Monday, July 4, 2011

The Freedom of God's Amazing Grace

Friends in Faith,

Happy 4th of July! America was founded under God to give us the freedom to create and the opportunities to achieve a bucket list. Are the bucket lists we have created with the freedom of our independence something that God would be proud of?

“Consequently, brothers and sisters, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Rom 8:9, 11-13

Is the bucket list you have created heavy with goals of the world rather than the Spirit? Is your bucket filled with self doubts or self pity that you don’t have enough worldly gifts to reach the bottom so that you can empty the bucket? Is the bucket filled with worries about family, friends and things that cloud the goals with fear?

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Mt 11:25-30

So who lightens your bucket? Who is in your life to help you see clearly to the bottom, unload the burdens, and empty the bucket?

“Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.” Gn 8:10-22a

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now, I see. T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils and snares we have already come. T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far and Grace will lead us home. The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.” Lyrics Amazing Grace

God’s amazing Grace. The Grace that He gives us in the Spirit is always with us, always near us, and always promised to us no matter how heavy, how murky, or how covered up the goals become. His Grace, His Amazing Grace, will help lighten our load, will help carry and empty the bucket, will help free us to get us to our own ultimate goal and to help others get to what should be their ultimate bucket goal—heaven.

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4: 6-7

God’s grace calls us not to worry, to always ask and to always give thanks to God for all that we have. If we can remember to ask, if we can remember who has given us every blessing, if we can remember who is ultimately responsible, not only for helping us attain our bucket list, but also for who is in charge of what should be in our bucket list, than His Amazing Grace will also lighten our burdens and flow into us when we need Him the most.

As servants of God we are called to be the spouse, the spiritual advisor, or the friend who can help lighten someone’s bucket by making someone smile through their tears; by saying a comforting word to give someone a glimmer of hope; or by using our gifts with the purpose for which God intended.

God is giving us Grace to be shared, the Spirit that needs to be spread, and the hand to lighten our spouses, neighbors, or friends load by sharing their sufferings and sacrificing our own worldly goals for that which is spiritual.

Is our service to God today, not to complete our own bucket list but to help someone carry their bucket, or to lighten their load? Are our words and deeds helping someone accomplish their bucket list by clearing the junk out of their bucket?

Heavenly Father, In you my God, I place my trust. Thank you for giving me a bucket to fill. Help me to fill that bucket with YOUR desires for me. Help me to share my gifts so that they will help lighten the buckets of those around me. Please fill the buckets of my family with Your Amazing Grace. Thank you for the people who sacrificed their lives so that we can live in a land so abundantly rich and so free. May I always be reminded that the richness, the freedoms, that have been given to me are from You and are for Your purpose. Amen.

May your bucket be filled with the Spirit of His Amazing Grace,

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