by Charles R. Swindoll
Want a boost of encouragement? Our God is working toward that end in all of His children. It is His constant pursuit, His daily agenda, as He points us toward our final destination, "the Celestial City," as Bunyan calls it. Having cleansed our hearts of the debris of inward corruptions and the dust of sin's domination, God is now daily at work awakening grace within us, perfecting our character and bringing it to completion.
As I think about our becoming people of awakening grace, I believe at least three things are involved in the process:
First, it takes time. Learning anything takes time. Becoming good models of grace, it seems, takes years! Like wisdom, it comes slowly. But God is in no hurry as He purges graceless characteristics from us. But we can count on this, for sure: He is persistent.
Second, it requires pain. The "dust" in our room doesn't settle easily. I know of no one who has adopted a "grace state of mind" painlessly. Hurt is part of the curriculum in God's schoolroom.
Third, it means change. Being "graceless" by nature, we find it difficult to be anything different. We lack it, we resist it, we fail to show it, but God never stops His relentless working. He is committed to our becoming more like His Son. Remember? "He who began a good work . . . will carry it on to completion" (NIV).
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