Discovering God and Grace and a fresh new discovery
Today I made a fresh new God discovery.

It was eye-opening.

This discovering God and grace and me.

As I was reading the book of Romans from the Bible, this passage jumped off the page at me…

Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important
that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God.
No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves
is by what God is and by what he does for us,
not by what we are and what we do for him.
Romans 12:3 The Message

So many things came rushing into my mind.

One… we all live in grace.  Pure grace.

Two… this grace doesn’t have anything to do with what you or I do.

Three…  Navel gazing won’t help us discover who we are.  Self-discovery is a lost cause.

Four… Discovering who God is and all His attributes is the key to a fulfilled life.

Five… God is continuously doing for us.

Six… What we do for God does not define us.  We are human beings… not doings.

Boom!

We sure try to complicate things don’t we?

God’s ways are simple… yet incredibly powerful.

 

As I re-read the passage this portion grabbed me…

God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves
is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

God brings it all to you.

That.

That is loaded.

If YOU think you’ve been doing all the work…. just get off that high horse of yours right now!  (Important message to self… shared here… just in case you need that reminder, too.)

I know, I mentioned this before, but why do we get ourselves in this place where we think we’re serving God? Goodness… God must be doing some major eye-rolling.

 

Discovering God and Grace and Me and seeing His handiwork at the beach

 

I’ve had a stressful week.  There was lots of good.  Very good.  And then there was the not-so-good.  It’s an emotional roller coaster for this not-so-emotional me.  That meant I was leaning on Him.  Hard.

God asks us to do some hard things.  Daily.

And.. daily He brings good things into our lives.

But…. we take the good things for granted.

Sometimes the good things are too every day and common to even recognize.

We want pie in the sky when we’re given time with special people and farmers’ markets and fresh picked cherries.

We want pie in the sky when we’re given something sweeter and more delicious.

We want…

And God says… Grace.

Grace comes in abundance.

Do you see it?  Or are you like me… fixated on something else?

 

Discovering God and Grace on the Lakeshore

 

So whatever does this phrase…  God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him …have to do with anything?

Good question!

God gives all of Himself to us every day.  He doesn’t withhold any of His goodness, grace, or presence. He is all in and all here… all the time. He brings it all to you.

Me (and maybe you) on the other hand…

We don’t receive His ALL with open hands.  Instead… we get up on our high horses and run around doing things and thinking and believing and telling others that whatever it is we’re doing… we’re serving God with/by/through our actions. It’s so altruistic.  We’re such good people.  So godly.

I’m not suggesting that our acts of service aren’t good.  I’m suggesting that we’ve got a big head game going and it’s wrong.  Plain wrong.

Somehow we think that by doing all this stuff to “serve” God we are being good for God.  I venture to guess that you might even be thinking that you are garnering some of God’s approval by what you do.  Yes?

The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is
and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

So instead… let’s discover God.

 

Discovering God and Grace and His creation at the Lakeshore

 

We think we know God… but seriously… we haven’t a clue.

There is so much to God that we don’t even have a pin prick of an idea of who He is.

That means we’ve just begun our discovery process.

Let’s look for scriptures that tells us who God is….

Here are a few attributes of God… omnipresent, wise, good, forgiving, our Heavenly Father, unchangeable, love… just for starters

And then let’s get to know those characteristics of God.

Look at what He does for you each day.

Let’s count our blessings, let’s look for those God moments in the day and celebrate them, let’s consider the “coincidences,” let’s live with the heightened sense of what God is doing and displaying around us…

  Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes –
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Let’s see who we are in Him…

We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), God’s children (Galatians 3:26), we have His nature (2 Peter 1:4)

The only accurate way to understand ourselves
is by what God is and by what he does for us,

In the midst of discovering God… we need to have our eyes wide open to the things He’s doing for us and pay attention to just what He’s doing.  Those places where God is working and doing in our lives will tell us more about Him and ourselves.

And then… then we will start to see more clearly…

Grace.

