Grace, Previous Grace

     Rays from heaven broke through the cloud-filled sky like a beam of God's glory and grace pouring down on the earth.  Sun's light piercing the clouds splintering into ray's streaks have impressed my soul with spiritual significance since childhood. Rollerskating round the corner or jumping rope with friends, the slats of light brought my heart to worship the Holy God from whom this radiance seemed to emanate.  My childhood imagination captivated by the wonder.
     Tonight, as rays streaked across the sky, I saw more than His glory shine down.   I saw His grace.  This week in our Bible Study on David, "Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed",  Kay Arthur referred to a glorious gift of God's called "previous grace."  I had never heard that term.  But it has turned my heart right-side up.  Lifted as a cup.  Waiting to be filled.
     "Previous grace" is a concept based on Ephesian 1:4 and 1Corinthians 15:10.  In her dynamic fashion, Kay paints a picture of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit having a consult.  Before the foundation of the earth.  They knew the human creature the Father would create was going to sin, and so they were planning a way to redeem us before they even created the world, Kay emphasizes with flare.  They devised a plan to redeem us.  The son would pay the price for our sin.
     This was where the light shot through the clouds for me.  Kay connected that previous God-head plan with the previous grace our Lord had to make available as well for the salvation to work out. Before the foundation of the earth. The creation, the salvation, the grace, the redemption.  All established before the foundation of the earth. All we need to do is accept it and move forward with God's plan for our live.
     However, we get stuck in a "pity party" or a "whoa is me" state after we sin.  Paralyzed.  Believing God could never use us again.  But His grace and redemption of our situation are previous to the foundation of the earth.  His grace is already there and His redemption awaits our trust in Him saying, "Let's move forward, Lord.  I'm ready to leave the groveling and the past behind."
     The Lord is Sovereign and all-knowing.  He knows when we will sin and He has a plan to redeem that situation.  Oh, there will still be consequences but God has the plan and the grace to lead us through the pain to a new placed filled with His glory and purpose.
     Using David as an example, Kay points out that before David ever sins with Bathsheba, the Lord tells David that He will give him a son that will be born and named Solomon.  And Solomon will build God's temple.
     "Previous grace" Kay calls it.  David did not grovel, moan, and complain about his sins.  He reached out for God's grace to carry him through the consequences and still redeem His plan.
     The groaning about our past sins will not free us, redeem us, or allow us to be used by the Lord.  But a contrite and repentant heart, the Lord cherishes.   Pours out His grace on us to take us forward. To use us to minister to others who have had the same battle.
     Let's embrace that beam of glorious light as it pours forth its radiance from the heavenlies.

     "Praise be to the god and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation to the would to be holy and blameless in his sight"  Ephesians 1:3&4 NIV

"But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect..." 1Corinthians 15:13 NIV

Giving thanks this day for God ' s grace, forgiveness, and redemption:

113)  for sun's rays streaking through the clouds with God's glory and grace
114) for You , Lord, keeping our family safe while we were gone
115) for grocery shopping
116) for a job to come home to
117) for Hubby who grills
118) for naps after hard work
119) for paramedic angels surrounding my car and pushing it to safetywhen it died coming off the freeway
120)Thank you for the boys making dinner one night this week--and it wasn't hot dogs!
121) for yummy Salmon
122) for beautiful summer sunsets in the desert
123) for friends writing
124) for friendships that have stood the test of time and lasted a long time
125) for another editor's comments that encourage me to send out the article
126) for "Previous Grace"!  You redeem my mistakes.  I do not need to hold on to them, weeping in sorrow until I see things change.
127) for photos that rekindle the wonderful feelings of memorable times in our minds.
128) for a house to clean & laundry to do; for purpose in life
129) for quiet times alone at home

Linking up with the Gratitude Community at Ann Voskamp's Holy Experience

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