Monday, December 8, 2008

Really? A month?

Doesn't seem possible. Truly. And I really have nothing to explain why I've not posted even an update. It just didn't make the cut. Can anyone relate? Got a few things that seem like really good ideas, but given their position on the daily to-do list...well, they remain in the theoretical realm.

But a couple of huge gaffs have been included...I have so much to be thankful for and will post about that soon. And I didn't post on Aisley's birthday...shame upon my head...but I'll make up for it soon, promise. Then there's the end of football (thus the screams of joy that shook windows in the nearby neighborhoods!). Now the challenge and joy of reintegrating Wayne into our lives (I forgot how much I get done in the evenings when he's not here!).

But for now, how about just what I've been pondering on today? I meet on Mondays with three amazing women who I met through a mutual friend (stay in bed, Jenn!). We're starting to look at 1 Peter which means that we might finish by the time their husbands are out of residency in 18 months! So, today, we blazed through the first 5 verses! But they know not to get excited...I may spend a week on vs. never know.

We noticed a couple of things that made us pause and think...first of all, here's the text...
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
We covered the basics of background, geography and moved to pondering the vastness of the foreknowledge of God, how the Spirit sanctifies us and what difference it would make if we truly understood that we are exiles FOR obedience to Jesus Christ...much less if I could grasp more fully today that I have been truly sprinkled by His blood and made clean.

But it was the next line...8 little words...that struck me. How often have you prayed for grace to be multiplied to someone? As we thought about it, it seemed that we were alike in asking for not grace. Grace felt like something that we got before. Like Ephesians grace you have been saved. But Peter doesn't treat it like it's something behind him, but something he has and wants more of.

Then there's the nebulous definitions we give to help us remember the difference between mercy and grace. You've heard it, I'm sure. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve. Grace is getting what you do not deserve. But again, Peter's not speaking of it like it's just the favor of God, but of something that we need...would desire more and more of if we just new more of it.

Then God brought to mind 2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that having all sufficiency
in all things
at all times,
you may abound in every good work.
Which means that Paul also saw what I never put together fully. Grace isn't just what got us to life in Christ, but what sustains us, strengthens us, supplies us, moves us to abound in every good work. Can you imagine what a different Christmas season this would be if I was all sufficient in all things at all times? Can you imagine if I believed in the power and promise of God to grant what I ask? I want that...and I want that for you.

So, here's my Christmas gift to you...believe with me...May grace and peace be multiplied to you in Jesus name. Can I hear an amen?