I, like most people I know was raised in a Christian home. I have thus grown up praying and believing in God and increasing faith etc etc as taught in the churches I went to and of course from my granny and mom's lessons. I attended Sunday school, went on Sunday school trips, youth conferences, Premaco, Jubilee...all the conferences Charis Missionary Church in Makwarela held, it was a given that I'd be there.
All these lessons were the basis...the foundatiopn one could say...of who I bacame spiritually. Without them, I am, pretty sure when I rebelled I'd have totally lost my way.
There is also the hard fact that my mom can repeat the same thing FOR YEARS. I swear, she doesn't give up. I have even lovingly asked her to not ask me the same thing over and over as it hurts ME. I wouldn't like to say the same thing to someone for years and they just don't listen. I'd feel like they're making a fool of me. Anyway, she continually has drummed every lesson she hears at all the funerals, conferences and church services she attends. And she still recites the same line about the smoking thing.
I don't know whether all those lessons just never told me...or I just wasn't mature enough to understand the concept of God's grace. (Takes a moment to really ponder the word, the beauty, the magnitude that that word takes when its referring to God's nature... its beyond explainable on paper). God's grace.
We are taught that God forgives, yes. God listens to our prayers, yes. God provides. However, we are also taught God punishes sinners :o God will send people to hell if they're not spotless...
This is a very scary concept of God whereas the grace side is like a joyride...errthang is fiiiine, God will mos forgive. He's cool like dat.
So one would end up concluding...if I'm good- God's grace will come and if I'm bad- his wrath. It aint so. Hear me out.
When I came down to Cape Town I wanted to get closer to God. Closest actually. So I'm working on literally squeezing right under Jesus so Ican feel His breath on me...(do you think God 'breathes'?) Claustrophobially close. So I started reading my bible myself. I read it in The Message. I find that I understand that English better than the thee-thy-thou one. I randomly pick people from the bible and read everything about them. Even researching further on the internet or asking different people I meet in the lifts, my mom, our pastor, Jesus loving friendies too. I have learnt a lot that way. I have also decided to not much emphasis is put on 'Christianity' versus on God and Jesus. That's a topic for another day...just keep in mind that Jesus did not come to start a religion.
Back to Grace. ummm...oh yeah, God's grace is infinite. EVERYDAY its there, every second, as I type this. You cannot do anything to earn or lose God's grace, like...you can't do anything to earn good looks get it? I am humbled that a sovereign God, who gives me soo much just for me to mess up on the simplest of instructions like loving others, continues to give me grace, a chance to start over...any second I want. AND, even without me recognising these facts, His grace stands. Never ending. Ok, I think I've emphasised the awesomery of Grace.
I read a book that sorta explained the concepts of the 'Strict" god vs the 'Allows-errthang' God. Dr Henry Cloud explains that its not two separate sides of God per se. God is truthful. His promises are real and they stand as they are today as they did 2 million years ago. So, when he said people who don't live right will go thru 123 unless they repent, hurt Him as it should, He has to follow thru.
I don't even think Grace is 'forgiveness'...forgiveness is encompassed in grace, as is love and peace and all things nice that we all feel.
It is a good think to remind myself of God as He never forgets me. I had sticky-note on my PC that said 'Remember God' just to keep reminding myself of the one that never forgets me. I gave it to my boss. I'll get a new one asap.
I don't seem to have a hit-home-major-catastrophic point in this...naaah...I guess this post was just more for reminding anyone who reads this to not forget God...and about Grace (oh wonderful Grace)...
Later. Stay blessed and Remember God. Without Him, we are nothing. He gives all we have, be grateful. That's not being religious, that's having manners.
awesomery - too much awesomeness * by prettiness + love-filled. - Tulips & Grace Dictionary