# BUT FOR THE GRACE…

The phrase, “But For The Grace” is one I use often to sign my works of pottery. It’s a phrase I mutter to myself daily, in situations as they arise. But what does it mean? To me the words, “But For the Grace” are a humble prayer of thanks, a reminder to myself of who I am and who I belong to. On days when I find myself out of control emotionally or angry at some one, “But For the Grace” is an instant attitude check. On days and moments of pride or materialistic greed, it is a humbling reminder of what really matters. When I find myself growing frustrated or even repulsed by the ignorance I see displayed in my fellow man, it is a reminder. But For The Grace I am nothing. I am ignorant and prideful. I am greedy and quick to anger. I am judgmental and mean-spirited. I am thoughtless and selfish. I am concerned with and swayed by the lusts of the flesh and of popular culture. But For The Grace, I am all of these things, all of the time. If not for the live-giving Grace of my Savior, I am all of these things all of the time and without hope of changing. A slave to the flesh, But For The Grace. There are moments when the full weight of what grace means hits me and I am brought to my knees. I am nothing, but for the grace. But For The Grace of God, I have a hope and a future. I was saved by grace that day, my sins wiped clean. My sins are wiped clean daily, by the undeserved Grace and blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am aware of and repulsed by my own sin, because of grace. I am learning to be better and kinder because of His grace. He started a life-changing work in me that day He opened my eyes at the age of 11. To explain it in a way that does it any justice is impossible. I will never forget the way I felt that day I gave my life to Him. I wasn’t paying attention that day in church. I was being a silly 11 year old kid, doodling on the church bulletin. The visiting pastor gave a sermon on the reaping of the wheat and the tare, to symbolize Christ reaping those that belong to him. He asked the congregation to ask themselves one question, are you wheat or are you tare? Such a simple question. I couldn’t answer it honestly. Boom. I was raised by two Christian parents, who were raised by Christian parents. God and Jesus was spoke about daily in our home. I could recite verse after verse after verse and yet, up until that moment it never occurred to me whether or not I belonged to him. I gave my life to Christ that day and he washed my soul clean of every sin. The Holy Spirit filled my heart and my mind and my soul in that moment and on that day. In the blink of an eye, I was His child. I have recently downloaded Lauren Daigle’s “How Can It Be” and I can’t stop listening. The simple lyrics of this song are a prayer for me. One of the things I love so much about music is its ability to say the things I feel and experience in a way I can’t always articulate on my own. “How Can It Be” is one of those songs for me. If I had to choose one song to explain how I feel about what my Savior has done for me, it would be this song.

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You still love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be
How can it be

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [a]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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