This post originally appeared on Dawn’s personal blog at http://heartdujour.blogspot.com/ so please stop by and give Dawn some love or better yet she loves snail mail.
Grace Awakening-Week One Chapter One
Free in Christ. Free indeed. Free at last.
Happy New Year and welcome to our study of Charles Swindoll’s Grace Awakening! I am so glad to have you joining us! The plan is to post a chapter each week for the next fourteen weeks, God willing, and you are invited to join along with both the book and workbook. Feel free to share your insights and input below in the comments each week-I’d love to hear from you!
I came upon Grace Awakening because I have been longing for something more. I have a regular morning time routine well established over the past eight or nine years now-reading the Bible every morning, prayer journaling, and also participating in online studies with a group of friends who have graciously shared their morning time with me as well over the past few years. But lately, I just felt like I needed something more, something deeper. And then I came across this book and it completely resonated with my heart. I am so excited to start this new journey!
And so we begin-Grace: It’s Really Amazing!
Grace received but unexpressed is dead grace. Rather than spend our time debating on how we receive it or what it means to live by grace, we need to just claim it and allow it to set us free-then grace will become what it was meant to be-really amazing!
The One we could call “Grace Embodied” never tires of extending it to us. When we fully embrace His gift of grace, we will:
have a greater appreciation of God’s gifts
spend less time and energy concerned about other people’s choices
become more tolerant and joyful (yes, please!), less prejudiced and judgmental
take a giant step toward maturity.
Oh yes—sign me up!
Grace will bring the freedom to want the highest good for and expect the highest good from one another. It will make us want to obey and prompt us to love each other. However, when we don’t embrace grace for ourselves, we have no grace to offer others.
If we refuse to live by grace, our attitudes sour. We’re certain that people can’t be trusted. We waver over whether or not God fully accepts us, so we run from intimacy with Him. On our own, we drive ourselves to obsessive intensity. Our spirits harden. Our rigidity repels. Our faces shout, “No!”
When we choose to live by grace, our attitudes shift from negative to positive. Our relationships with people are characterized by confident acceptance rather than suspicious intolerance. With His grace, our focus expands. Our intensity is relieved. Our spirits soften. We become more winsome, affirming, contagious, and understanding. Our faces say, “Yes.”
As an added bonus, I found that there is also a podcast by Mr. Swindoll for each chapter you can listen to. For this week’s podcast click here. You can also download the Insights for Living app free which includes the archive of the entire series’ podcasts!
Thank you for joining me this week-I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments below and come back again next week for Chapter Two-The Free Gift.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.