Well, it’s beginning to look like I should have set my goal for these gratitude posts to be weekly, rather than daily…I’m behind again 🙂 But, by grace we press forward!
Although America is criticized, fairly, for her flaws, I am proud and grateful to live here as a citizen since birth. The USA is still the “land of the free”, and of “opportunity”…the proof is in the pudding, rather, in the numbers of people who struggle to arrive and be welcomed to what America offers. Freedom is precious, and bought at a high price—just ask the veterans and their families, heroes all, who we honor this coming Monday. I am beyond thankful for the sacrifices they’ve made, and continue to make, that we may keep our freedom.
As to the “flaws”, we need to get over the idea that anyone or anything is ever going to be “perfect” in this world. There are no perfect people, a country is made up of imperfect human beings, that’s pure fact. We should strive to make honest assessment and work toward improvement as individuals, and as a country…but perfection just isn’t gonna happen. So we need grace…seriously, ALL of us, from those on the streets to those in the White House.
As a Bible Christian, I’ve come to see that “freedom” and “grace” go together. God is big on freedom—He gave man free will. We can choose as we please, what we believe; what we speak and do; how we respond to everything and everyone around us. With freedom comes responsibility, there are consequences for whatever choices we make. If you’re like me, and have made some incredibly bad choices, you really need God’s grace. He offers that freely, too, through Jesus Christ and the New Covenant. Am I grateful for this cherished Truth? You bet I am! Without it, I wouldn’t be here typing away and sharing with you.
The interesting thing to me, as I’ve read through the Bible numerous times, is that God has shown His mercy and grace, time and time again, to people who didn’t believe and receive Him. For those who think the Old Testament portrays Him as strictly a harsh Judge, I invite you to check out a readable Bible and look more closely.
Story after story reflects that God leads with a heart of LOVE, a desire to protect and care for the people He created. Over and over, people who thought they knew better than God and chose not to follow His directions, who rebelled and walked their own path, got mired in deep troubles. And countless times God came to their rescue, gathered them back to Himself, gave them whatever provisions they needed—He is the God of second chances. He did it “back then”, and He does it today—because HE LOVES US.
He’s a God of “longsuffering”…His patience defies my understanding. But His patience does have limits, eventually, and the consequences for continually defying Him are dire. The violence of His anger in the Old Testament is significant where people who’ve seen and received His miraculous grace toward them—thus, cannot plead “ignorance”—have determined to take a stand against Him.
It seemed mind-boggling to me how they could be so stupid…until I got a clear look at my own life.
The blessing of the New Covenant, as described throughout the New Testament, is that—again, from His LOVE—God created a better plan than the Law of the Old Covenant. He gave us a Savior, Jesus, who would be the propitiation for the world’s sins; a far better sacrifice than the annual animal one practiced “before”. Jesus Christ became the High Priest to replace every high priest before Him. Those of us who receive HIM, and accept His finished work on the Cross, have eternal grace from God…grace to cover daily sins, those we think of as “small”—and sins that threaten to knock us out of life entirely.
This is expensive grace, blood-bought by our sinless Redeemer, not to be taken lightly—and God has made it available to ALL, freely…because as much as HE HATES SIN, HE LOVES PEOPLE SO MUCH MORE.
Today I am ever grateful for this grace-filled love Jesus afforded me; thankful that, as a joint heir with Christ—King of kings and Lord of lords—I have the freedom to come boldly before God’s throne. I come there, a beloved daughter of royalty, with praise and thanksgiving. I bring Him my requests, needs and desires; and I acknowledge with gratitude that my sins are erased completely, washed in the Blood of Jesus, covered by the Mercy Seat. I leave the Throne Room affirmed, filled with peace and confident assurance of God’s great love for me.
The beneficial consequences for those who have chosen to accept what Jesus offers are blessings both daily, and eternally. God’s patient mercy and grace won’t “run out” for the children clothed in Christ’s righteousness. We may have “learning experiences” that feel like punishment, but God allows them only to draw us nearer to His heart—and He’s promised to work everything out for our good, no matter how bad our choices, decisions might be. His Word is Truth, He cannot lie—I choose to Believe Him. HE is my firm foundation in every storm, whenever it feels like I’m on shaky ground.
I am grateful for His freedom—for, those the Lord sets free are free indeed. And I’m thankful to live free in America. I pray God will bless this country, in His magnanimous love and mercy. His arms are always open wide in welcome to each person.
Again, I thank and salute our veterans and their families. You step up and serve with undeniable courage and generosity which many can never imagine—may we remember to honor you everyday, not just on Veteran’s Day. And may God’s blessings and rewards more than meet your every need♥
©D L Starlight & Somewhere Sea, 2018 ~ All rights reserved.
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17, English Standard Version
“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, as an offering for sin.” Romans 8:1-3, Berean Study Bible
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28, New American Standard Bible
“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32, ESV
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36, King James Bible
Bible verses courtesy of https://biblehub.com/
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