Enough

It never ceases to amaze me how smart God is. A few weeks ago, we discussed the topic of grace in my life group. We were going through verses on salvation and came across Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
When discussing the application of this verse, it occurred to me that it meant we didn’t need to be so hard on people… It seems like we always expect people to be either where we are or farther than we are, and we seem to have trouble accepting when they aren’t. Not so much that we’re prideful about our position or our knowledge, more that we don’t have grace for people who aren’t quite “there” yet in our eyes, or we forget that other folks are human, too. One of my life group leaders introduced us to a concept she said she & her husband began using when they’re about to lose it. “Can I afford it?” It’s a phrase we think of in the mall when we see that perfect dress, or driving past a restaurant and we know Mr. Budget’s tight in that area… But what about grace? Do you have enough? Can you afford to give some?
Pastor Stovall Weems spoke at our church last weekend and made an incredible statement.
“As Christians, half the prayers we pray we wouldn’t need to pray if we were indeed filled with the Holy Spirit.”
My husband & I have this thing where every morning we propose. One knee, slip the ring on each others’ fingers, etc. We decided before we got married that it was a daily decision to be married to one another. “Will you marry me?” wasn’t a one-time question, because willfully or not, you answer it everyday.
In the same way, we choose daily to live for Christ and to allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We either make space/room for it or we don’t. But if we do, here’s what awaits us:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23
Could you use more love? More joy? More peace? I know I could use more patience… God has them all. Storehouses of them. He has plenty. And, as children of God, we have unlimited access to these storehouses. All we have to do is ask. And, as Pastor Stovall Weems said, if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we don’t even have to ask — we just have them. They are ours.
So, can you afford to give grace to that guy that cut you off? Do you have enough peace to get through this period of unemployment? Is there patience to spare for the disobeying child? Yes, there is. An abundance of it is within YOUR reach. You can afford to give it out, because God has given you more than you’ll ever need.

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