Life by Grace

JOIN ME IN MY JOURNEY PERMEATED BY THE GRACE OF GOD. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." I Corinthians 15:10

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Earthen Vessel Moments

Do you base whether you feel loved on whether people call, text message, or email you? For fun, I often say "I'm not loved" when I check my email and find that no one has emailed me. But in the past few months or so, I have come to realize that I really do think like that. When I expect to hear from a friend through one of these three forms of communication and my expectation is not met, I get frustrated. I am usually the friend who has more time to contact my friends, so I am the one who usually makes inital contact anyway. But when a friend doesn't reply or someone says they are going to call and never does, I get bent out of shape. I have struggled with that all evening. Much of my struggle is based on the fact that I know that I am being very self-centered, and I wish that this didn't bother me so much. I want to respond so that I am reflecting a pure picture of how Christ would respond. But I just haven't been responding that way even when I recognize my sin. There is a great tension there. Over the past two weeks home, I have realized that God has allowed this to happend to me frequently so that He can reveal my sinful and selfish heart to me. It has been a very ugly and hard revelation. I have been driven to God's throne over and over again. Through His Word and honest words from friends and family, God has been revealing a lot about my heart lately. It has been overwhelming at times, but I need to see it. I need to be repulsed by my sin because most of the time I think I am a pretty good person. I feel like I deserve the praise that people give me. I don't see myself the way God sees me. But only when I see my heart and God's grace from God's perspective will I apporpriately praise Him for His grace and realize my need for Him. I have been reading in Galatians lately and Gal. 6:14 says, "But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." I desire for that to be true of me, but almost all of the time it is not. I am the center of my life and I boast in me. It is not until I see how utterly sinful and weak I am that I really run to God. Often I come back to the verse that I memorized this summer, II Cor. 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves." Let me just tell you that I have been having a lot of "earthen vessel moments" lately. The Holy Spirit has been opening my eyes to see my weakness over an over again throughout the day. Then He reminds me that the surpassing greatness of God's power can best be seen when it is compared to my weakness. I have seen a glimpse of how amazing God's mercy and grace really is. I stand in awe that God doesn't not give up on me because I want to give up on myself so many times. Instead, He lovingly and patiently draws me to Himself to show me that He is doing a work in my life. He reminds me that He will be glorified when people see the transforming power of His grace in my life. I know it is only God grace when I do respond like Him because I wouldn't respond like that in my own strength. My finite mind cannot begin to wrap itself around that. I just don't deserve it. That is the gospel at work in my life today.


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