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Daily Reading: 1 Kings 18:1-46 ESV, Acts 11:1-30 ESV, Psalm 135:1-21 ESV, Proverbs 17:12-13 ESV

Daily Verse: “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose” (Acts 11:23 ESV)

CHARIS (5485): “Grace indicates favor on the part of the giver, thanks on the part of the receiver.  Although charis is related to sins and is the attribute of God that they evoke, God’s eleos (1656), the free gift of the forgiveness of sins, is related to the misery that sin brings.  God’s tender sense of our misery displays itself in his efforts to lessen and entirely remove it- efforts that are hindered and defeated only by man’s continued perverseness.  Grace removes guilt; mercy removes misery.”[I]

Favor and thanks.

Grace brings together favor and thanks.   Whoever offers grace extends favor; whoever receives it feels thankful.  Full confession, I still struggle to receive the grace God offers.  For some reason, extending forgiveness to others seems easier than accepting it for myself. 

In my family, my parents placed high expectations on me.  If I came home from school with an A, why didn’t I get an A+?  As a result, I set high standards for myself and others by default.  But God doesn’t place impossible expectations on us.  He gives us one requirement: to believe in Jesus.

Share grace.

If we want to imitate Jesus, we must lead with grace everywhere we go.  When Christ came to earth, He did so on a ticket of grace.  Extending forgiveness for our sins sets us free from condemnation and gives us a second chance at life.

During my undergraduate years in college, I rebelled against God.  Seven long and torturous years passed before I received my degree.  Graduating with debt up to my eyeballs and following my path did not make my life easier.  I created my heartache.

God gave me a second chance when I went back to school for my Masters.  I clung to my Maker as I worked through my classes after a 25-year hiatus.  Receiving God’s grace meant letting go of past mistakes and moving forward with a clean slate.

Whatever areas you struggle to forgive yourself, God’s already forgiven you.  When you submit your life to Jesus, He rebuilds the broken pieces, making you whole.  One day at a time, Christ leads you with His peace that surpasses all understanding.

Accept God’s grace with thankfulness, knowing nothing you do will ever separate you from Christ’s love.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 270) Thomas Nelson

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