Oct 25, 2012

Thursday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Matthew 19

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls!

We all know what we do today, right? We serve! Someone in our life today needs a helping hand, a word of encouragement, or a listening ear. Seek them out today and serve them by letting Christ work though that little heart of yours to theirs.

There is just so much to cover in our reading. I mean, seriously, where do I even begin? The thing I love MOST about God's Word is how each of us receive it differently depending on the season we are in. True?

You and I can read the exact same scripture and get two completely different applications from it. This is because His Word is living and breathing! It's not old, stale, and pasty. NO way!

The Lord keeps bringing to my mind something that happened while my friend Kelly and I were in Target on Tuesday. We were checking out when suddenly we heard some commotion. We looked over at the doors and the security guard had thrown a man to the ground. The man that was thrown to the ground was bigger than the guard, so 2 other Target employees jumped in to help.

It was like a scene straight out of a movie. Our eyes could not leave the action. It was riveting!

Finally, they were able to get hand cuffs on the man. It took several minutes for them to get him off the ground. This man was determined.

When the man stood up, hands cuffed together behind his back, stolen items started falling out of his pants. His pants were stuffed with all kinds of things.

I could only see this mans back, but my goodness it was the saddest thing in the world.

He hung his head low as the items were falling out of his pants. Humiliated. Embarrassed. Everyone was watching him. By now a crowd had formed encircling the chaos.

If I could have talked to the man, I would have asked him this: "Why? Why did you steal? Don't you know there are security cameras everywhere? Was this all really worth it?"

Maybe my high school longing of wanting to be a journalist kicked in, but I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to look in his eyes and ask him why he was so desperate to steal. How had his life turned out like this? What went wrong?

As Kelly and I headed back home, I could not forget seeing this man's back hunched over and head held low. Unforgettable.

This man is someone's son. He may even be someone's husband or father or brother.

What he did was wrong. Very wrong. There is no excuse for stealing. Ever.

However, I think about the rotten choices that I have made. Some may have not been quite as publicly known as this man's, but oh I have made some doozies.

What is the common ground for this man and I?

I think I know. Desperation.

When we are desperate, our senses get out of whack. We cannot separate truth from lies. Our minds get blurry and in our desperation we grasp for something. Anything.

Satan loves when we are desperate. He knows the One thing we need and he will stop at nothing to make sure we don't grasp that One thing---the Father.

We all do dumb things in our life. Things that makes us shudder. Things that we would die if others knew.

However, I bet someone along the way showed us grace. They showed us mercy and forgiveness. They made us feel "normal", even despite our bad choice or choices.

They showed us the Love of the Father. Even when we didn't deserve it.

Sometimes I think it's easier show Grace when we have messed up and someone has shown us this  kind of Love and Grace.  It seems a whole lot easier to extend it back it out again when we have been on the receiving end. Doesn't it?

On occasion I have been accused of being "stupid" and "naive" for extending Grace to someone that others thought were not worthy of such Grace. You know what I always, always say? "I only can extend Grace  because Grace has been so greatly lavished upon me time after time. I have walked in that persons shoes more times than I can even begin to count."

 There is nothing stupid about extending Grace. In fact, it takes a whole heck of a lot more strength to show Grace than to turn our backs. Would you agree?

Who in your life needs this kind of Grace?

Maybe the person is you. Maybe you are the only one still holding your hands behind your back, holding yourself hostage, when the hand cuffs were severed long ago.

Or, maybe you are holding the key to someones hand cuffs. Maybe you need to turn the key and set them free.

Pray about this. Ask for the Lord to show you how this applies to you today.

Go out of your way and show Grace today. Even if they don't deserve it. Do any of us?

swallowed up by His Grace,


"Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
Matthew 19:17

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