Jesus said …

October 19, 2011

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Matt. 6:6 The Message

Jesus knew about prayer. He breathed it like it was oxygen. He also knew how difficult and distracting it becomes when you try to find a quiet place with God. He knew exactly how dis-eased we are with being alone with God and just being ourselves .. not trying to be someone we aren’t .. just being ourselves. The images that form out of our hearts or try to dominate our minds when we pray can be frustrating. That’s why Jesus was so careful to guide you into a prayer-filled life. His aim is for you to experience God’s abiding grace throughout the day in all kinds of un-graceful moments. He also wanted you to become at home being yourself before God the Father. You’ll be tempted to try to bargain with God. You’ll be tempted to fill up your quiet place with your own voice. You’ll even be tempted to disregard praying as a waste of time or reduce it to just crucial moments. God designed you to discover a life in prayer that would be filled with grace. And just like Peter we often want a number or severe boundary markers so we can be resolved in “doing my part”. Is there anything harder than forgiveness with brothers and sisters? Maybe … but more lives are filled with stress because of unforgiveness everyday. It takes a quiet place .. a quiet heart .. and a quiet surrender to let go of what you are holding against someone. Jesus didn’t call you to a life of role-playing before God. He called you to know the rule of grace .. letting go .. and letting Him clean out your heart. And it gets so easily cluttered with bruises .. broken things .. and lingering record-keepings that turn into bitterness. So Jesus invites you to find a “quiet place” where you can be you and let God’s grace become His indefatigable love that loosens the heart-attacking poisons that seek to contaminate you. You’ll find God’s Spirit right there helping you pray through all the entangled messes and life-clutter robbing you of Christ’s love and indwelling life. And 70 times 7 …? You’ll find yourself counting less. It only takes a moment …

“At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21-22 The Message

Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to 70 x 7 Followers of Jesus and friends of Priority One (ken@priorityone.org)

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About Ken Chester

I love seeing Christ become alive and real in someone's life. It is amazing what happens when Jesus moves in and starts to renovate a life. When I'm not riding my road bike, I am usually walking our corgi named Trinity (she came that way) and corgi-lab named Lowrider. Carolyn and I are transforming our backyard. And a book is on the way. ...Stay tuned ... Ken
This entry was posted in Abiding, Being yourself, forgiveness, grace, healing, Holy Spirit, love of God, Matthew, prayer. Bookmark the permalink.

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