Category Archives: Grace

Do You Have a Blessing Room?

“Above all, love each other deeply…. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:8-10
 

Have you ever had your heart set on something and faced giving it up for the sake of someone else? It’s not easy, that’s for sure. Even if you choose to show love to another person by sacrificing what you desire, you can still struggle with self-pity and grumble in your heart. You might feel pulled in different directions—joy in giving and sadness in giving up—a feeling hard to shake.

Hard to Give It Up

I dealt with this feeling recently. Our son was leaving home for graduate school and his bedroom would soon be empty. What would we do with it? Without giving it much thought, I just named it and claimed it—it was going to be MY writing space. My refuge—my quiet place to read, study, and write.

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But I forgot God often has other plans. And so He did with this room.

Our sweet daughter asked if she could move back home until her wedding in May.  And, of course, we said yes. Just as we have enjoyed our son being home for a year after college, we will enjoy our daughter being with us these last months before she marries and settles in a home with her new husband.

And while excited to spend more time with her, my heart struggled to let go of MY writing space. Lord, this was supposed to be my quiet place, I whined. But God didn’t let me get away with grumbling and self-pity.

He showed me His plan. He gently whispered, “This isn’t meant to be YOUR room. This is meant to be a blessing room. Right now and always.”

A Blessing Room!

I never saw it that way before. And no wonder! My heart was so filled with a room for myself I couldn’t see a room for blessing anyone else.

When our hearts see only from the desire of our eyes, we cannot see God’s perspective and are blind to His blessings.

The Blessing Room

Asking the Lord’s forgiveness, I started to see this room with His eyes, and the excitement inside me grew. As I recognized the beauty of its purpose, all those negative feelings melted away and turned to pure joy.

A blessing room is a place of love, generosity, and hospitality. A place to bless all who enter.

This room will be a blessing…

                …for our daughter to live in until she marries.

                …for us to spend more time with her now.

                …as a guest room for visitors later on.

                …as a quiet place for study and writing when empty.

Who knows all the ways God will use it in the future.

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But here is the key. It is God’s room. It is to be used for His purposes. And He desires to bless everyone through it.

It’s the same with our hearts. They belong to God and He has created us to bless others with all the blessings He has given us.

When you make room in your heart for others, your heart itself becomes a blessing room. Always open, always giving, always full of love and grace.

And that’s the heart of God, isn’t it?

Bless All Who Enter

How to Let Go and Fully Give

So when we’re faced with those unwanted feelings that wreak of self, let’s take them captive and confess them before the Lord. He will whisper just what we need to hear to see our situation from His perspective and guide us to a new understanding. And as we surrender, our hearts will be filled with joy and peace and open to pour out God’s abundant blessings.

Do you have a blessing room?

Dearest Father, how we need to see Your perspective on every part of our lives. Reveal to us where our hearts are closed to loving others. Help us to open our hearts to You fully so we may shower Your love and grace on all those around us and be the blessing You created us to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Blessings to you,
Sabra
 
 
All Scripture from New International Version, 1984.
Images by Sabra Penley.
 
Linking up with my friends today on these wonderful blogs…
 
 

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Filed under Attitude, Blessing, Change, Deny Self, Doing Good, Giving, God's Purpose, Grace, Joy, Love, Sacrifice, Self

Five Minute Friday – {fill}

“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” – Psalm 81:10

 

I need you, Lord. Show me my wayward self.

O God, fill my heart…

…with Your love

…with Your truth

…with Your peace

…with Your direction

…with Your amazing grace

…with humility

…with obedience

…with hope.

Lord, You are speaking. Fill my ears to hear Your voice.

Lord, You are here. Fill my eyes with Your perspective.

Lord, fill me with You and empty me of me.

All for Your glory.

In the holy name of Jesus, Amen.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” — Psalm 139:23-24

 

Praying the Lord will speak to Your heart today and fill you with all His goodness.

Blessings,
Sabra
 
Joining Five Minute Friday today with Kate Motaung and friends at
the link below. We write for five minutes--raw and real--no 
editing. The word for this week: fill.