 

Discovering God and Grace and Me

 

When we get an even clearer picture of God… who we are in Him… and discover His grace in a richer fuller way, we will start to see that every good thing in our lives has absolutely nothing to do with us.

We will start to see more clearly that God is abundant, lavish, and generous beyond measure in His love, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and more poured into our lives.

So what is God doing in your life?

 

Discovering God and Grace on JoyDay!

 

It’s JoyDay!

I’m so glad you’re here to join me for JoyDay!  There isn’t anything better than each of us sharing the good things God has done in our lives this week.  Both in the happy and the challenges.

Will you join with me in counting ‘seven’ from the past week?

I’ll start!

Thank you God for…

  1. loving me and caring about every intimate detail of my life.
  2. the beauty of your nature and how it restores my soul.
  3. loving friends and family.
  4. cherries and farmers’ markets.
  5. your promises that never fail.
  6. knowing you are working things out for me, right now, even when I cannot see.
  7. new and fresh goodness I can’t wait to see.

Now it’s your turn!

Please join me by tapping in your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. I dare you!

Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.

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Comments

  1. Debbi Saunders says:

    Thank you God for
    your loving Grace that we receive a new each morning
    for meeting my every need s in unexpected ways!
    For your faithful promises, that I have relied
    On often!
    For the strength I gain each day
    that when I went to the Neurophyscologist on Friday, I was released to return to work August 5th! I am so excited!
    Knowing that you will meet my financial needs!
    For my son who has been here for me faithfully!

  2. Ive thought of grace so many times and the best definition i read was Unmerited favor,nothing i can or could do to earn it.I think i go too far the other way in what you shared ,im more the person that says i never do anything for God and im to fat or not smart enough and im old now so i cant do anything like everybody else does.For me that can do as much harm as being puffed up and “full of works”.I just pray for balance and seem to never achieve it. When i read these joy day post and sometimes i post 7 but so many weeks now it just seem im just thankful to be able to keep pushing through the challenges of just getting up and dealing with my body and trying to take care of James and his needs without getting bitter at him somedays. Lots of people like me but i realize when i share with you that i live isolated. Thank you Diane for being on fb and being concerned for people to leran how to live and extrodinary life.Hope next week is a better week for you and that you get your computer fixed.

    • Betty… I wrote a long reply on my phone on Sunday and I see that it never made it here. Technology!!!! 😉

      That is a great definition of grace you wrote! And boy oh boy, the enemy knows your weak spot and nudges you to think those negative thoughts about God’s wonderfully created and so very loved YOU. Whenever you start down that road… which is like a fast ramp onto the highway (I know)… stop and out loud say, “I’m a child of God… I’ve been bought for a price… I’m loved and forgiven… I’m God’s beautiful creation… etc.” Betty… you are a beautiful woman and so sweet and charming. And I know this because over time I can sense this in my spirit through your comments here and on FB. (I so hope you don’t feel preached to!!)

      Your heart of gratitude is so pure. Being grateful for the smallest of things in life is a beautiful thing. I praise God for encouraging and strengthening you through your trials. And I am blessed to know that An Extraordinary Day (here and on FB) blesses you too.

      Thanks for your concern for me, Betty. Trusting with you for God’s loving guidance for BOTH of us as we navigate the challenges before us. He IS able to do more than we can ever ask or imagine. Yay! God!!

      {{hugs}}

  3. Joy Day!
    1. Be still and know that I am God. Your reminder along with sermon reinforces I’m here where God wants me
    2. Talking to Mom all excited she went to church!!
    3. A lot of rest for Curt and he feels better bit by bit
    4. My daughter got feeling better
    5. I’m lonely and feel like the world whirls without me. Remember…I am loved by God who made me
    6. A girl who at 11 helped in my classroom started following me on Facebook and liked a verse I shared with her
    7. I’m so very tired in my head. Rest is good

    • Gwen… I am so excited to hear that Curt is feeling better. I’m continuing to believe with you for his full and complete recovery and healing.
      Thanks for sharing your ‘seven’ and for sharing your joy-filled heart. May your days be filled with a very real sense of God’s goodness and presence. [hugs]

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