Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Are You One of The Miserables or One of The Hopeful?

Yes! You are in the right place!!!

Since this is a new year, I decided to make some changes to the look of my blog. Don’t let that scare you. Just because the look has changed doesn’t mean the content has, because it hasn’t at all!!! I’m excited about the things I have to share this year. Just like the look of the blog has changed, God has already made changes in me and as He continues to I look forward to sharing those with you. So let’s get started!!!

One of my favorite verses over the past year has been
2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me
This verse reminds me just how perfect God’s grace is. God does not give us just a little bit of grace to get us through those uncomfortable times in our lives, so His power can be shown to others, though He will do that if need be. More often than not, He allows us to go through, what we would consider, great trials and sufferings so that He can bestow upon us a great measure of His grace for us to get through it. Then when we come out the other side, there is no doubt that we did nothing to make it through the trials, but rely on God and His Grace!

I may be talking in terms that are too ambiguous for you to totally understand what I am talking about, so I would like to share an unusual example with you. On New Years Day Cecil and I saw the movie “Les Miserables”. For those that don’t know the story of “Les Miserables”, let me give you a little background. It is the story of a man, Jean Valjean, who has just completed a 19-year prison sentence for being a thief, and is now on parole. He leaves the prison trying to find work, and can find none. This is France in 1815 and no one will help him because he is an ex-con. Besides, there are so many poor people in France at this time they are all having trouble feeding themselves and their families, much less a parolee. Jean Valjean stumbles upon a kind Bishop who offers him food and shelter for the night. During the night Jean Valjean steals all the silver from the Bishop and leaves. He then is caught by the authorities and brought back to the Bishop to press charges against Jean Valjean, but instead the Bishop says to the police that the items were a gift, and that in fact Jean Valjean forgot something. The Bishop then hands him a set of silver candlesticks. Of course the police let Jean Valjean go, and the Bishop requires nothing of him. This changes Jean Valjean’s life. He then vows to treat others with the same kindness, grace and love that the Bishop showed to him from that day on. The story is how Jean Valjean does that and what consequences his past has on him.
If you have read this book by Victor Hugo, seen the musical, or watched the movie, you know that it is an extremely sad story. There is poverty, illness, death, and hopelessness. If that is all we concentrate on, we will seem hopeless, because that is the plight of the human race, without Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
But and that is a huge BUT, when we know that Jesus came to this earth and GAVE himself as a sacrifice for all the disgusting things we have done and we accept him as our Lord and Savior.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
We no longer have to live the hopeless and miserable life! Now we can be hope-filled and joyful! Knowing that though the road won’t be perfect, we have Jesus with us giving us an abundant life, and that God will give us the grace to get through the hard times!!!

Living in Grace,

I would like to share with you more on Grace. The first time I heard about “Les Miserables” in the context of grace was from this video. It’s about a 30-minute video by Max Lucado on Grace. It is #2 in a series of 13. You won’t hear about Jean Valjean until minute 23, but it is all definitely worth your while!!! I challenge you to watch it.