The Gift of Grace guest post By Lynn Moratis

AmberOBrien"

Who doesn’t love gifts? There’s always excitement when you find a present with pretty paper and a bow waiting for you. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Most of the time when receiving a gift, you don’t know what’s inside – it’s a surprise. So all the more anticipation, until it’s opened. Sometimes it’s not what we expected, sometimes it’s more than we expected and sometimes it may not fit correctly. I hope you’ll join me in reading about a gift that will always fit and won’t disappoint. We just need to accept the gift and believe in it with our hearts and profess it with our mouths.

Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.

The Sweet Sister’s were recently together for a Monday night study and the topic I shared was the Gift of Grace.

You may ask what is Grace really? Grace is a free gift, providing us with something we didn’t deserve, it’s favor bestowed upon us as a gift. A life changing gift, a guarantee of eternity, and a friend to walk through life with you that knows your every need. To me grace is forgiveness and love all wrapped up in one, and it cost Jesus his life, for me it was free. Wow – what a gift the Father gave us. The least we can do is share it with others.

In Ephesians 2:8 the Bible tells us that “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.

The best news is you don’t have to wait for your birthday or a special occasion to receive this gift. It’s available right now today. Imagine if you found it through a real life encounter with Jesus – in person. In John 4 Jesus meets a woman at the well, drawing water. They have a conversation, he even shares her cup of water, which was not common in this time. As he talks, he offers her living water so that she may never thirst again:

John 4: 13 – 14 “Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whosoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”.

We know from context that this woman had some sin in her life, but Jesus shared the gift of time with her. What an interesting conversation they had. Once she realizes the gift he’s bestowing and who he is – she runs to share it with others. She is bubbling the good news, like a spring of living water.

John 4:39 tells us that “Many of the Samaritans from the town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, he told me everything I ever did.”

She needed the gift of grace. Jesus was seeking her that day, just like he seeks us. He wants us to take the gift of Grace and he wants us to share Grace with others. Our opportunity is two fold, to take the grace so freely given and accept Jesus and then to bestow grace to others. Who do you know today who could benefit from some grace?

I’m so glad I found Grace when I was young. However, it’s taken me years of living this life to really come to fully understand the full impact of the Gift of Grace. It’s the only gift I ever received that will last forever and at the same time a dependable gift for any circumstance. I have countless examples of when I’ve needed Grace, challenges in school as a young adult, insecurities with my self image and fears, marital difficulties, a divorce, immaturity, selfishness, and most of all trying to live my life my way versus his way – Grace always brought me back. My life would have been more peaceful if I had embraced Grace and understand it fully, but that was my path. What path are you on today?

I challenge you to think about your opportunities to share Grace with others and to lean in on this awesome “Gift” in your own world. Continue to drink from the well of living water so that the Spirit bubbles up for all to see and guides your path. The book of Galatians tells us how –


Galatians 5: 22 – 25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Remember the commercials back in 2007 – “Got Milk”? We’ve got something better we “Got Grace”.

XoXo – Lynn

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Unauthorized interception of this communication could be a violation of Federal and State Law. This communication and any files transmitted with it are confidential and may contain protected health information. This communication is solely for the use of the person or entity to whom it was addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, distribution, printing or acting in reliance on the contents of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and destroy any and all copies. Thank you. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 855-258-6518 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 855-258-6518 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. and all of their corporate affiliates comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

Who doesn’t love gifts? There’s always excitement when you find a present with pretty paper and a bow waiting for you. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Most of the time when receiving a gift, you don’t know what’s inside – it’s a surprise. So all the more anticipation, until it’s opened. Sometimes it’s not what we expected, sometimes it’s more than we expected and sometimes it may not fit correctly. I hope you’ll join me in reading about a gift that will always fit and won’t disappoint. We just need to accept the gift and believe in it with our hearts and profess it with our mouths.

Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.

The Sweet Sister’s were recently together for a Monday night study and the topic I shared was “the Gift of Grace.”

You may ask what is Grace really? Grace is a free gift, providing us with something we didn’t deserve; it’s favor bestowed upon us as a gift. A life changing gift, a guarantee of eternity, and a friend to walk through life with you that knows your every need. To me grace is forgiveness and love all wrapped up in one, and it cost Jesus his life, for me it was free. Wow – what a gift the Father gave us. The least we can do is share it with others.

