What Easter shows about Grace
Easter is one of my favorite Holy days. It's the powerful message of God's love for us. Sending his son Jesus to die on the cross to pay for our sins. He redeems us so we can have a relationship with him. The free gift of grace to all who chooses.
Grace means favor, goodwill, mercy and kindness. In Greek, the word is xaris; transliteration is charis. Charis means grace and kindness.
I like the word grace. A picture of a ballerina dancer comes to mind when I think of grace. The word reminds me of things of beauty because grace is a thing of beauty. Thank you, Lord! (It’s also my youngest daughter’s middle name!)
A biblical lexicon provides meanings and uses of Biblical words in their original language. From the Helps - Word studies Biblical lexicon of the word grace: “Cognate: 5485 xáris (another feminine noun from xar-, "favor, disposed to, inclined, favorable towards, leaning towards to share benefit") – properly, grace. 5485 (xáris) is preeminently used of the Lord's favor – freely extended to give Himself away to people (because He is "always leaning toward them").”
What comes to mind with that description of God leaning towards to give himself to us? What a fantastic description of grace. We are favored by God.
God’s grace is a free gift given through our Lord Jesus Christ. What is so awesome about grace is that we don’t deserve it. We are born with the stain of sin on us.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT
But because of God’s love for us, He has given a chance for us to be close to Him again through His son Jesus. Instead of receiving the death we deserve, we are given the choice of a free gift. This is grace.
Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. Romans 3:24-25a NLT
I want to stress the part of that scripture “when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life.” We have to believe, have a firm conviction in Jesus as our savior for grace to work. God gives us a choice. Grace is the gift of salvation for all people!
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11 – 14 ESV
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” Romans 6:14 NIV
There is much more to grace than God’s favor and goodwill. Grace strengthens us. Grace assists in keeping us from sin and keeps us in the faith. Grace influences our hearts to be pleasing to God. It frees us from sin and blesses us. God’s grace points us towards Jesus.
Grace is a power that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Grace is given to those who are humble and who put their trust in Jesus. Be willing to receive God’s grace and be thankful for the grace he gives. Grace is a supernatural power that can keep us from sin. Acknowledge and wield the power of grace in your life.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV
Don’t be a slave to sin. Speak of the power of grace in your life. Meditate, write down and speak aloud these Bible scriptures of grace. Pray, trust in and obey Jesus. Believe you are worthy to be loved and live by the Spirit.
Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! 2Peter 1:2-4 MSG
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV
I’m going to go back to what I wrote earlier about the word grace reminding me about a ballerina. Grace is both beauty and power, just like a ballerina. Ballet dancers are strong yet graceful.
I pray you and yours have a blessed Easter weekend! Love ya!
I am writing this post because I am compelled by God. My heart breaks because his heart breaks. I am not trying to cause offense. I speak the truth in love.
Two weeks ago I attended a talk focused on how to make my city a more equitable place for black girls. The topic made me venture downtown. My passion for girls and women knowing their value to God and my life experiences motivated me to learn more.
The statistics I learned about the plight of black girls shocked me.
My heart hurts at the injustice of their treatment. The sole perpetrators of these violations are not done by only one type of people. This maltreatment is done by all races, including their own.
These girls and women are in unhealthy home and community environments that foster violence, disrespect, self - preservation by any means necessary, risky sexual behaviors, hopelessness and fatalism. A toxic environment influences toxic behavior.
Outside of the toxic home/community situation they are bombarded with the climate of schools or work. An environment of devaluation, disrespect, low – worth and other micro aggressions beats them down. These conditions are another weight on their fragile psyche.
The media environment is more detrimental. Many black girls and women esteem some celebrities that have sex appeal, are raunchy, violent and devalue other women. Disrespect exudes from their pores. The false stance of feminism is believed, taking them farther down into the mire of deception.
The Holy Spirit is grieving. I feel his sadness.
Injustice against women – predominately black girls and women -is rampant in this world. Justice can’t be served without Jesus. He’s the pillar of truth and equity. He is the real avenger. God’s truth wins.
God wants you to know the truth. The certainty of his love for you. The facts of your value in the world. The good news of Jesus. These revelations can break down barriers. Receive and believe them.
5 Truths a woman should know:
1.You are made in God’s image.
So God created human beings[a] in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NLT
2. You are important. God made you with a purpose. He knows about you.
“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Luke 121:6-7 NLT
3. You are beautiful no matter what color you are. God made women and girls as creatures of beauty. God doesn’t make junk. You are unique and special.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Masterpiece means a person’s best work.
4. You are precious in God’s sight. He knit you in the womb! Read all of Psalm 139.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! Psalm 139:17 NLT
5. God loves you. He sent his son Jesus to sacrifice his life for you. He died in your place so you can have a relationship with God. There is no shame or guilt in Jesus.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 NLT
There are many more truths God wants you to know. But I don't have enough space for them. You can find them in the Bible, nature, a child's laughter, a dog's wagging tail, a cats purr, the birds singing, spring flowers, crisp snow, a smile, chocolate, sunshine, hugs, soft blankets....you get the picture. (I might make this post a series, there is lots to cover)
God loves you with an everlasting love. I love you, too!
Thanks for reading. I love to hear your thoughts.
I wasn’t able to write the blog post Wednesday. Yesterday I realized why.
Thursday morning is a favorite day of my week: Women’s Bible study. My soul gets fed with God’s word. I am blessed from fellowship with genuine Christ loving women. Afterwards I experience the best writing all week because of the powerful morning.
After eating breakfast, I go to my usual seat in the chapel. I pick up my binder and place it on my lap. I’m ready to take notes. My row mate sits two seats down and picks up a pencil that was lying on the seat between us. She asks if owned the pencil. I said it’s not mine.
I dug in my purse for the pen I always have and couldn’t find the pen! I turned picked up the pencil and said to her, “I can’t find my pen.” We laughed and finished getting ready for worship.
I settled into my seat with a smile on my face. ‘God Made Me Special’ was on the pencil. Thank you Lord! God had the pencil there at the right time. He knew I wouldn’t find my pen. He knows how important the lessons are and note taking is essential.
I knew I had to share this. God always provides. Even when we think we have what we need, He is ready and waiting, standing holding it in the palms of His hands. Sometimes we grab it with a little nod of thanks, sometimes with no thanks. Sometime with lots of praise and worship.
Other times we glance over His open hand and don’t take what we need. Times like that is when we really feel the recoil of our bad choice. But God is still there holding His hand out waiting for us to take what Jesus died for: Love, grace, peace, hope, mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, power, protection, help, freedom and so much more.
Grab God’s provision with a grateful heart.
Psalm 34 is powerful testaments and promises of what God does and will do. Pray and declare this Psalm over your life. Trust God, believe, obey and receive.
I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
2 I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
3 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
12 Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken!
21 Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34 NLT
Thank you for reading! I love to hear comments and stories of when God provides. Do you have a favorite Bible verse/ promise you declare? Your stories are encouragement and hope to others. Love ya!
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Christina Leeman MPH, CHES, writer and health educator, emboldens women to be the She Who Honors God with her all - body, thoughts, words, actions.
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