trail guides, maps & grace

God thoughts

long tedious hours of intense brain activity have been occupying my spare time. aka, i’ve been thinking a lot. :o) struggling with and pondering the fundamentals of life.

my ENTIRE life, i have been taught about heaven and hell. i know that they exist. i know that i want to go to heaven and i don’t want to go to hell. lately it has been a struggle to really grasp that people do go to hell. it is easy for me to think that only really bad people who do horrible things go there. but that is NOT what the bible says.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find in.” Matthew 7:13-14

what road am i on? to be perfectly honest, i believe i’m on the wrong path. i want so desperately to be on the right trail, and i’m praying for God’s guidance.

you see, i like and dislike the idea of “earning” my way to heaven. it’s so much easier for my mind to grasp that i need to live by these rules and accomplish this or that. at the same time, i hate the fact that i mess up too often. i never reach these unobtainable goals. i tend to think that if i try hard enough, eventually i’ll be perfect. when will i learn?

as i read this passage in matthew, i was struck with a comparison i’d heard recently. basically, there are two main “paths” that christians take. the first is the legalistic path. earn your way, be your best, and live by the rules. doesn’t really include God, does it? the second is grace. living fully for God, allowing Him to lead and guide, accepting the grace He freely offers, and totally depending on God every moment.

when i embark on new hiking adventures, i prefer to know what lies ahead. how difficult will it be? what obstacles will i face? i like maps. i like the predictability that things won’t change. just stay on the path, work through the pain, and eventually you will reach your goal. this is how i live and i’m learning that this has put distance between me and God that i’ve always felt but never understood. God wants to be my trail guide. He wants to take me off the beaten path so i am completely lost with Him. i cannot reach my ultimate goal unless i accept His grace.

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

i’m on a journey to learn about grace. the way i’ve been living my life is full of frustrating guilt that i’m not enough. grace demolishes that. i want my life to be an example of what grace looks like. i know it’s not a coincidence that my name means grace.

okay, so i need help. what does grace mean to you? how do you live in His grace? what scriptures have been your inspiration for living abandoned for God? let me know and i’ll keep you guys updated on what i’m learning too!

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