In which is grace THROUGH faith

by Craig on April 15, 2012

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The tournament to decide my top Bible verse ever continues…

If you are new to the tourney…

I set up the seedings here.
I determined the tournament locations here.
The South Regional results are here, and here.
The West Regional recaps are here, here and here
The East Regional game summaries are here, here, and here.

The next match-up…

#3 (Galatians 5:5) For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness.

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#14 (Romans 8:38, 39) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And today, I talked with God about these two…

#14…

Nothing can separate me from You, Lord.
You eliminate enemies to my faith…our faith.
You temper, energize and deepen my faith.
By. Your. Spirit.

Oh, how I have struggled at times for freedom…
from that which I don’t want to be free.

I’ve turned my back or taken steps from You…
and You have always remained, waiting.

Everything changes all around You…
Angels…“principalities” (in other words, demons)…
the dimensions of time and space.

But in You is no shadow of change. (You’ll heart reading this!!)

It's a solar Eclipse as it would appear from the moon!!!!

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So constant You are that we always know where find You, even if we’re blind.

Then there’s Galatians 5:5 (#3), the higher of the two seeds, because there’s so much important information relayed in so few words. I believe, we all believe now, because that’s all we can do. No matter what we say, no matter how we feel, we can’t “prove” heaven, hell, or any matter of faith.

I, we, have so much evidence on the side of our faith…
but in the end, it comes down to a choice…
a choice to believe what we cannot see. (Heb 11:1)

And what is this “hope of righteousness”?

That You, Lord Jesus, are God…
and that You lived and died…and live
and You are always with us…in us. (Col 1:27)

You will come back to be the final judge of all right and wrong…
You will count us, Your followers, Your believers, Your lambs…as righteous…
You’ll carry us where everything bad is gone and everything good is better…forever.

That’s the “hope of righteousness”.

And I now get the “grace” thing.
It’s like my colonoscopy last week isn’t it?
The anesthesia was like “grace” wasn’t it?

And I received the grace by making the choice to have an IV thing placed above my wrist.

Not MY hand!!!!! I didn't LOOK at it, much less take pictures!!!

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The IV thing is like…faith. And the anesthesia (grace), flowed into me through the IV thing (faith).

I receive grace…through…faith.

As good as it is for me to hear that Paul was convinced that nothing could ever separate him, and us, from You. I have to go with the answer to how we are saved, how we receive grace.

#3 defeats #14, and moves on to round two…

and the tournament continues…

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora April 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I so get this, Craig! Just perfect today. Anyone who has been through a colonoscopy will understand and never forget, I’m sure. The IV being faith and the anesthetic being the grace —– perfect!!!!! I guess we COULD ask to have it done without the lucious “grace,” couldn’t we???? But you know, I used to type for a Dr. who did these all day long. And in all that time I did those reports, it was always the same: “The procedure was not completed and terminated early because of the patient’s extreme discomfort.” That was before they got the bright idea to use that wonderful drug. So can we take the analogy that far —- that we cannot make it in our own strength without “grace?”

Struggling for freedom from that which I don’t want to be free. What a thought, Craig. It takes a really honest, open and contrite heart to admit that you don’t really want to be free of something. Even in dieting —- I struggle every.single.moment of the day. I’m not sure I want to be free. Yes, I want the end result, I want to look good, be over the whole process. But free from the wanting and the pleasure and the control. YUK! There — I laid it out there. I’m NOT free of it. I keep on trying in my own strength, but on my record it reads, “The procedure terminated early because of the patient’s stupid decision to try this on her own!” Really great today, Craig! Thank you!

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Craig April 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Cora, the metaphor was just a sudden inspiration as I was writing. It’s funny the ways we can see God in our life if we look for him in all of the little things. And I think that’s really interesting what you noted about your experience – that the procedure, “was not completed, and terminated early because of the patient’s extreme discomfort”. Without grace we’d feel ALL of the discomfort, and we’d be terminated early. Brilliant Cora!!!

Back in the day I was a personal trainer. But as this sleep thing has gone on, and on, one of the effects of it is a much, much lower metabolism. When I was homeless I was forced to begin each day in the gym, working out each day, with a low-calorie and still I was only able to get from 204 down to 197 over the course of the year. The right weight for me is about 180. anyway, all that to say, I’ve been through many a diet, and many a weight loss plan, and seen the failure from both sides – the trainer side – and the personal failure side. I get a Cora – there is grace for THAT too, you know ㋡

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Debbie April 16, 2012 at 12:37 am

I am soaking this up . . .the grace, the faith, and the procedure being terminated due to discomfort without the grace! And the diet thing . . .oh boy. Better load me up with 6 or 7 IV’s for that. haha! God bless you and I’m loving this play off season!

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Craig April 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Deb, I thought the post was done – but I forgot how it’s never done, and I’m never done learning till I stop writing and listen. (thank you Cora) And this tournament – I’m kinda hearting it too!! For something with organized brackets and all it’s sure full of inspiration and surprises. God bless Deb.

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Martha Orlando April 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

“I receive grace . . . through . . . faith.”
We choose to have faith and His grace is lavished upon us. What a wonderful analogy you have made here, Craig, with your IV and choice to have it during the procedure. I like, too, how this inspiration, as you told Cora, just appeared in your head. It’s those moments when I am writing that I heart the most! Because, I know He is guiding me to see Him in everything, large and small.
Blessings to you, my friend, and so glad your ordeal is over! Still need to schedule mine . . .

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Craig April 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Actually it wasn’t independent. I read somewhere once that faith was like the plumbing of a house – then the real experience of the IV last week made it crystal clear. And Godspeed with yours when it happens – I’m not a fan. But it needed done and now is. God bless you Martha!

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Martha Orlando April 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm

And, those little treasures He drops into our laps when we least expect it . . . that return, like a boomerang, with resonance and might! Wow!
Nope, not looking forward to it, but you have inspired me to make some calls tomorrow for a schedule. My doctor will be so happy.
Love to you and to precious Laska!

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