With her long dress flowing behind her like a quiet, country stream, she seemed to float toward the altar. Head held high, she carried herself with such grace!
The word Grace can be used to mean elegance, smooth, fluid motion, or beauty. It can mean a pleasing or attractive quality. We say that someone is graceful when they are “light on their feet”, as with dancers. Or when they move smoothly in an aesthetic manner, we say that figure skaters or gymnasts are graceful. I wasn’t very graceful last night when I knocked a pair of crystal candlestick holders off of the table!
When something enhances the beauty or honor of something it is said to have graced that something. At his recent passing, it became clear that the world is a better place since Billy Graham graced us with his ministry.
Grace can mean favor or popularity. Things went well for David when he was in King Saul’s good graces. We have seen a number of pop culture icons lose their popularity and fall from grace. This type of grace is usually earned.
But the only grace that is important to me is charis. It means the unmerited favor of God. I believe that all too often we find ourselves making promises to God, trying to earn His favor in the same manner we go about trying to earn favor with others.
God’s grace doesn’t work that way!
Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (ESV). When will we finally get it through our thick skulls that if it could be earned it wouldn’t be charis? It is ONLY through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus that we can obtain this grace.
I’m reminded of Paul and his “thorn in the flesh”. We don’t know for certain what this “thorn” was, but I think it safe to say that it was an affliction of some kind. Scripture tells us that he asked God three times to take it away, but God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV). I used to look at this scripture and think that God meant He had given Paul the grace or strength to deal with this thorn, and that may also be the case. But, as a sufferer of chronic pain, I see this as God telling us that, in light of the fact that we have his unconditional, unearned favor; our eternal salvation; His undying love; we have need of nothing else.
There are certainly things Paul desired, much as I do, and much as you do. But where the rubber meets the road there is only one thing we need.
Blessings on your weekend!
Tim. Get on Twitter and share other people’s content. That’s how Twitter works.
To be perfectly honest, Paul, I simply don’t have time. While I’d love to have tons of followers reading my content an looking at my photographs, I’m too busy to even read a lot of other peoples’ content. When I post on WordPress or Instagram, it is automatically posted on Twitter and Facebook. I don’t even post very often on Facebook. I know that it is limiting the number of people that can be exposed to my work, but that’s not my highest priority right now. And I don’t want to share other peoples’ content if I haven’t read it to ensure that I agree with it. Between work at Presto, volunteering at church, writing and photographing I’m spread a bit too thin as it is. I am keeping algorithms in mind, and I make sure to like your content to direct more viewers your way. I really appreciate your likes and shares, and those of some of your followers! If the Lord should bless me with a way to dedicate myself more fully to my writing and/or photography I will definitely be more involved with all of my social media. Blessings on you, my brother!
There it is then. I assume your content is sound because I know you are.
I appreciate that, Paul. I hope I haven’t offended you, because that certainly isn’t where my heart is. You have been a good friend; I value that. I want to be real, and honor that friendship.
Oh no. It’s not about that. But if you’re serious about blogging there are protocols to observe if you want what you generate to be be read by more than 2 or 3 people.
Oh, good! For the time being I’m content. I haven’t been writing for all that long, and I’m really working on honing my craft. I’m mostly read by people in my circle, family and church friends, right now. I will definitely explore the intricacies of growth on social media. I’ve never been much of a self-promoter; it’s very difficult for me.
Get over it and spread The Gospel.