“Give yourself a year’s worth of a lot of grace.”
If there’s any time I need God’s grace, it’s when I am mustering up faith in Him taking care of me.
There’s nowhere we can go in this world where we will find another human being that has lived the exact same situations as us.
Before March of 2008, I thought I was alive.
I was 25, engaged to my best friend, and looking forward to our life together with excitement. I had friends, family, and a job I loved. I had a home, I travelled, I had the means with which to live the life I sought after.
I thought I was alive. Until I learned how to live.
If you’ve ever been forgiven for something or loved even though you haven’t been the best version of yourself, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
It’s the one thing any of us ever need to both give and to receive: grace.
This isn’t something that just happens. In fact, it’s quite purposeful.
There are habits that grace-giving people do each day, and because God’s grace is something we’re given no matter what, it only makes sense that we, too adopt the following:
If you’ve never been a parent, there’s no way I can possibly explain that kind of love.
It’s so weird, isn’t it?
How we call a “change of heart” something that refers to a sudden act.
Pride: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
Why would anyone want to get rid of a pleasurable feeling?
As a little girl, I used to daydream about motherhood.
What would it be like, I wondered from as far back as I can remember, to be the mommy?
How I hoped I could be like my own mother.
Dear New Christian,
I write to you today almost nine years exactly from the day I decided to live for the Lord, and there are some things you should know.
1.) Reading scripture is essential.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
This is something I didn’t really understand until I began Bible study. To read, study, dig deep into what the Lord has left for us to live our life by is huge.
Every day, in big and small ways, we need Scripture.
One way to do this is to have a go-to every day. This is an app I have on my phone that serves me well.
It’s easy to personalize with different devotions, and I can even link up with friends who have the app.
2.) Community is Biblical.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Being a homebody who can sit and read for hours without socially interacting with anyone, I fought this one hard.
It wasn’t until I was urged by a friend and by Scripture that I began really being active in a community of Christians.
It’s been unbelievably special.
Our Bible study meets Wednesday nights, and we have something called House Church every other Sunday evening. It is basically a family study where the kids learn a lesson and play while the adults discuss a study or the sermon after we’ve had dinner together.
It’s a lot of Jesus in our life.
It was a big change, but it was so very worth it. If you’re unsure of where to start, your church elders can lead you into a community of believers.
3.) His mercies are new every morning.
As a new Christian, it can be overwhelming how great our God is. How He loves. How He lives.
This verse can help us:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Each day I need His mercies. I have to pray,”Lord help me be better than I was yesterday.”
This hope is what keeps me going. That we don’t have to live in fear of never measuring up to Jesus.
Jesus died on the cross so we can have a new start. Be forgiven. Washed as white as snow.
Live there. Keep taking in that while we will not ever be as perfect as Christ, we can be forgiven, dust ourselves off, and try even harder the next day.
4.) This is the path less traveled.
This will not be easy. In fact, it is written
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
They hate me? Because I am a follower of Christ?
For lots of reasons I both do and don’t understand.
Either way, like Peter writes about living in exile, it’s just the way it is.
It’s hard because for the most part, we like being liked. So when someone hates us, makes fun of us, casts us aside because we live in a way they don’t understand, it will be hard, new Christian.
Put on the suit of armor. It is a battle, but take heart. It’s the only one really worth fighting.
5.) This is a relationship.
Jesus longs for you. To be with you. To talk with you. To listen to you.
Just like any other relationship, in order for it to work, we have to show up. Every single day.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Ever since reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World I have held this picture in my heart of Jesus waiting on my couch (my designated Bible study spot) patiently as I sleep.
With a childlike excitement He hopes I follow through with my promise to pray, study, and come to His feet each day.
I don’t want to let Him down.
He died for me! No one else in this world loves me like that.
What is the only way I can reciprocate that love?
By loving Him back. Showing up. Playing an active role in my relationship with Him.
Instead of feeling guilt when I sleep longer than my alarm or when I go a couple of months without starting my day in the Word, I pray, “Lord, help me put You first.”
I can do nothing without Him. I can do everything with Him.
New Christian, this is a journey. But this walk you will take is full of more rewards than you can even fathom right now.
Take this scripture and envision yourself each day as you are tempted to live your life outside of the Lord.
Arm yourself, sisters and brothers.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, …
Welcome, new Christian.
You are loved.