Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Sept. 8, 2009

September 8, 2009 
The Grace Factor 
Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD" (Psalm 40:2-3 NIV).

Friend To Friend 
I have a good friend whose granddaughter is a constant source of delight and humor in her life.  Ellie is an adorable and extremely bright toddler who, like most toddlers, has very definite ideas about almost everything.  Ellie also loves Jesus and often says the blessing at family meals.  One night, the family was seated around the dinner table when Ellie's sweet voice began, "God is great.  God is good.  Let us thank Him for our food.  By His hand we all are fed. Give us, Lord, our daily bread." There was a slight pause, after which Ellie smiled and added, "That's all!"  She's right!  God is enough and He is all we need. 

In this world, there are few certainties. God is one. His promises are true and we can wholly trust Him to keep His Word and to do exactly what He promises to do.  In Psalm 40:1-3, God promises to free us from the pits of life, to direct and restore us - and then invites us to join Him in Kingdom work.  In other words, He promises grace for the journey. 

Ah, there is that word again - grace. I am amazed when I think about the price tag dangling from the gift of grace. Grace cost God His son and Jesus His very life. When Jesus came to earth as man, He came as a living, fleshed-out illustration of grace. 

Grace allows us to take a "long look" at life, keeping our glance on circumstances and our gaze on the Lord of the circumstances. Grace pursues us and loves us, even when we run and reject God's love. Grace heals the wounded heart and saves the broken soul. God is drawn to brokenness and delights in healing. 

What an amazing truth, that God turns first to the broken. Psalm 40:1 says "He turned to me." Notice this passage doesn't say that David, the author, turned to God.  I don't think David could turn to God! Have you ever felt that way - empty and exhausted and without hope? Knowing the desire of David's heart and understanding his weakness, God heard his cry and turned to David, just like God will hear your cry and turn to you!

During the darkest hours of my battle with clinical depression, I continually questioned God, flinging my anger at Him like a spear.  My heart and soul were filled with fear and confusion instead of faith and trust.  Yet, He never turned away from me.  He knew every tear I cried and out of those tears and brokenness has come the most effective and powerful chapter of my life!  I have discovered that the more we are broken, the more we are used - because of grace. 

You can count on God. You can credit His grace to your life account! We are trophies of God's grace and we can count on him!

Now It's Your Turn 

·         Recognize and accept the truth that the only source of true forgiveness and complete restoration is God. 

·         What areas of your life need His restoration power?

·         What steps do you need to take in order for God to work in your life?  List each step in your journal.  Pray about each step and then take action.  Remember, God is more interested in what you do that what you know.  Step out in faith.  He will meet you there.

Mercy is when we don't get what we deserve. Justice is when we get what we do deserve but grace is when we get what we do not deserve.

Think about the above statements and compare them to your own definition of grace. Have there been specific times when you sensed the work of grace in your life?  Reflect on those times.  Record them in your journal.   

Let's Pray 
Father, I celebrate the truth that You are a God of grace and that You love me unconditionally. Help me to see Your hand of grace at work in my life.  I surrender myself to You and ask that You shape and form me into the image of Your son, Jesus.  I want to be like him, Lord.

In Jesus' name, 

More From The Girlfriends 
Everything changes when you factor in the grace of God. I love the words of the old hymn that describe God's grace. "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."  God's grace provides purpose and direction and gives us an eternal life perspective.  Today, revisit the time when you surrendered your heart and life to Christ and first experienced the grace of God - and celebrate! If you have never made that decision, today is the day.  He is waiting to pour out His grace in your life. 

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