 

All Scripture from The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1984.

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Filed under Five Minute Friday, God's Presence, Grace, Healing, Humility, Love, Prayer, Self

Why Wives Need to Unstop the Fountain

You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon. — Song of Songs 4:15

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My sisters, doesn’t it make you feel great to hear your husband call you a sweet name? To tell you how much you mean to him? How would you like to hear him say something like these words from Song of Songs…

“How beautiful you are.”
“How delightful is your love.”
“You have stolen my heart.”

I imagine all of us love to hear words like these from our husbands. They might not say it like Solomon, but isn’t it always a blessing to hear our husbands say we are delightful and beautiful? When they tell us how wonderful we are? When they whisper those sweet everythings in our ears?

These words are like a fountain that flows right into our hearts. And you know what? Our husbands need these refreshing words as well.

So, is your fountain flowing?

Today I have the blessing to guest post for a sweet friend, Meredith Bernard, on her blog http://www.meredithbernard.com. Please join me over there and read this post in full.

Simply click here: “Why Wives Need to Unstop the Fountain”

Hope to meet you there!

Blessings,
Sabra
Scripture from The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1984.
Image by Sabra Penley.

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Filed under Blessing, Doing Good, Encouragement, Grace, Love, Marriage, Wife, Woman-to-Woman

25 Ways to Live a Life of Grace — A Simply. Challenge

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”     — 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Think about yesterday. Did you make a difference?

If you polled ten people who interacted with you, how many might say you were a blessing in their lives? What about your spouse? Your kids? Your coworkers? Or maybe the cashier? The waiter? The customer service rep? What would they say about how you treated them?

And what about God? He saw everything—every thought, every word, every action. Do you think He would say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant?”

It’s a question we should ask ourselves regularly, don’t you think?

We know God has called us to make a difference—to love others—to share His grace. For this is what He has done for us. (Read my post on God’s grace here.)

It should be easy living this life of grace, for God has poured out His undeserved love on us and we have Jesus’ perfect example to follow. But all too often, it isn’t easy. We get absorbed in ourselves, in the task at hand, in the busyness of life. We don’t notice the people right in front of us. And we miss the opportunity to share God’s love with them and make their day a little brighter.

GRACE

 

So, here’s a challenge…A Simply. Challenge — 25 Ways to Live a Life of Grace. This list can be used in two ways…

  • As an evaluation tool. While it isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to show grace, it could be eye-opening nonetheless. Identify the areas that need work, and offer thanks for the ways you have already been faithful to show grace to others.
  • As a checklist. Choose one way each day to reach out in love. Focus on that specific act of grace and strive to live it out all day long. Imagine how many lives you will have blessed at the end of the twenty-five days!

 

 25 Ways to Live a Life of Grace

  1. Help carry a load. (Galatians 6:2)
  2. Be there… in the good times and the bad. (Proverbs 17:17)
  3. Be understanding… because you’ve messed up, too. (Romans 3:23)
  4. Reach out to include someone—offer friendship. (Romans 15:7)
  5. Give up something for someone else—your plans, your desires, your time, your possessions. (John 15:13)
  6. Put someone else’s interests before your own. (Philippians 2:3-4)
  7. Listen. Stop talking. Just listen. (James 1:19)
  8. Do something special for someone. (Romans 12:10)
  9. Speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
  10. Be patient. (Ephesians 4:2)
  11. Humble yourself. (Romans 12:3; Luke 9:23)
  12. Pray for someone. Better yet…pray with someone. (1 Thessalonians 1:2; James 5:13-16)
  13. Choose not to take offense. (Proverbs 17:9)
  14. Forgive. (Ephesians 4:32)
  15. Encourage. (Hebrews 3:13)
  16. Remind someone of God’s promises–offer hope. (Hebrews 10:23)
  17. Smile. (Proverbs 15:13)
  18. Speak kindly. (Proverbs 12:25)
  19. Be gentle. (Philippians 4:5)
  20. Remember we’re all works in progress. (Philippians 1:6)
  21. Filter what you say. (Ephesians 4:29)
  22. Be a peacemaker. (Romans 12:18)
  23. Have a thankful heart and express gratitude. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  24. Tell someone about what Jesus has done for you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
  25. Share what you’ve been given. (Romans 12:13)

Okay…now that you’ve looked over the list, did you find some things you already do well? I did. And if you’re like me, you also found a number of areas that need some work. So let’s pray God will strengthen us in those areas and fill our hearts with more grace. For a heart filled with God’s grace can’t help but bless others.

