Consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose
Ministry has a way of making reflection a painful, joyful, and humbling experience. The staff at Cuyahoga Valley Church strive to display God and to live under a law of grace. As a church we are taking the book of Romans and diving deeper into God’s wild, unconditional grace. This past week chapter 6, presented by Josh Stone, revealed the reality that my accepting Christ as my personal Savior makes me dead to sin, and alive in Christ.
In addition to studying Romans, I am studying the beauty of grace myself. Charis, as I prefer to call it, is radical. There are two ways that grace completely flips life upside down. First is the giving of grace. Grace shatters worlds. Because it has NOTHING to do with you. It has EVERYTHING to do with the giver (which is sometimes you). But choosing, I realized, to give grace is not just a once a day deal but a grappling of not allowing bitterness to have the satisfactory victory over my heart.
Vigorously, this week I have had to contend with this seed of bitterness that desires to infest my body because of a wrong that was done to me. The fight I found myself being a contender in consisted of my pride being hurt and therefore taking the attitude of selfish pity. But I knew that bitterness attacks the fruit of grace. Bitterness suffocates all grace and does not allow it to transform, to penetrate, to eradicate the pain I want to harbor. Instead bitterness reaches to consume and engulf the fabric of my heart. It blinds me. This is an undeniable battle.
The second way grace flips life is when I am the receiver of grace. Asking for forgiveness in the office has become a rather natural occurrence. Like I said before, ministry causes reflection. And often that reflection involves painful realizations. I encounter the feeling of bewilderment when I find myself being given grace. My face often contorts to an open-mouthed, aghast look. People give grace and people receive grace. Who would have thought? No one can hold the reigns of grace. It is free. It has catastrophic effects on the human heart.
I am thankful that I am here in Cleveland, Ohio. The kids, the friends, and the families that I get to live life with here teach me a lot about God’s love. They reflect Him. This week if you would like to pray for me, Frontlines X (summer camp) is rapidly approaching. We have been knee-deep in preparation for this camp and in less than two weeks time we will be experiencing a time that will take our breath away whether from being blobbed into the lake or the unashamed, broken outcries of worship. It will be worth every long day at work. Pray for kids to come to know the Lord. So many do not know Him.
Lastly, I just want to end with a thank you to those who read my blog. I wish I could tell you in person ALL the things I am learning, but that blog post would be infinitely too detailed and too lengthy.
My family continues to grow here in Cleveland and I cannot wait to share them with you because they are changing my life. Have a great Thursday everyone! (: