Monday, November 21, 2011

The Beauty of Grace

From Joni's Devotional, Diamonds in the Dust, April 17:

Ephesians 4:7
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."

Grace is what beauty looks like when it moves.  God's grace is what He looks like when He moves, acting out His will through us.

Those on whom God's grace rests are truly...gracious.  They are truly beautiful.  The cerebral-palsied young man who smiles despite a dreay existence in a nursing home.  The elderly woman who always seems to think of others rather than her aches and pains.  The mother of two toddlers who is happy to baby-sit the neighbor's little boy.  The pastor and his wife who take in a homeless couple for a week while they look for lodging.  These people shine with a hint of glory.  They shine because of God's grace.

Grace is God's energy, all bright, beautiful, and full of power.   And grace is most beautiful when God is moving through us to touch the lives of others who hurt.

Grace binds you with far stronger cords
than the cords of duty or obligation can bind you.
Grace is free, but when once you take it,
you are bound forever to the Giver and bound to
catch the spirit of the Giver.  Like produces like.
Grace makes you gracious, the Giver makes you give."
E. Stanley Jones: Draper, Edythe, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christain World, Tyndale House Pub., Inc., Wheaton, Ill., 1992, p. 282.

Do you desire to be gracious?   Christ apportions grace.   First, a small measure in accordance with your faith, which may be small.  But then, like morning sun dawning, your faith grows and grace fills you with its full and excellent brightness.

God of grace, I long to be beautiful in You, I long to be gracious to others.   May Your beauty shine through me today as I move in Your will.

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