Grace

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I speak to you in confidence of grace,
I do not understand it fully as grace is a mystery,
But it might help to describe it to you,
As Godís unmerited favors to us,
Good things given us we do not deserve,
Such as life itself and a sense of the presence of God.

Grace is a state of heightened awareness,
Of the existence and work of God,
And should mere guilt be bothering you,
It brings the forgiveness of your impurities and flaws,
So you may be clean, reinvigorated and sharper,
Because you now realize the Ancient and eternal Spirit,
A refreshing and exalted Personality sometimes met personally,
Is weaving good, care, love and beauty in the web of life,
Though when you are not in a state of grace,
You are not always aware of God,.
Since grace is like the opening of a curtain,
You have not seen behind before.

When you know a transcendent God is alive and doing,
You feel He invites you to work with Him.
God rarely speaks in words but you receive His communications.
Our flesh has made us dumb, slow to get it and literal.
Flesh is on a different frequency lower than spirit,
And man is often blind and deaf to spiritual things.
But we know some truths from God unverbalized,
As we know truths about our families that are unsaid,
These are insights hard for them to verbalize,
But you recognize them.

When we feel God wants us to work along with Him,
We want to as children who want to do what their parents do.
Godís projects are for the good of others and life,
And as we work with God, we learn of God,
And we get to know God. He considers others.
His love is real but His will is stubborn.
The signs He gives are not ignorant mumboójumbo,
Or the signs of the superstitious,
For it takes grace to decipher the signs of grace,
As it takes light to read letters.

The experience of working positively with God in helping others,
Gives us joy and confidence and knowledge.
The union of these three is faith.
In faith you realize you are blessed by the gift of life,
And then you become a blessing to others,
As faith is a consequence of grace,
And grace is a mystery,
Grace is an awareness of Godís presence that comes to you.
You can grow by degrees into grace,
As Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature.
You may have a dramatic conversion as the Apostle Paul
Struck on the road to Damascus.
You may slowly realize or you may suddenly know God is real.
Expressions and variations on the theme of grace are infinite,
Let God be God. He can find yours.

But grace is not bought or sold but given.
No person can order it.
No church can guarantee it.
Grace is not a button that can be pushed.
Grace is a mystery that comes through Christ the King,
His favor falls where it wills.
His mystery protects His sovereignty.
Yet if I am convinced that the reception of grace
Cannot be ordered, manipulated or bought,
I am convinced that grace is a pump that can be primed,
By prayer, by study, by unselfishness,
By concern, by kindness where it is needed,
And that is practically everywhere.

Do not then wait to be hit by grace from out of nowhere,
Though that can happen and has happened.
Righteousness generally calls out to righteousness,
Love calls out love.
God is more inclined to respond to prayer than cursing,
Good works do not pass unnoticed before God,
To the waiting hungry cooking food has an attracting smell.
Goodness and unselfishness create an appetite for more.
A king may not be ordered, only an idiot would do so,
But he can be pleased.
Therefore if you wish to receive Godís grace,
Try to please Him,
The chances are better.

But remember Godís ways are not necessarily ours,
His will is strange to us, His Kingdom spiritual and foreign.
We are at the bottom of the ladder of Jacob,
The lower rungs of the universe on a lower frequency, where
Our views are limited until grace steps us up higher,
And we are no longer earth bound, but can see down,
And discover more transcendent spiritual views,
That will give us the over all picture we so lack now.
We realize that once we were blind indeed,
Too close to things to recognize the obvious,
But by moving up the ladder of grace,
We are enabled to view higher than we used to,
We realize we were blind but now able to see.
For when we were down, we could not see down,
We were moved by grace up the ladder to see.
Grace is when God gives us a step up,
Then we look down or back to see things newly,
We realize we have a better perspective now,
Different from that which we had,
And we are thankful for it.

I do not think we could achieve grace by ourselves.
Grace seems to me to be given by the mercy of God,
Not when we deserve it,
But when we are ready for it,
I suggest we are ready for it when it will help us,
To help others,
Or to comfort and sustain us in hard times,
And give us that direction we need in good times.
But I cannot elucidate definitively,
As there is so much not known to me,
And grace remains a holy mystery of God.
 

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Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.