Grace in the Routine

gracePeople, trust God all the time. Tell him all your problems, because God is our protection.  (Psalm 62:8)

Ponder It.

  • What parts of your daily routine would you not want to do without?
  • What would you like to incorporate more into your routine?
  • What is God’s perspective of your routine?

Receive It. God’s grace is reliable. God is trustworthy and anything that is of God is trustworthy. God cannot be anything other than trustworthy because it is his character. Grace is God’s, and we can rely on it. Our trust in and reliance on God’s grace often waxes and wanes, but it’s not because grace itself shifts. It’s because we are unreliable. We bend. We move. We stand still. We run. We walk. We sit. We hide. We seek. But God’s is unfailing. God’s grace is unfailing and unchanging.

The most reliable parts of our lives turn into our routines. We brush our teeth at a certain time, we set aside certain times to sleep, we take medications throughout our routines, go to work, eat meals, and so on, all on a schedule. Yes, we’re usually flexible in our routines, but there are common threads that work throughout our days. We can quickly take our routines for granted, assuming we’ll be able to sleep at night, assuming we have a consistent job, assuming nothing major will come along to rock our world and disrupt our routine in overwhelming, long-lasting ways. But really, our routines can and will differ. Your routine of today is not the same as your routine of 10 years ago, 20 years ago, or 30 years ago.

God’s grace is unchanging. You can rely on the routine of God’s grace. God will not pull his grace out from under you. In fact, God wants you to not only stand firmly on his grace but also be wrapped in and covered by his grace. God wants his grace to permeate every area of your life so that you respond out of his grace.

Live It. Consider what constitutes your routine. How can you see God’s grace working throughout your routine? Acknowledge God’s grace and apply it throughout your routine. If you have trouble focusing on God’s grace throughout the day, consider humming or singing Amazing Grace throughout your “routine” moments.

Worth Keeping

keepTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

What do you need to set aside?

What do you need to keep?

How much space in your life is filled or available for God?

What does it mean to keep something? Perhaps hoarding comes to mind, people keeping what they don’t need to keep. The television shows on hoarding serve as a reminder to all of us not to keep what is unnecessary. We don’t need to keep every piece of paper, every paper sack, every piece of mail. We need to keep what is worth keeping. We shouldn’t fill our lives with the unnecessary.

We don’t define what is unnecessary or necessary. God does. He decides how to fill our lives. He decides where space should exist and how and with what it should be filled. He defines what we keep, and it comes out of our love for Him.

To keep something is to continue having or holding something, to not return, lose, sell, give away, or throw it away. Because we love God, we keep what He says in our grasps, on our minds, and in our hearts. We keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. We don’t let go. We’re singled-minded. We set aside our understanding for His.

To keep something also means to continue in a specified state, condition, or position. When we keep our relationship with God, we keep changing, keep loving, keep seeking, keep obeying, keep trusting. It’s a continual relationship. No more checkboxes that you can accomplish and move on.

 

Anytime a reminder or notification pops up on your phone today, remember your constant relationship with God. Staying in a relationship with Him is like having a notification or reminder light up your phone every single second. It’s constant. Be thankful today.

Be Still

TrustLeaving the crowd behind, they took him in the boat just as he was. There were also other boats with them. A very strong wind came up on the lake. The waves came over the sides and into the boat so that it was already full of water. Jesus was at the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a cushion. His followers woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are drowning!”

Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm. Mark 4:36-39

God cares about our responses even when he knows they’re unwarranted. We can be frightened when there is no reason to be frightened, and God can calm us. We can be angry when there is no reason to be angry, and God can give us peace. We can be frustrated, anxious, or sad, and God can either reveal the truth of a situation to us or reveal himself to us by changing the situation. He does both.

Jesus could have tried to explain to his followers why they didn’t need to be fearful. He could have said, “Have you not noticed I am not afraid? As my followers, you can follow my lead. If I am at peace, you can be at peace as well. I will not lead you astray. I will not deceive you.” Or, he could have explained why the wind and waves would not harm them. He chose neither approach. He chose to simply respond with action.

God responds in different ways in different situations. He is unchanging. He is reliable. However, he is beyond our comprehension and prediction. He will respond in a way that is consistent with his character but not always consistent with our expectations.

When have you expected God to respond in a certain way and was surprised or disappointed when he didn’t? When has God pleasantly surprised you in an unexpected response or provision?

God knows when we need to wait. He knows when we need to immediately experience him in a big way. He doesn’t make us respond in a certain way, but he helps create a situation that is best for our growth. He wants to draw us close to him, and that means knowing us well enough to provide specifically for our growth needs. He knows when to water, wait and prune. We might want things faster, slower, smaller or bigger, but he knows “just right.”

Live It. Accept a situation as “just right” today. It might not match your expectations but ask and trust God to give you his peace through it. Be sure to thank him for knowing and loving you.