The Grace Challenge

Last Sunday, John challenged Collegeside to answer 2 questions.

What Grace has the Lord given you?
and
What ONE thing can you do that demonstrates God's grace?


Here are some of your responses:

Karen Neilson writes:
How I see God’s grace being demonstrated to me in the past and present?
In the past 10 years the LORD has changed my life. I was on a selfish bent, in self-destruct mode! GRACE has granted a major transformation to take place! Grace gives me the power to live the Christian life.
What can I do to demonstrate God’s Grace so freely given to me?
Give Grace to others—Forgiving them unconditionally, just as God forgives us through Christ (Colossians 3:13). I learned to do this through Celebrate Recovery. Extending grace to others and forgiving unconditionally has been one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. God is still teaching me—I know because I sometimes fall short in my relationships and responsibilities with family and friends and need to come to them asking forgiveness. Similarly, I must be forgiving of them when they fail. Holding a grudge that turns to bitterness had been easy in the past. But now, using God’s truth of giving Grace to others and offering unconditional forgiveness the way he forgave me has given ME NEW LIFE!

Thank you, God, for your Immeasurable Grace!
__________

Leslie Satterfield shared, "The grace that God gave me came through a whole different language. God introduced me to a beautiful way to worship and convey all joy  and emotion of His love to my sweet friends through sign language! His grace gave me a mentor, forever friends, a ministry and a purpose! It's indescribable joy! What am I going to do because of this grace? Stay tuned for one of my favorites, I'll share on FB!"
_______

"I see God’s grace in my life through life giving and sanctifying friendships, the home he’s given me to cultivate, and parents who love me and raised me to love the church.  This week, I’m going to reach out to these people." -Sarah Foy
_______

Lora Montgomery has had the ability to demonstrate God's grace through her new position with the Putnam County School System.

Lora said, " What Grace has God given me? The most important grace that God has given me is to remember that he is in control and will take care of us while we are living in these uncertain times. Secondly, he has given me a wonderful church family. Thirdly, he has blessed me with a wonderful new job that I just recently started."
_______

Tina Moore sees God's grace in her children.
_______

What grace has the Lord given me? -Darlene Franklin
What grace has the Lord given me? EVERYTHING that is Good is the answer to the question
but I think it needs a bit more explaining. Of course, the main answer is the blood of Jesus to
cover my sin! But that is just the beginning. Here are a few tiny other things as well.

Once I read in “Life in These United States” of Reader’s Digest a story of a young woman who
recently refurbished her kitchen with every fancy new tool available—trash compactor, ice
machine, garbage disposal, etc. Her grandmother was admiring all the updated resources
available to her granddaughter and she asked, “If you could only have one of these kitchen
assets which would you select?” The granddaughter thought long and hard and finally said, “I
guess the refrigerator!” The grandmother laughed and replied, “I’d pick running water every
time.”

This story reminds me how easy it is to forget how many blessings we are given by God. The air
we breathe and the ability to breathe it is a blessing which reminds me of Bryan Britt—his body
requires a defibrillator to signal his brain to message his lungs to take a breath for each breath
he takes, which means he receives an electrical shock at least 12-20 times/minute just to
breathe—how painful? I don’t even think about breathing, it just happens.

Oh dear God in heaven, please forgive me for not being thankful for each breath I take and
the ease of breathing! Please be with our brother Bryan and keep him healthy and strong
and heal him completely! God, I also praise You for all my bodily functions that run smoothly,
efficiently and effectively! I take for granted my well-being when I am healthy instead of
praising You for wellness. Forgive my ignorance and know I am grateful for good health and
the good health of those I love.

In my bedroom is a small sign from Hobby Lobby that reads, “My Greatest Blessings Call Me
Mom” and these words are so TRUE! Every time I read this I’m reminded how good God
is—how gracious He is to give me such awesome boys. To grant me such a wonderful family.
To entrust me with raising the boys he graciously lent Lloyd and I. I pray that generation after
generation of our men will rise up and call our God blessed. That our children will produce
Christians until Jesus returns.

