Grace and Power

I am certain there are those of you who don’t mind waking up early.  You may even enjoy it.  I do not!!  I simply do not understand that mindset. And do you know what really puzzles me?  People who not only choose to wake up early, but who then go and exercise…..outside…… in the cold…..in the dark.  That is totally beyond my ability to comprehend.   No, I prefer to go gently and slowly into the new day.   I am pretty sure Jesus doesn’t want me up much before 8 AM.  When I wake up, I like to spend about half an hour of what I call “cuddle time” with my Abba.  During that time I listen to His words of love from verses I’ve memorized and I tell Him how much I love Him.  I offer myself to Him as a living sacrifice, submit to His will and the movement of the Holy Spirit in my life, ask Him to open my eyes, mind, and heart to perceive His glory, ask for the gift of wisdom for that day, and pray the whole armor of God over myself and my family.  It is a glorious and empowering way to start the day.  I find it so much more invigorating (and far more comfortable) than a 6:30 AM run.

This morning I woke to an impressive rain storm.  As I lay there reveling in God’s presence, I imagined I could hear His voice in each rain drop saying, “I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.”  I was captured with an overwhelming sense of God’s grace:  His saving grace, redeeming grace, empowering grace, sustaining grace, assuring grace, lavish grace, abundant grace, comforting grace – grace upon grace upon grace.  My mind and my heart tried to comprehend and contain it, but it was too wonderful for me.  All I could do was lay there in awe and worship.

Suddenly the sky lit up and a loud peal of thunder filled the air.  I was reminded of all the instances in scripture when God spoke with a voice that sounded like thunder to those listening.  Often this display of power filled the people with fear, but I didn’t find the sound scary at all.  It was assuring and exciting.  Awe and wonder gripped me anew with the awareness of God’s great power, majesty and might.  He is indeed a loving, caring, gentle Father, but He is also the sovereign creator of the universe, full of magnificent splendor and supremacy.  He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He is ever-present because He neither slumbers nor sleeps.  He works all things for my good and His glory.  He has the power to transform the hardest hearts.  He protects His children from the temptations and attacks of the evil one.  He has the power to heal sick bodies, restore broken relationships, redeem wounded memories of the past, and comfort sorrowing hearts.  His power is gentle enough to shield one of His children in the shadow of His wings or strong enough to move mountains and control the winds and rains.  There is nothing greater than His power and grace.

Power and grace:  both perfectly revealed in one God, one Father, one Lord.  How blessed we are to be chosen to experience the gentle side of His nature through an intimate relationship with Him and at the same time to rest in the assurance of His great power and might.  May we never stop being filled with awe and wonder at the breadth, depth, and extent of God’s character!  May we awaken each day excited and eager to experience more of His grace, more of His power, more of Him!

I leave you with these familiar yet beautiful words of Paul found in Ephesians 3:17b-21, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  And now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever!  Amen.”  And Amen!!

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