~grace & truth~
➖GRACE and TRUTH➖
FRESH BREAD - 01.22.2020- Pastor Sheliah
🔹When you look back at your life, are you as amazed as I often am to realize that it has been the biggest challenges, the seemingly hardest experiences, that have taught you what you really know about life, love and your most amazing God?
No one can do what our God can do! He truly does - in every situation -with no exceptions - work all things together for your good and His glory! (Romans.8:28)
Paul wrote concerning some of his life challenges, “May undeserved favor and endless peace be yours continually from our Father God and from our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! All praises belong to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort.
“He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us. And just as we experience the abundance of Christ’s own sufferings, even more of God’s comfort will cascade upon us through our union with Christ.
“If troubles weigh us down, that just means that we will receive even more comfort to pass on to you for your deliverance! For the comfort pouring into us empowers us to bring comfort to you. And with this comfort upholding you, you can endure victoriously the same suffering that we experience.
“Now our hope for you is unshakable, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings you will also share in God’s comforting strength. (2 Corinthians.1:2-7 TPT)
GRACE upon GRACE
After I was kidnapped, (see more at http://outrageousgrace.org/knife/) I preferred not to go alone to public places, so I made a new friend. Saundra was the mother of some of my children’s friends and lived across the street. Saundra did not attend our church (or any church), and we had hardly spoken before, but I reached out to her and asked her to be my “bodyguard.”
As we were preparing for shopping one morning, she came over to have a cup of coffee, while I finished getting ready. Saundra walked to the door of the bathroom to tell me something, and suddenly she fell on her knees, sobbing! “Now, what did I do?” I was thinking.
Saundra said, “You don’t really know me, or you wouldn’t be hanging out with me. I’m not even married to the man I’m living with, and I’ve never been married,” she continued. “When I was 14, my mother kicked me out of the house, and I lived on the streets as a prostitute until I was eighteen. Since then, I’ve lived with many men, and my kids don’t even know their fathers.
She continues, “What am I doing in a pastor’s home, standing at the bathroom door, watching you get dressed? I’m such a hypocrite!”
Perhaps just a few weeks before, I might thought how she had “taken me in.” But, now I knew it was a “set up” from the Father. “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Cor.1:4).
I simply loved on her, told her that I truly understood and prayed with her. Right there on my bathroom floor, Saundra gave her heart and life to Jesus! She and her children were baptized in our church, and we were privileged to see God do a might work in their lives and home.
It is so true, and one of the paradoxes of the Christian life, “For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you” (2 Cor.1:5,6).
Because of the comfort and grace extended to me, in times of trouble, I find my heart so connected with others in their trial, and I am given the same grace to extend comfort and His great love and forgiveness to a friend!
Thank you, Jesus for your comfort! We cannot go beyond the reach of Your Great Love!
❤️ Dear reader, today, forgive yourself! He already has! “From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing grace and truth comes through Jesus Christ.” (John.1:16,17)
~ Shelia Hart Artt