A Portrait of Grace
Grace is one of my favorite words. Grace makes me think of someone who is refined, proper, friendly, dignified, embracing, and classy. All of those words describe the outer appearance, but when I think of God's grace, I see it as an intangible gift from God that is so tranformational that I could never be who I am today without it. As you get some insight on what a Portrait of Grace looks like, take a look in the mirror! Has God evolved you into someone you thought you would never be or empowered you to do something you didn't think you had in your or was capable of. I hope you said yes, because then, you too have discovered God's grace in your life. Let's Explore.....
Grace is -
1. Unmerited favor
God’s Grace helps us to remember where you once were.
Why? Remembrance is very important to God. It was what He told the children of Israel to do when He brought them out of bondage. It’s even implied in the first commandment.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands
Conversation: This is our lifestyle; how we carry ourselves in all areas of our life.
- It is one of the best examples a Christian can and should exemplify.
- It demonstrates our reverence and holy fear of God.
- Manifestation of our dependence on God.
1 Pet 5:2-6 tells us:
2 Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is your responsibility, not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits belonging to the office, but eagerly and cheerfully; 3 Not domineering as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). 4 And then when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.
5 Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them, but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you
What God has placed on the inside of you and what He has graced you to do is an example to those who look to you for spiritual leadership and guidance.
Your relationship with God and his work through you is what makes you who are. The Fruit that you bear that makes you graceful.
Paul was a good example of humility, 2 Corinthians 12: 6:7:
Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn (splinter) in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
[important] Accept the Thorns of Grace in your life – It brings forth fruits of righteousness, fruits of the spirit, and perfects holiness within you. [/important]
Philippians 2:7:8, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Be a Steward of Grace
You must know how to employ God’s grace in our life and use it for the building of God’s Kingdom.
Submit to the Holy Spirit
- Galatians 5:25-26, If we live by the Holy Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit. Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.
- Submit to your husband
- Ephesians 5:22, Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as a service to the Lord.
- Submit to others
- Ephesian 5:21, Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
A portrait is not just a still image snapshot of a person. A portrait is a representation of a person’s personality, mood, and expression of a person.
Depending on a person’s mood or expression, the portrait can change and can tell a different story about the person life. As First Ladies, we may have different measures of grace and our experiences may be different, but we serve a God that does not change and God’s portrait of you does not change. Our clothes may change daily, but our Portrait of Grace will never change.
Your Portrait of Grace was hand-painted by God before the foundations of the world.
1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.