April 5, 2013

“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.” Matthew 6:6 The Message

Jesus never treats you as being simple-minded. What he does do is communicate God’s character and ways of living into everyday life. God, your Father, knows what is in your heart and what is weighing upon your spirit and thoughts. Jesus reminds you to just be yourself before your heavenly Father. That’s where “we” make things complicated. You can think up or imagine any number of reasons why God couldn’t possibly be interested in your concerns and worries: you haven’t prayed in a long time .. you aren’t living as you know you should .. you’ve thought of yourself more than others .. you carry around memories that make you think God is angry at you .. you aren’t good enough to ask God for his help .. and most of the time it is because you know in your heart that you haven’t been loving God at all or hardly at all. There are any number of obstacles we raise up to keep God away. Most of them are grounded in fear .. guilt .. and anger. Jesus simply reminds us that God isn’t impressed with “actors” but with men and women who come just as they are and open their hearts. To do that you have to let go of what you expect God to do or judge Him on what he does or doesn’t do. That is a way of dependence that we so often seek to avoid. And no one showed us better what it means to depend on the Father than Jesus. He reminds us that God has our future in his hands .. even when this world whispers that you have to take care of you first. Whatever you are facing today .. your heavenly Father wants to fill you with grace. That’s the real substance that holds your life together. And Jesus …? He only takes a moment …

“Give you entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:34 The Message

Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to Closet-dwellers and Kingdom-minded followers of Jesus and friends of Priority One (KchesterP1@gmail.com)

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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
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