The Messenger Zine - GRACE / Issue 12
One of the most powerful definitions of grace that I have ever come across changed me from the inside out. I have never gone back to anything less.
When I was 4, I met the God of love in a kindergarten hall, singing “Jesus loves me this I know” with all the other children. I was painfully shy then and seldom spoke. I remember crying when asked to greet a teacher and how I never asked to go to the toilet because I was too scared.
Then when I was 10, I met the God of great compassion again in a stadium full of people. Some who had been deaf, lame and sick were being healed and many went on stage to testify. At that evangelistic rally, I gave my life to Jesus.
After that, God’s unconditional love began to transform me. As a child, I always knew God loved me no matter what struggles, failures or rejection I faced. As a teenager and adult, I have always experienced the grace of God in times of trouble. His grace has been sufficient for me in every circumstance, not based on what I deserve.
2 Corinthians 12:9, The Passion Translation
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Yet we all come “of age” and yearn to find our own authentic faith. I needed to find a God who is more loving and righteous than my human mind could contain and comprehend. A God whom I could still believe in, in a world where unimaginable suffering occurs on a daily basis as a result of our choices to fear/hate instead of love.
I had so many questions that I almost lost my faith. But the daily grace of God I had experienced since I was a child kept me hanging on until God led me to enrol in an inductive Bible school for 9 months where I found the other half of grace:
Grace is the power and freedom (paid for/redeemed by the blood of Jesus) that enables us to say “no” to sin.
This definition gave me an incredible sense of hope and helped me break free from the “sin, repent, repeat” cycle. I experienced a shift in mindset that made me understand more of why Jesus died for our sins.
I no longer wish as I did as a child, that Jesus didn’t have to die. I understand why He had to and what it means: the power of sin over our lives has been broken and we can now be restored to who God originally made us to be and more - sons and daughters in the image and likeness of Jesus.
Hebrews 4:16, NIV
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.
Regardless of what is happening around us, we can love with our Father’s love. We can hope and be a beacon of hope planted by Him where we are. We can walk in faith even when we cannot see what lies ahead.
During this uncertain season when the world is grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, let’s allow God to show us His grace daily in our lives - to stay positive and take every opportunity to share it with those around us.
Photo by Dan Edge on UnsplashPage Break
Mighty Hands is a family-run Christian photopolymer clear stamps and craft dies company started by Julie Wong in 2018. Her desire is to develop products that bring scriptural messages of Christ’s love and grace into the world to touch lives.
Hello! Tell us what Mighty Hands is about.
We create fun photopolymer clear stamps, dies and other supplies for the papercrafting community. Our mission is to help people share the love of God through various forms of crafting. Examples of such crafts include greeting cards, bible journaling, bookmarks, home décor, etc.
Please share more about what you believe in at Mighty Hands!
Everyone and everything carries a message. We believe in encouraging and uplifting others through the word of God. Partnering the Holy Spirit, we hope to develop products to bring scripturally accurate messages into the world that touch people’s hearts and bring them closer to Christ.
What does Grace mean to you?
Believing that my Abba Father loves me unconditionally and has already prepared every good thing for me, simply because I am His daughter.
We love how your work inspires others to create as well! How do you incorporate your experiences of Grace into your creative expressions?
Thank you! Grace originates from a heart of love. God is love. Jesus is grace personified. This is the reason why many of our stamp sets revolve around the theme of God’s love for you and have heartwarming illustrations.
It’s not about earning His love or trying to love Him a lot. It’s just accepting the truth that He really loves you, because you are His child.
When we start to appreciate this, it’s easy for His grace to flow in our lives, because we are secure in who we are and focused on Him and His promptings, and are not easily distracted by everyone and everything else.
The brand story of The Commandment Co is to ‘Send A Message. Inspire Someone.’ What is one message you would like to leave our readers with on the topic of Grace?
Last year I wrote this on procreate and I think it’s quite relevant here. “God helps those who help themselves need help.”
Many people think the crossed out part is biblical because they’ve heard it many times, but it’s not. Do you need help? Trust God and He will help you because He’s good and loves you.
A Glass of Milk
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school realized all he had was a dime in his pocket. Nobody was buying his goods and he was getting very hungry. He decided he would try to barter for some food at the next house.
He rang the doorbell and when a lovely woman answered he lost his nerve to barter for food so he asked only for a drink of water.
The woman looked at him and instantly knew he was hungry. Instead of bringing him a drink of water, she brought him a glass of milk. He slowly drank it and when he finished he asked, “How much do I owe you?”
“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”
He said, “Well I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really do appreciate it.”
When the boy, Howard Kelly, left the house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and good people was renewed.
Years later, the young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city where they called in a specialist to study her rare disease.
Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange feeling overcame him. Immediately he rose and went down the hall to her hospital room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown, he went in to see her and recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day forward, he gave her special attention.
After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr, Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her.
When the woman received the bill, she dreaded opening it because she knew it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, as she slowly ripped open the envelope and pulled out the invoice she looked and something caught her attention. On the side of the bill she read:
“PAID IN FULL WITH ONE GLASS OF MILK.” Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly
(Adapted from http://amazinggrace-mychainsaregoneorg.blogspot.com/2012/06/