August 13, 2013
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.” James 1:2-3 The Message
Jesus lived a life that was clearly out in the open spaces of broken lives .. hopeless lives .. and starving lives. The life He gives you is a gift and carries with it the calling to live your life out in the open spaces. Grace is a gift .. never quitting on you .. never giving up on you .. and never running out on you. At every turn Jesus opened his life to the hurting and hungry .. the anxious and angry .. the rejected and the faithful. You will face obstacles .. pressures .. and faith denying challenges in your life: maybe today. God wants an intimate conversation with you today .. an asking .. an accepting .. and a trusting conversation conceived in His unconditional love for you. Jesus is where this conversation begins in your life. His life is often the last place instead of the first source of what you are facing today. Jesus cleared the way by telling you that your heavenly Father conceived you in love and longs to fill your life with the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter if you are being tossed about on the outside. It doesn’t matter if you are drained on the inside. You can ask the Father for the Holy Spirit’s help and indwelling love. Jesus is the only one who really knows about the pressures of living a life out in the open spaces where faith .. trust .. and love are always on display. These will always be tested and put under pressure in this fallen world. He allowed His body to be punched .. exposed .. and nailed so you could walk out into the open in His life. It’s His life that fills you with this robust love that God longs to pour into you today. It only takes a moment … ask!
“We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. … And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him.” Ephesians 4:15-16, Luke 11:13 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to The Tested and Under-Pressure Followers of Jesus and friends of Priority One (firstname.lastname@example.org)