Thursday, January 1, 2015

I Need Grace

Well, it's here!  
A brand, spanking new year - 2015!  
The ball dropped at midnight and here we are - faced with a clean slate, so to speak; 
a new year with no mistakes in it - - yet!

I must confess I haven't spent a lot of time in retrospection this year.  I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about what I need to change in 2015.  Instead, I've been thinking of my inability to change, despite my best efforts.  I've been thinking about resolutions, what they really are and why we feel the need to make them.  These thoughts led me to the dictionary, of course!!

Resolution - the quality of being resolute; something that has been resolved; a formal statement of a decision.

Resolute - characterized by firmness, determination and often loyalty.

Resolve - to make a firm decision about; to find a solution to; firmness of purpose; resolution.

Funny thing, I can make a firm decision, a very firm decision not to eat chocolate anymore, but then, I have to walk that decision out.  Aaaah, but that's where the rubber meets the road and somehow, when faced with that piece of chocolate, I completely forget my decision!!

I can make a firm decision to love this unlovable person I've been having such a struggle with and, in theory, it seems simple and easy, but, oh, let her do something that bugs me and, what was that about love??!!??

This morning as I was pondering all of this, I was also pondering the marvels of grace.  It takes grace to walk out my resolutions.  I simply can't carry them out on my own.

Maybe you can.  Maybe you're stronger than I am and when you make a decision, you stick to it.

But something happens, or doesn't happen, when I make a decision.  I, more often than not, find that I am, in my own flesh, powerless to follow through on that decision.  I look at that piece of chocolate and think, oh, just this once won't hurt anything.  But then once becomes twice, and so on!  You know what I'm talking about!

I look at my hopeless situation and the realization sinks in, that no matter how much I resolve to do something different and godly about it, I'm still hopeless!!

I need help.  
Boy, do I need help.  
So, this morning, I sat down and wrote out my list.

The Things I Need Grace For in 2015

1 - I need grace to go to bed at a decent hour.
2 - I need grace to eat healthy on a regular basis.
3 - I need grace to be consistent in my physical exercise.
4 - I need grace to discipline myself to write on a regular basis.
5 - I need grace to be thankful in all things.
6 - I need grace to love others as Jesus loves me.
7 - I need grace to extend the grace and mercy the Lord extends to me.
8 - I need grace to see God in all things, at all times, in all faces.
9 - I need grace to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind.
10 - I need grace to fully live every minute of every day of this year to God's glory.
11 - I need grace to be patient.

In all things, at all times, His grace is sufficient.  As I lean continually into Him, He gives me the grace I desperately need in all situations.

"And he said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9, 10

As I lean not unto my own understanding and trust Him; as I pray at that moment of temptation; as I choose to listen to Him, His grace pours over me and I am enabled in the thing I most need grace for.

I don't understand how it works; I can barely define or explain it; I only know it does.  I only know Him.  I am as the blind man who said, "I don't know who He is.  All I know is I was blind and now I can see!"

Today's list is only 11 items long, but it will be added to daily, I'm sure, as I walk through the ups and downs, ins and outs, of 2015.

12 - I need grace to pray for grace.  
13 - I need grace to trust that He will provide ALL that I need.
14 - I need grace. . . . . . 

I've started my own Grace-Needs Journal for 2015.  It will become my prayer journal as I jot down my grace-needs on a regular basis.

What do you need grace for in 2015?

I would love to hear from you about your areas of grace-need and perhaps we can pray for each other throughout this coming year.

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