Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.
By grace we are saved and it is by grace that we continue to live and enjoy all the benefits that we have available to us through a relationship with Christ. The New International Commentary on Hebrews by F.F. Bruce stated it well: “If it is the grace of God that sets people’s feet at the entrance of the pathway of faith, it is equally the grace of God that enables them to continue and complete that pathway.”
It is so important that we keep the grace that God has extended us at the forefront of our minds. Daily you have the opportunity to get offended. In those moments we have a choice, we can either add the event to their tab of wrongs against you or we can give them the benefit of doubt that they didn’t mean it or forgive them if they did.
I learned this quote a long time ago and it has stuck with me:
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
The older I get the more I realize how true this statement is. Everyone is going through something. Everyone is having to muster up enough strength to keep fighting in at least one area of their life. They will have good days and bad days. Today was a hard day for me. The battles I am facing seemed a little bit too much today. The result of that feeling translated into a short fuse with my kids. I didn’t mean for it to, but they were the ones in front of me and therefore took the brunt of my pain. After a moment with the Lord I was able get my emotions in check and go and apologize to my kids. I explained why today was hard and that it had nothing to do with them. I asked them for forgiveness and grace as we continued through the day. I promised to try my best to treat them how they deserved to be treated and asked that they give me grace as I pray and ask God to help me through the sadness. And the kids willingly gave it to me. They understood and quickly offered grace. What a great example for me – I wish I was so quick to offer grace to others.
How can we offer this grace to others when our own wounds are still open and sore? In 2 Corinthians 6 Paul explains that he can only do it by the work of the Holy Spirit and God in him. He allowed God to be in him and give him the strength to extend that grace that he has received to others.
Sometimes that means actively pursuing others and loving them no matter what you get in return. Other times it means pulling back and being silent. By keeping your words to yourself you can give God room to minister and change you and give you clarity on how to respond to those in your life.
Here is another important question…Do you extend grace to yourself? Or do you keep a tally of all that you have done wrong and equate that to reasons on why you will not be used by God? Did you know that this is one of Satan’s tactics to get us frozen in our walk or distracted by the unnecessary? We are all human. I can guarantee that I and you will mess up again. But that is why we have grace. When we mess up, we can go to God and humbly ask for forgiveness. Then God willingly offers us grace and forgives our sins and remembers them no more! When we don’t allow that grace to wipe our own memory of the sin, we don’t allow the grace to fully manifest itself in our life.
We can not allow a mistake or a “set back” to stop us from pursuing God and becoming more like Him. Don’t let your past paralyze you from becoming who God wants you to be today and in the future. Hold on to the truths God has spoken to your heart. Hold on to the lessons you have learned and keep building on those truths. Don’t believe the lie that you have not made progress or you are not changing. You are, and by accepting the grace of God you can let go of the condemnation and guilt that Satan tries to burden us with.
Philippians 6:8-16 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
Mile 12 Challenge
I was looking up information on training for a marathon. The author of this article stated that in “The transition (period) (10 to 20 miles): (A runner must) “Become more quiet, focused. Get ready for the push,”
I feel like this is a good reminder as we journey through Hebrews 12. Right now we need to get quiet and focus on our own thoughts and actions. Are we walking in the grace that God has so freely given us? Do we believe we need grace every day and not just for salvation? Do we offer that grace to others who have offended us or wounded us? Remember Mile 10’s challenge. Were you able to let those sins and feelings of doubt and condemnation go? If not remind yourself of the grace you have available and let them go once again.
On page 12 of your Journal write the word “Progress”. Ask God to reveal the lessons you have already learned and the truths that you need to hold on to. Write these on page 12. Then when you doubt that you have changed go back and read this list to remind you that you are making progress and you are winning this war!!
On page 13 write the word “Grace” Look back in your journal at pages 7-9 and pick out one or two people that you know you need to walk in more grace towards. Then write a prayer to God asking Him to give you the strength and the love to do just that. End the prayer with a list of blessings you want to begin to speak over them.
Hebrews 12 Conquest of Myself Series