So, are you ready to make a difference?

Well, then…let’s go be a blessing!

Precious Lord, we are so thankful for Your amazing grace. Help us see where we are failing to live out this grace-filled life. Strengthen us where we are weak, and help us to be a blessing to everyone around us. May we one day hear you say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” In Jesus’ name and for Your glory, Amen. 
 
What ways to bless others through God’s grace would you add to 
the list? Please share them with us in the comments below.    

And if you choose to take the second part of the challenge, 
we'd love to hear how it goes.
Blessings to you!
Sabra
 
Image by Sabra Penley.

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Filed under Blessing, Doing Good, Godly Living, Grace, Love

The Gift That Keeps Giving

The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.              – 1 Timothy 1:14 

God’s love. It all started with God’s love. And isn’t that where everything good begins?

I don’t understand it—this outpouring of affection upon my unlovely soul. A soul so undeserving.

But that’s the nature of grace—completely undeserved.

Oh, the precious love of God! He cares too much to leave us to fend for ourselves with our messy, sinful lives. And He knows we never could.

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So, out of His amazing love comes His amazing grace…

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselvesit is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

A grace not of reward for good works we might have done. No. This grace is simply a gift…freely given.

Oh how our hearts should fill with thankfulness and gratitude!

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. – John 1:16

Grace is the most precious of gifts because it keeps giving. For as grateful grace-receivers we become generous grace-givers. And as the gracious blessings flow from the Lord, we also should pour out grace on all those around us. Love upon love…gift upon gift…grace upon grace.

HeartGrace

A heart overflowing with God’s love pours out grace to all around.  

God giving grace to us…us giving thanks to God…us giving grace to others…others giving thanks to God…God giving more grace…and on and on.

Grace is powerful that way. It keeps going and growing.

One little smile can birth so many more and flow out in all directions. Who knows how many hearts that one little smile could touch in a day?

A kind word offered to a stressed-out soul can lift her spirit. Who knows how many lives might be touched by her encouraged heart?

Patience poured out in a frustrating situation can saturate the moment in peace. Who knows how that peace might diffuse anger in those involved and maybe change the course of their day?

Any act of love freely given can have a profound effect…on those who receive it and on others in their lives.

God’s grace certainly has had that effect on my life…and I know it has in yours, too. For God’s grace is life-saving…life-giving.

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As we go through this day…and every day…let’s give thanks with grateful hearts for God’s outpouring of love. Let’s remember His abundant blessings and let His grace overflow our hearts to all those around us.

Oh precious Father, thank You for your incredible love. The love that won’t let us go. The love that lavishes grace upon us…even though we are so undeserving. The love that sacrificed it all so that we could live…really live…eternally live. Oh, Jesus, thank You! The love that came down to meet us in our deepest need. Oh, thank You, Holy Spirit. The love that stays right with us even now. Your grace is truly amazing. We are humbled by Your love. Help us to generously give from what you have so graciously given us. And may we all with grateful hearts praise You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Next week I’ll share a Simply. Challenge— “25 Ways to Live a Grace-Full Life.”  Hope you’ll join me.

Blessings to you,
Sabra
 
 
I'm linking up this blog post today at www.meredithbernard.com
for Woman2Woman. If you'd like to read more posts from other 
bloggers on the topic of grace, just click the link below...

All Scripture from The Holy Bible--New International Version, 1984.
Images by Sabra Penley

 

 

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Filed under Giving, God's Works, Godly Living, Grace, Love, Sacrifice, Thankfulness, Woman-to-Woman