Do you know GRACE?
Hello Sweet Friends,If you have followed me for the past several months, you have certainly heard me speak of our community wide youth ministry we call Faith in the Field. It has become such a joy of my heart to gather with these youth and seek to experience the presence of God together. Last night, we had our first Faith in the Field back in a “field” after a few months of warding of heat and bugs outdoors. There is something about the presence of God that is faithful to show up when there are no walls to keep Him out. Maybe that is something to be pondered…..
I always seem to find Him real and more present when I am away in His creation...mountains and beaches and night skies and sunsets and parks. The things of God seem to radiate Him. Even art and music hold that same power to move you closer to Him…..inspiration from the creator to lead you to His heart, no doubt.
I say this also, because sadly too many churches and even "Christians" in effort to create righteousness have built walls to those who truly need God. Those who could never live up to their standards have said "no" to church or even Jesus, because neither emulate a hospital for the hurting, but rather reflect more of a court system delivering verdicts. I don't want you to think for a moment that I don't believe in a body of Christ in fellowship together, because I think it is essential to growth to be united together seeking Jesus, but it saddens my heart to hear the stories of wounds from churches that have shut others out because they don't fit or can't be used because of their past, and they have put Jesus in box that can be controlled or contained to their doctrine, so He has no room to move. Sadly it is often Christians who actually quench His spirit, and truthfully, He doesn't have to show up, because they have it all together without Him.
Many of the youth last night poured out their hearts because the atmosphere we invite is one that says.....we love you regardless. We love you no matter your dirt, because that is what Jesus taught......... to love all unconditionally. Never once did He speak you are not worthy, your sin too great, but He sat with a woman at the well despite her past, and delivered another from her nightmares, stopped to take notice of one whose pain had consumed her life and healed her, and praised one as she washed his feet with her hair. Yes, it was a little scandalous, and the truth is that if we truly get His grace we find it to....scandalous. He loved all, even the thief on the cross! He forgave all, and He took the sin of the world and nailed it to a cross so that we could be free. It is Grace......unmerited favor.
And if we get it, and receive it, our lives become a way of liberating others to it, not leading others from it. Without Grace, we would be nothing. Yet, we are so quick to ask for it and so slow to give it. Why? Perhaps we have missed Jesus all together?
It is time to let down walls and invite His Kingdom to Come into our yards and homes and churches and schools and families and communities. And we allow it to come, it will shift the atmosphere of our communities.
Shift the atmosphere in this place, Father. Make our land flow with milk and honey. Lift the oppression and poverty and religious spirit that marks that we are not living in our promise land, because Your inheritance is love, and joy, and peace and provision and prosperity and freedom! We want You to invade our lives and communities and homes. May the walls fall across this land that have kept the freedom of your spirit out. We thirst for more Father. Come to Your people. Heal this land!
I will say and give honor to the church that so graciously opened their doors when the weather was to hot this summer, so that we could continue to reach our community youth through Faith in the Field. We honor and thank them for investing in our community and our babies:) I pray that The Lord will bless that house for saying, "You are welcome here!" And may He show favor to the Pastor and his wife that have given so freely their lives to build up our community for Jesus! And though so many in our community have no idea of their sacrifice to reach lost, God sees!!!!
Seek. Love. Follow.
In His Wings, Ro