All Is Grace

All

is

Grace

 

It covers

and infiltrates

 

and should flow freely

 

from the ones who have received it

from God

 

 

Grace has a way of bringing

a sigh of relief

 

to those in it’s presence

 

Grace loves freely

and without a catch

 

It doesn’t dwell on the failures

and the wrongdoing

 

Grace can’t be anything

but gracious

 

and it heals and mends

in this broken place

 

All is grace

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

– Ephesians 2:7-10 (MSG)

 

Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
 
-Romans 6:14 (NLT)
For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].
-John 1:16 (AMP)
Photo by Susie Stewart

Same Heart, Different Methods

All of us who believe in God

hope to please Him

 

We know when we don’t measure up

 

But, friend, the difference between you and me

is complete dependence on grace

 

We both want the same thing —

rightness before our Creator

 

but you, friend, you chant

and you go through rituals

and you light candles

and you deify humans

and make confessions to them ….

 

relying on what you can do

to earn God’s favor

 

You have faith

but you also are working SO hard

to earn approval

to assuage your guilt

to make amends

 

And it would appear that’s the way

it should be

 

But it’s not

 

Grace is not cheap

and it came with a high price

 

God’s life

 

Chanting

Repeated bowing

Rituals

Religion

 

will never get any of us

closer to heaven

 

Dive deep into inherent Scripture

and find…

 

We can do nothing

to earn His nod

 

But if we humble ourselves

under His mighty hand

 

and accept grace and mercy

bought high-priced

 

we will find freedom

from man-made rules and rituals

 

and just find our Father,

arms open,

complete in love for us

 

And doing right

will come out of love for God,

moved by His great kindness

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time,

– 1 Peter 5:6 (AMP)

 

…but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9,10 (AMP)

 

But if it is by grace [God’s unmerited favor], it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace [it would not be a gift but a reward for works].

– Romans 11:6 (AMP)

 

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

– Hebrews 4:14-16 (AMP)

 

Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

– Romans 2:4 (NIV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

New Day

Yesterday was hard

and I was losing hope

 

but this morning

You were there, Lord

 

You awakened me with Your love

and the encouragement

 

of a fresh, new day

 

Your mercies rose

with the sun on the horizon

 

I am being made new

over and over

 

And it’s a good thing

for the hard press of this world

 

leaves me low sometimes

 

But each dawn

there You are

 

I wake up to YOU

 

Waiting to instill new hope

and renewed purpose

 

Thank You, Jesus

 

– Susie Stewart

 

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

– Romans 15:13 (NLT)

 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
    His mercies begin afresh each morning.

– Lamentations 3:22,23 (NLT)

 

And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

– Psalm 126:5,6 (MSG)

 

Photo by Victoria Stewart

 

Drowning In It

I choose this day

to drown in Your love, God

 

instead of drown in my problems

and sorrows

 

I stand waiting

for Your showers of grace

to cover my whole self

 

You pour out Your liquid love

as if there were no water restrictions

 

and in turn

 

I will pour into those who know not

limitless love

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

– Romans 5:5

 

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

– Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)

 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

– 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Grace Flow

Today, my friend

I pray for you to know

 

really know

 

the grace that is yours

 

I pray that in the midst

of all the Have Tos

and Suppose Tos

and Got Tos

 

that you find the rhythms

of God’s grace flowing in you

 

That you enjoy

just being loved

 

And that you don’t forget to breathe in grace

and exhale praise

 

strengthened by God

knowing He is not burdensome

 

I pray this for you today

 

– Susie Stewart

 

But if it is by grace [God’s unmerited favor], it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace [it would not be a gift but a reward for works].

– Romans 11:6 (AMP)

 

For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].

– John 1:16 (AMP)

 

So you, my son, be strong [constantly strengthened] and empowered in the grace that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus.

– 2 Timothy 2:1 (AMP)

 

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

– Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

 

The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.

– 2 Corinthians 13:14 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

I Don’t Want To Miss It

Lord,

Let me not miss

Your heart

for my day

 

Quicken my spirit

to Your Spirit

 

 

Let me not

be distracted

from Your purposes

 

from adoration of You

 

Let me see people

the way You see them

 

and let me not

put distractions

over love

 

Let me not

miss Your heart

for today

 

– Susie Stewart

 

And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.

– Romans 5:5 (VOICE)

 

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

– Ephesians 5:1,2 (NIV)

 

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

– Ephesians 5:15-17 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

So Boring

If you think

church stuff

is boring

 

If you think

answering to God

is stifling

 

If you think

Jesus-following

is all about rules

 

Wake Up!

 

Because you are asleep

 

Open your eyes

to a full and abundant life!

 

Realize true hope

and unexplainable peace

and overflowing joy!

 

See

Hear

Taste

Experience

 

your creative

inspiring

mind-blowing

God!

 

Dive in to the deep

of His

swallow-you-up Love!

 

Know the calming serenity

of wrongs paid for unmerited

 

Find your DEEP

in Jesus!

 

It’s available

to EVERYONE

 

Why would you not choose

 

Abundant?!

 

– Susie Stewart

 

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

– John 10:10 (AMP)

 

I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.

– Jeremiah 29:11 (GW)

 

I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.

– Romans 15:13 (VOICE)

 

The Eternal One will never leave you; He will lead you in the way that you should go. When you feel dried up and worthless, God will nourish you and give you strength. And you will grow like a garden lovingly tended; you will be like a spring whose water never runs out.

– Isaiah 58:11 (VOICE)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

No Other Option

Is God

just one of your options

as you scramble to find solutions?

 

Do you pray to Him

and then leave your options open?

 

Do you forget

His sovereign hand

in your life?

 

He is not meant to be

an option

 

Plan A

Plan B

C

or D

 

He is meant to be

THE Plan

 

May we put away the

just-in-case-He-doesn’t-answer

mentality

 

He is the Final Word

the Sure Foundation

the Answer

the LORD

 

all falls beneath

His title

His hand

His authority

His Love

 

So next time you pray to Him,

resist formulating Plan B in your head

 

as if He may not

come through

 

Trust

Wait

Praise

Worship

 

Your all-knowing God

 

Faith says

there is no Plan B

 

– Susie Stewart

 

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

– James 1:5-8 (MSG)

 

Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said He would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God Himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

– Romans 4:18 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

Love Each Other Deeply

Above all your needs

above all your desires

above all your plans

above all your aspirations

above all your comfort

 

above

your

very

life

 

love people deeply

 

for that is what you are called to

 

Loving deeply

and genuinely

 

It is intentional

and Spirit-driven

 

It is heart

and head

and will

 

It is vast

and wide

and long

 

People know

if it is real

 

They know if it is shallow

or deep

 

They know whether it originates

with your God

 

-Susie Stewart

 

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

 

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

– Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)

 

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

– Romans 12:9,10 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

For The Good

I don’t believe

 

that when God says

He works

all things

for the good,

 

 

that He means

 

He gives us brokenness

and then calls it good

 

I don’t believe that

 

I believe that

when God says

He works

all things

for the good

 

He means

 

that for those who love Him,

He takes our brokenness

in this broken world

 

and He uses it for good

 

He redeems it

 

He uses

difficult

and harsh

and sad

and awful

 

and changes hearts

heals wounds

teaches

 

and makes something beautiful

 

He wraps His loving arms

around the worst

 

and when He opens His arms

we find that the worst

 

looks like good

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

– Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

– Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

 

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him. After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name. After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself. And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun.

– Romans 8:28-30 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart