Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sufficient Grace

I am deeply moved to see the grace of God at work in Ben and Christina as they have gone through four days of slowly progressing labor. When they are at our house, we see every one of the aspects of God's Spirit bearing fruit in their lives. Love for each other, joy in the certainty of God's goodness to them, peace through the waiting and the pain, patience as the hours and days pass with little to show, kindness to all who call or visit, goodness as they continue to do what they are able, faithfulness in not giving in to discouragement, gentleness to each other, self-control in maintaining thoughts of trust in God.

The source is obviously not human. They are dear to us, but the power for such display of divine graciousness comes from God alone. As God has said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." The children's song reminds us that we are weak, but He is strong. Oh, yes, Jesus loves us.

May the Lord continue to extend His mercy to us all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Always the same

I've been thinking recently about how God is always patient. How can we understand God's patience with us? Jesus said that He is "meek and lowly of heart." Think of that! The all-powerful God--gentle and humble. He doesn't have to overcome pride in order to be humble--it is an innate quality of our great God! He never has to overcome impatience in order to be patient with us. He never chafes at the fact that He has to bear with us in our frailties. He is never tempted to be unkind to us. He persists in drawing out of us and building into us those qualities that bring us into sympathy with His way of thinking. In order to accomplish this, He wants us to be people characterized by an all-consuming love for Him. Then like Him, we can have an unfailing supply of patient, gentle, humble love for others.

His mercies are new every morning, and the supply of mercy is not depleted at night either.