In Ephesians 2:8 the Bible tells us that “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.

The best news is you don’t have to wait for your birthday or a special occasion to receive this gift. It’s available right now- today. Imagine if you found it through a real life encounter with Jesus – in person. In John 4 Jesus meets a woman at the well, drawing water. They have a conversation, he even shares her cup of water, which was not common in this time. As he talks, he offers her living water so that she may never thirst again:

John 4: 13 – 14 “Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whosoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”.

We know from context that this woman had some sin in her life, but Jesus shared the gift of time with her. What an interesting conversation they had. Once she realizes the gift he’s bestowing and who he is – she runs to share it with others. She is bubbling the good news, like a spring of living water.

John 4:39 tells us that “Many of the Samaritans from the town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, he told me everything I ever did.”

She needed the gift of grace. Jesus was seeking her that day, just like he seeks us. He wants us to take the gift of Grace and he wants us to share Grace with others. Our opportunity is two fold, to take the grace so freely given and accept Jesus and then to bestow grace to others. Who do you know today who could benefit from some grace?

I’m so glad I found Grace when I was young. However, it’s taken me years of living this life to really come to fully understand the full impact of the Gift of Grace. It’s the only gift I ever received that will last forever and at the same time a dependable gift for any circumstance. I have countless examples of when I’ve needed Grace, challenges in school as a young adult, insecurities with my self image and fears, marital difficulties, a divorce, immaturity, selfishness, and most of all trying to live my life my way versus his way – Grace always brought me back. My life would have been more peaceful if I had embraced Grace and understand it fully, but that was my path. What path are you on today?

I challenge you to think about your opportunities to share Grace with others and to lean in on this awesome “Gift” in your own world. Continue to drink from the well of living water so that the Spirit bubbles up for all to see and guides your path. The book of Galatians tells us how –

Galatians 5: 22 – 25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Remember the commercials back in 2007 – “Got Milk”? We’ve got something better we “Got Grace”.

XoXo – Lynn

*******************************************************************************
Unauthorized interception of this communication could be a violation of Federal and State Law. This communication and any files transmitted with it are confidential and may contain protected health information. This communication is solely for the use of the person or entity to whom it was addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, distribution, printing or acting in reliance on the contents of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and destroy any and all copies. Thank you. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 855-258-6518 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 855-258-6518 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. and all of their corporate affiliates comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

Are you thriving or withering away? Part 1

AmberOBrien"

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in Him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.  John 15:5 

Dear Sweet Sister:

Have you ever been in a vineyard? During a visit to Napa Valley to celebrate my husband’s Jubilee birthday, I had the privilege of touring a working vineyard.

Jesus uses the grape vine as an allegory to show us how He wants our relationship to be with Him and thus I excitedly peppered the tour guide with lots of questions so I could understand better this desired relationship.

Jesus the vine is to be our source for food and water

The vine is similar to the trunk of a tree and all the nutrients and water come up out of the vine to feed the branches. Jesus is to be our one true source that we cling to throughout the day for refreshment, comfort, encouragement, accountability and companionship.

A young lady shared with me this morning of how easy it is for her to just turn on the TV rather than to spend time reading the Bible and praying.

What is drawing your attention away? A branch seperated from the vine will eventually wither up and die. How can we thrive instead and bear much fruit?

I personally have found that I need to set boundaries to ensure that I remain close to Jesus.

At the start of the day….I have decided to NOT look at emails, the news or Facebook until I have had sweet time with Jesus.  I have a special chair in a room away from my bed and once I make my morning coffee and open my journal and Bible, our date begins.

In the journal I write down the ACTS (adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplications ) so to structure my time and keep my thoughts from wandering.  I try to follow a study such as first5.org or meditate on a small portion of the Bible. I am learning to listen and just sit and enjoy the presence of God. You were created for God’s pleasure and He truly wants to spend time with you.

Years ago, I would struggle to sit for too long, but as time has passed I now spend longer and longer during my morning date with Jesus and ironically I now struggle with having to leave as it is my favorite part of the day.

A fruitful branch is a joyful branch.