God graciously supplied a husband for me who loves Him. A wonderful father to our children.
An awesome provider who is frugal and kind—he’s not beaten me yet  although I’m sure I’ve
given him reason.

One of the most awesome blessings from God is my family of origin. Who would I be without
the family I came from? I was raised to love Jesus by my parents, maternal and paternal
grandparents and their lives exemplified how to love other people—what a legacy—what an
inheritance of faith and mercy that I was taught through their lives.

Oh my Father, I praise your Holy Name for the family I was born into. I didn’t earn them or
deserve them but You bequeathed them to me anyway! It was YOUR ABUNDANT GRACE that
assigned me this family of origin like it was YOUR GRACE that delivered Lloyd and our
precious boys to us. Thank you seems so inadequate. I confess I fail at living a holy life but
will still attempt to do because I love you and want to thank YOU for what You have done for
me.

Wow, what a multitude of friends I am blessed with both Christian and those who are seeking.
Only once, and for a very short period of time, was I without a strong support group of friends
and that was during my adolescence. God’s people, especially at Collegeside, in Cookeville and
my friends from Madison Church during my adolescent days are amazing! As Jonathan Delk
puts it, “Forever Friends!” I know, without doubt, I can call for help and receive it any time day
or night because I am loved with the love of the Lord!!! Now I call that Grace from God because
that is Agape—unconditional love and all believers KNOW that “GOD IS LOVE!” There is
something very reassuring and peaceful KNOWING you’ve got a huge group of family right here
on earth that love you with the love of the LORD! PRAISE GOD!!! It’s like a taste of Heaven on
Earth.

Father, thank you immensely for my Christian family and friends you lavish upon me. What a
wonderful Love this is and it is all from you—You are shining in them! THANK YOU Jesus for
being our example so we can see how to treat one another…. In Jesus, my precious brother’s
name I pray…Amen
_______

From John and Rosemary Stites

What grace has God given us?
We have seen the gift of God’s grace in our marriage of 52 years.  Not knowing the future with certainty, we only had the hope of God’s promise; that if we put Him first in our marriage relationship, He would be gracious to us more than we could ask or imagine.
 
We also see God’s grace manifested in our four children and their families.  We had no certainty of our children’s future other than God’s promise; if we would train them in the Way they should go, they would not depart when they were old.  We believed God’s promise and have seen His grace extended to our family in our children and their families who love God and are called to His purposes.
 
Neither of these blessings are because we did everything right but because of God’s grace through His promises, we are able to depend upon His promises with certainty.
 
What one thing can you do today or in the next several days to demonstrate God’s grace?
One thing we can do this next week is to pass on that grace that God so freely gave us, which we did not deserve or earn, to others in the form of a smile or kindness. They may not have earned our graciousness but when we give it anyway, we are following the example of our Creator.
_______

From Taryn Bolton

John challenged us to see what is grace to us right now. I was feeling a bit low Sunday and went to sit outside. I closed my eyes and sat quietly just listening.  The songs of the birds were overwhelming! All around me I heard highs and lows and different tweets and trills and it struck me that these were creatures God made to praise him with their songs. I should be praising like this and then it felt like a grace, a gift from Him and I just sat there enjoying the songs.  Zephaniah 3:17 says "He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." It is like He smiles from Heaven and serenades His love to us with the songs of his creatures.  This is my Father's world. The birds their carols raise. They declare their maker's praise.  Grace is all around even in the very smallest of things. His eye is on the Sparrow and I know He watches over me.
_______

From Peggy Palk
To answer the questions "what grace has the Lord given you in the past and what grace is the Lord giving you in the present, I would have to say it's about the same.  The Lord has given me peace in the past and in the present.  Peace in knowing who I am and whose I am, peace even when I have financial insecurity, peace when I am fearful, peace when I mess up and 'fess up to know His forgiveness, and peace in knowing where I am going at life's end.

One thing I can do to demonstrate God's good presence to someone this week and honor God by bringing His hope into another person's life this week is by writing a short note of encouragement to people.


Thank you to everyone who has responded to this week's challenge! 





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