in every nook and cranny and pathway and habit of my life — individually and communally. Come, Lord. Come.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Come in the small, everyday sustaining ways, grounding me in love and peace and forgiveness and compassion. Come in power when and how you desire, Lord. Let me not be an obstacle to your life-giving presence, which is evident wherever you are welcomed. You are welcome here. You are welcome. Come.

The offer of the Holy Spirit comes with nothing less than the kingdom of God….

Mark Labberton in his book Called: the crisis and promise of following Christ today highlights the fact that Jesus delegated nothing less than kingdom authority to the “believer-doubters”.

For all the church’s failures and struggles, its deceit and its brokenness, its tedium and its distractions, Jesus has used the church in the world to accomplish many great ends by the Spirit. As far short as the church has often fallen, and that is very far indeed, God’s willingness and faithfulness to use the few and vulnerable to change the world remains.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.

Love Roots

Buds

God’s love songs for us aren’t just for children. They tell us basic, foundational truths about God’s heart and posture toward us. They shape us and tell us who we are in light of His love.

It makes sense then that our belief in God’s love is a prime target for the enemy. If we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, then, we are transformed by receiving the truth of God’s love for us. This is not as easy as it may sound.

“While there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more than He already does, we can experience a greater revelation of His love for us. That must be our grand pursuit as His children. Hell trembles at the thought of you coming into an increasingly greater revelation of how deeply, greatly, and infinitely you are loved by God— your Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ— your Savior.”  From Living Free by Mike Riches

Paul encourages us to welcome the Holy Spirit, who works to help the love roots grow.  This, in turn, allows us to live and love more and more freely and less and less under the calcified sin responses of hearts saturated in love deficit.

Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT)

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Keep pressing on. Keep pressing in to God’s inexhaustible love. It is the heart of everything.