december 17

gracewood

So, this posting every day thing has gotten really tough, and my amazing wife volunteered to lighten my burden on a crazy weekend. So, here are her thoughts…

Pure Grace.

Whenever Jake and I argue and he tells me

“you can’t have a double standard like that”, I’m always left like

“uh uh, (stumbling trying to think of an excuse) no it’s not!”.

For whatever reason that accusation just gets me. I want to be strong and consistent and always right. The thought of double-standards has been mulling around my mind for a few weeks now. At some point it occurred to me ( I realize I’m a little late to the game here) that I am full of double-standards in my worship. It’s remarkable that God accepts any kind of worship from us when it’s so riddled with double-standards.

I say one thing and then go and live out another.

I say I want one thing…I surrender another, and all along, the Father knows that what I’m made of is a mediocre desire for holiness mixed with a ton of selfish ambition.

There is a pure longing for Him that is buried deep within me but it is so often covered and hindered in such a messed up way that I can’t even sort out what is Him, and what is flesh.

Somehow he accepts my garbage and works within me continually! He is always separating out the wheat from the tares. This kind of patience and genuine love is like none other.

So I was working yesterday and listening to Christmas music when a phrase in the song I was listening to kind of brought this double standard business full circle in my mind. It’s from a little known song called, “The Earth Stood Still,” by Future of Forestry. It says

“the angels trembled and the demons did too, for they knew full well what pure grace would do.”

That phrase, “pure grace” hit me like a truck.

His grace for the believer is full, pure, 100%, forever.

Imagine a bottle of.. I don’t know, honey, jam, doesn’t matter, just something that is 100% pure; the real deal. Christmas was the beginning of the end for Satan because of what, 100% pure grace would accomplish in the hearts of a world he thought he had a pretty strong grip on.

Maybe this isn’t feeling as amazing to you as it did to me but here’s why it was powerful in my life.

For the last year, as I’ve been trying to come head to head with God’s willingness to, “allow.” terrible stuff to go down in this world, I’ve often found myself feeling like I am more gracious than He is.

Ok, ok hold on. I heard it. I know.

But anytime you say to yourself, “how can God allow that?” you are saying essentially, why doesn’t he care or love like I do. I’ve wondered how in any context or any moment can it seem that I am loving more than, or better than the author of love Himself. I’m aware that my understanding must be the problem but haven’t got a lot further than that.

So here is where my acute awareness of my ability to live blindly with double standards flying all over the place and God’s 100% pure grace collided. He has the capability of being holy and loving and just and consistent all the time. That’s what makes his love matter. It matters!

It makes a difference, whereas my love that enters the scene when I feel like it, and on my terms and always reserves the right to change it’s mind, doesn’t really help anyone. It surely isn’t saving any souls. God sees the whole picture and chose to love us when we didn’t deserve it and continues that all the time.

So, I’m supposed to have an advent gift of the day right? Ok, lets go with the gift of pure grace. I hope this makes some sort of sense. I don’t typically do this whole blogging thing. Thanks for bearing with me. Merry Christmas!
– Anne Marie

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