From the Archives...Filthy Rags

Bro. Kent's sermon this morning on Romans 3:12 reminded me of a couple of old blog posts, which I've decided to dig out of the archives, dust off, and repost. :)    This one came to mind immediately when Bro. Kent talked about all of the things we see as "good" in ourselves being as filthy rags.  He talked about the fact that sinful man (ALL people prior to repentance and salvation) is "universally worthless".  Not humanly worthless...we may do good things and be successful at what we do...but worthless in God's sight just as spoiled milk is worthless...unusable for anything.  

I needed to re-read this post today...what a blessing to be reminded of the abundance of God's grace!

Thankful Thursday...Barely!

No...not barely thankful, but barely still Thursday!

I've been reflecting since last night about the blessing of God's grace. This time three years ago, God was in the process of beginning some intense lessons with me in the area of grace. I vividly remember, during the last few months of 2004, experiencing and understanding the concept of grace in ways I never had before. Since that time, God has continued to show me in new ways how amazing His Grace really is.

Last night during choir rehearsal, we were working on the song "Grace Alone". It's a beautiful song, in words and music, but last night as we sang, it took on new meaning to me. Obviously, it applies to all of us...God's grace provided to all Christians. But I began to see the words as they specifically spoke to *me* right now...a Christian homeschooling wife and mother. The second verse seemed especially applicable to us as wives and moms. And the chorus is exactly the answer to the stress, the frustration, the insecurity, the weariness that we sometimes find in those roles. As I was sitting there singing and thinking about all of this, Lyndel stopped and did one of his mini-devotionals about God providing both the *desire* to do God's will *and* the *ability* to do God's will through His grace. (Probably a bad paraphrase...maybe someone who was there will see this and comment more accurately. :)) But what a wonderful thought...and what a challenge.

As long as I am trying to do it *myself*, as Lyndel reminded us...it is "as filthy rags". I started thinking about "filthy rags"....and ended up with a rather unappetizing example. I thought about what would happen (*not* that this would *ever* happen at our house, you understand...strictly hypothetical ;-)) if one of my children were to break a *major* rule at our house and take a cup of milk into their bedroom. And then if that (hypothetical, remember) cup of milk were to be spilled by their (also hypothetical) younger sibling. And then if the two of them (again, hypothetically) were to try to clean up the resulting milk mess with a (hypothetical) towel. And then if, since the milk wasn't supposed to be in the bedroom to begin with, they decided to shove the towel under someone's bed (definitely hypothetical, since no one in this family would *ever* shove anything under a bed...another rule, you know. ;-)). *Hypothetically* that towel could stay hidden under the bed until it began to smell, and someone began to search for the smell of the odor. And by then, *smell* and *odor* would be polite words for it. It would *stink*. BAD. Not that I would *recognize* that smell, I assure you, as this would never happen at my house. But I can imagine. It would *really* stink. Yuck.

And that's what all the good stuff I try to do is to God, without grace. Not to mention that it just doesn't work.

I was standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes today thinking..."What sane person could possibly think that one person can be a helpmeet to her husband, a keeper of her home, a mother to her children, *and* homeschool three grades at once (plus a preschooler)??? It is completely impossible and there is no way it can all be done." And this song popped into my head again... and I realized...."That's true...it can't." And that is where grace comes in. He gives us the grace and the strength to do what He has planned for us to do. He provides for every need. Abundantly.

I am thankful for God's incredible, amazing, unbelievable Grace.

"Grace Alone"

Every promise we can make, every prayer and step of faith,
Every difference we will make is only by His grace.
Every mountain we will climb, every ray of hope we shine,
Every blessing left behind is only by His grace.

Grace alone which God supplies,
Strength unknown He will provide.
Christ in us, our cornerstone,
We will go forth in grace alone.

Every soul we long to reach, every heart we hope to teach,
Everywhere we share His peace is only by His grace.
Every loving word we say, every tear we wipe away,
Every sorrow turned to praise is only by His grace.

Grace alone which God supplies,
Strength unknown He will provide.
Christ in us, our cornerstone,
We will go forth in grace alone.
~Scott Wesley Brown and Jeff Nelson


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