Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Grace

"But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart."—Matthew Henry Concise (notes from Romans 2:1-17)

These words resonated deeply with in me. Shortly before this I was sharing my testimony with some young ladies via youtube which always stirrs something inside of me. Usually, if I'm being honest, it is a bit of shame. Even that very word carries a weight unknown to other words. I know that sharing my testimony is a blessing. I know it blesses others to hear what Christ has done with this hard heart of mine. I know he gets the glory. It's in that remembering where the shame comes in. Those memories are like a deep scar, a gaping wound and when you look at that wounded place you remember all those nasty details. Every. Detail. Then the shame comes...usually. It is easy for Satan to attack us in those dark places even knowing we don't reside in those dark places anymore.

This time though, this time it was different. Where was the shame? Where was the hidden fear? Where WAS it? Yes, I know. I know the answer in my mind. It's nailed to the cross. I've known this for about 10 years now, but here it is being lived out in my life. 

And as I read through Romans 2

"Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgement of God? 4Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed." 


Living in that muck and mire that I used to call my life, I thought that the things given to me, that I was entitled to those things...that I deserved those things even. What I didn't realize that even every breath I take is given to my by Him in his grace. I say that because for most of the days I've walked this earth with every. single. breath I took, I also took advantage of those breaths by not recognising WHO gives them to me in the first place.  Even in the smallest parts of our lives, which can make up some of the biggest parts of our lives there He is giving grace, and there was me...taking advantage of it on every occasion. 


I didn't know that it was grace, because I did not know grace. God's Riches at Christ's Expense. I didn't know Christ and therefore could not know his Father. Looking back into all of this though, I don't see muck and mire. I see GRACE. I SEE it. Out of this muck and mire and through the His kindness towards me has lead me to the true repentance that Matthew Henry is speaking of. I am confident of this:

I no longer have a hard and impenitent heart for it has be replaced with a heart of flesh because of Christ. My confidence is in Him and that is a place where shame cannot enter.

466. snow, snow, snow....snow on the trees, on cars, snow even on me...snow!
467. faithful Pastor and family teaching the word as unpopular as it might be
468. a one level house
469. a 2 car garage
470. God's impenetrable grace
471. no shame for those in Christ Jesus
472. taking my sin, my cross, my shame...rising again I'll bless your name...you are my all in all
473. babies wrapped in blankets made a sweet friend
474. playing words w/ friends with a dearest friends
475. "why is that story in the Bible?" asks one honest Son, "I mean it isn't a very good example of being kind!"
476. thoughtful questions
478. the opportunity to teach my children
479. that big brown eyed baby
480. playing Banannagrams with Jordynn, oh it won't be long and she'll be beating me
481. godly, descerning men-folk friends for my husband
482. watching Jordynn take all those photos and loving it
483. the washer and dryer
484. cleaning up the mess and seeing the glorious grace in it all