Testimonies on Pursuing a Godly Life of Grace
  1. How has God's grace made you gracious?
  2. What are some practical steps you have taken to be more gracious?
  3. The story of God's grace in your life and review it each year.
Let's see how God has done this in the life of others.

 

How has God's grace made you gracious?

And Then There Was Grace

My life before I became a Christian is nothing to brag about. I didn't know of my sin until the Lord confronted me, but when He did, my rebellious heart was all too evident: lying, stealing, lusting, hating, griping, etc. The list could go on and on. It took me years to grasp a sufficient understanding of His wonderful love.

Before this, I just couldn't accept myself. I felt totally inadequate and my stuttering speech and lack of self-confidence showed it. One might think that discovering the truths of election and grace in Ephesians 1 would further depress me because of my unworthiness was all the more apparent. He chose me not because of the good I had or would do. I already was confident of that! Instead of building my confidence on what good I did or could do, I built it upon the ability of the Lord to desire and do a good work in my life. God's love became my life's foundation. Through Christ's sacrifice, I saw His great desire to help me. This would never change despite my many failures.

God really wanted to work in me. He wanted me. He desired me. It was this desire for me and His work in me that completely reshaped my perspective of self and others. I began to obtain a perspective of my self that was secure in His love and depended on His work in my life. My personal experience on how God likes to work miracles in the lives of desperate people enabled me to start looking at desperate people as ones where God could intervene and help. If God could work in a lost sinner like me, surely He could work in others. Instead of looking down upon others, I began to see hope where others could not see it. Graciousness sprung up in my heart because of God's unending and abounding grace shown to me in Christ Jesus.



    What are some practical steps you have taken to be more gracious?

    Practical Steps in Being Gracious

    Remember God's grace to you. (This shapes your attitude).

    • Write down God's story of grace in your life. Include the details as much as possible.
    • Keep a box of mementos which remind you of God's special acts of grace in your life.
    • Have a special 'share time' each year when God's story of grace is repeated. Our family recently went through some slides of our family's history highlighting special times of His grace.
    • When teaching about God's grace, always teach how this relates to forming our gracious hearts.

Take special acts of graciousness. (This shapes your behavior bringing it in line with the scriptures).

  • Be kind always. No exceptions. My hardest battle was to be kind and loving in chastising my children. I must not do this in anger.
  • When wrong is done, apologize as soon as possible.
  • Do not allow rude remarks to be said by me or other family members. No name calling.
  • When tempted to take revenge, think of God's grace to me.
  • Each morning remind myself that I can not do any thing good apart from Him. I am totally dependent upon His grace. Follow this up with prayer for God's grace for what He has planned.
  • When facing things that we clearly are unequipped to do, boldly ask for God's grace. Ask God to do it with or without you.
  • Memorize passages like Ephesians 4:1-6. Go over these words at least once a day.
  • Remember that right now is the age of grace (Romans 5:21). Strive hard that grace may now abound now before this glorious opportunity is past.

       

       

Our Story of Grace Written into our Lives

The Story of God's Grace

God is working in each of His children a beautiful story of His grace. Last night a friend came over and shared parts of God's story of grace in his life with me. How touching and moving. Not only does this refocus God's goodness in his life but it helps remind him how God works out all things together for good. By looking back in time, he gains hope for the future and confidence in the troubles of the present. Each of us should be recording God's story of grace in our lives.

The Nativity Miracle

He shared one story that happened about 10 years ago when he was driving children home from a children's meeting on a stormy night. The car flipped over and went off the road. One 8 year old girl fell out of the car and was dragged 120 feet. He went over and saw blood all over her. But as time went on he discovered that all the blood came from one cut. God's grace miraculously kept her from great potential harm. Her Christian parents were thankful together with this brother that God worked out all things well. Three days later the little girl of grace acted her part in the nativity scene with a few bruises but otherwise fine. For him that year's nativity scene still embedded on his mind serves as a clear reminder of God's wondrous grace.

The Special Box

The miracle boxOne dear brother, a president of a Christian ministry, showed me one day as I walked in his office a special box on the table. He bought the special box and started placing different 'treasures' inside it. If a thief stole it, he would be greatly disappointed for it would have no 'real' value. But this brother was so proud of its contents. He would take the box out when he would introduce the ministry to others and sometimes to his colleagues to encourage them. Each item spoke of God's grace in the shaping and building up of that ministry. They are things which marked off this organization from the non-Christian ones. They are what made that ministry special and unique and bring glory to God. Here are three items inside the box!

1) a blue Matchbox van to remember a miraculous answer of prayer for transportation for our Club kids,

2) a photocopy of a five-figure check written, unknown to the board, by a stranger to the ministry AT THE VERY MOMENT the board was deliberating about starting a new program. The board decided that to be financially prudent we should not move ahead of God and that we would start this new ministry if and when God provided start-up money for us. I guess God wanted us to start right away.

3) a toy spider as a reminder of the cabin of girls at camp who were away from home for the first time and terribly frightened of the wolf spiders who had decided to infest their cabin and who could not be gotten rid of by spraying, swatting, etc. The girls prayed simply, humbly, yet urgently -- some of them for the first time in their lives -- and from that moment on the girls did not see one more spider the rest of their stay at camp.

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