Friday, November 09, 2007

If the key fits, turn it

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Romans 4, 5, 6

Romans 5:1-6 (NIV)

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Good morning!

This morning while I was praying, I saw a vision. I’m a visual person, and it helps when I can see things in Technicolor. The Lord who recreates my heart every morning knows just what mental images to send in times of intense prayer and soul longing. He helps me grasp the concept of His grace, in tiny little bits. It’s like putting a large puzzle together. The pieces may go together slowly at first. With a lot of perseverance and trust that every piece will fit perfectly together, the Lord will complete His masterpiece in me one day soon.

I wish I could paint what I see. That is so not my gift. Hopefully, I can capture His image with words. I found myself wading in a beautiful, clear lake. This was no ordinary water. It was sweet to the taste. The reflection of the sun over the water was so bright it was hard to look at. The texture of the lake was thicker than running tap water. It was warm to the touch, with the consistency of a Menthol gel. If you’ve ever used a vapor rub to break up a deep-seated cold, then you will understand what the texture of the water felt like – cool to the immediate touch, but immediately warm, with a fragrance that carried me far beyond where I sat in my prayer closet.

The Lord revealed to me that I was standing knee deep in grace. This isn’t the kind of grace we receive when we get an extension on a loan payment for school, or extra time to complete a project at work. It’s not the grace one receives when, after having been pulled over to the side of the road for speeding, the officer gives a warning instead of a traffic citation. No, this grace is much richer and fuller than the grace and mercy we experience when we’re late for a meeting, and the participants wait patiently for us to show up.

How can we be justified through our faith? Sometimes, my faith comes in waves. There are days when I feel stronger than others. Sometimes, I have weak knees. When you feel a little weak in the knees, it’s a good time to kneel down and pray. It’s not quite so far to fall when you are on your knees, and when I’m feeling weak and tired, getting down on my knees reminds me just how strong my Lord is. I can feel His strength running through me, while wading in His grace. It is so undeserved – my meager faith does not hold a candle to the miraculous faith of Christ. Still, He pours it into me day by day, as I wade through the waters of my life. It is His grace that cleanses my sin and covers me. His grace makes peace between a holy God and a not-so-holy human girl. I find myself gaining access by His faith into amazing grace, the grace on which I now stand. The key to finding grace is in having a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the only key that will open the door to everlasting life in the arms of our Father.

While floating around in the riches of His grace this morning, Jesus reminds me that there are many who have His key tucked away in their back pocket, but they forget to pull it out and and use it. I’ve never been very good with keys. Sometimes I have to practice how to unlock a door repeatedly before I finally get it right. More often than not, I lose the key and find myself frantically searching for it. There are times when I don’t even realize I’ve lost it. Do you struggle to hold onto the key of faith? Do you know how to use it?

There is great glory in the hope of our salvation. We are covered in His grace today. Like a warm, soothing lake, we are moving toward a perfection that can only come by divine transformation. Grace covers my rough edges. Grace brings me peace with the Father. Grace-filled living allows me the privilege to walk hand-in-hand with my brothers and sisters. Do you know what it is like to wade through the waters of His grace by faith?

Jesus invites you to take hold of His key and turn it today. Come inside and experience the fellowship of His unending mercy and grace. Allow His love to wash over you, as He removes the barriers that keep you from knowing Him more fully. Look up and see the brilliance of His love; the love He extends to you today. Take some time to pray and praise Him. Offer your sin up to the altar. Watch how He washes it away completely. Allow yourself to feel extraordinarily thankful. You have every reason to be grateful to the One who saves you, day by day.

At just the right moment, while we were powerless to help ourselves, Christ died for the ungodly. He is the only key you will ever need to unlock salvation’s door. He is the only way to the Father. He is the magnificent One! Jesus! Come, Lord Jesus. Wash over us with your unending reservoir of grace, mercy and love now.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: the water of His unending grace and mercy to wash over you today, cleansing your soul and freeing you for joyful, obedient living. If He is calling you to serve Him today, do it with a joyful and glad heart. This is my humble prayer, and I offer it up in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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