Grace. Peace. Acceptance. Mercy. Kindness. Compassion. Gentleness. Patience. Love.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)
What a thought! The love of Abba for us—that God plans for us to be well, to be well taken care of, to have hope. This is the meaning of grace, and the meaning of this Advent season: that our creator loves us all (collectively and individually) so much that he gives us ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think’ (Eph. 3:20 KJV). God is gracious, thus plans peace for us. God is compassionate and kind, thus these are the fruit of the Spirit that reveal the disciples of Christ as who, and whose, they are.
I am overwhelmed, currently, with the lavish grace of God and all that’s been given to me this past year. I am deeply moved by how God always reminds me that I am his, deeply loved (1 Jn. 4:9-10), totally accepted (Col. 1:22), fully pleasing (2 Cor. 5:21)—even as I still beat myself up, even as I still am rejected as repugnant, even as I still fall over and over and over again. But the whole point of grace is that it is just who God is. It isn’t that we can’t earn grace but that grace is not something that is earnable, any more than a photograph is something you listen to. It’s just God being God.
This Christmas, I wish you to experience the lavish grace of God.