Friday, January 27, 2012

Extending Grace: The Beginning

Extending: holding out, offering, reaching out, puts my desires second, unselfish, thinking of others {Phil. 2:3-4}

Grace: undeserved favor or blessing, believing the best, non-judgmental, not critical

Yes, I know there are times I should extend grace to myself! Those times are there - but today I am thinking of extending grace to others. Jesus is our ultimate example of this. I cannot extend salvation like He can, but I can still follow His example in grace.

To whom should we extend grace? There are many examples in Scripture of who we should extend grace to - because of the grace that has been extended to us. This very moment however, I'm drawn to Proverbs 31 to look at the virtuous woman and how she extends grace and to whom she extends it.

~ vs. 10: she is a wife {she extends grace to her husband}
~ vs. 10: she has noble character {receives grace to be able to have this kind of character}
~ vs. 11-12: she extends grace to her husband
~ vs. 15: she extends grace to her family - she serves them; meal times are an extending of nourishment and are a wonderful opportunity for beauty and grace
~ vs. 16: the way she plans her finances and the choices she makes extend grace to her family
~ vs. 17-18: she extends grace to herself by working hard, diligence and taking care of herself; laziness does not match well with extending grace - it requires initiative
~ vs. 20: to those in need, the poor, she is ready to help and serve
~ vs. 25: she extends grace into the future
~ vs. 26: gracious words - she extends
~ vs. 28: to her children, to her husband
~ vs. 31: the extension of grace from her heart and life create beauty that pleases and glorifies the Lord and generates reward - eternal reward

So much grace that has been extended to us, we take for granted.

The mere fact that God has equipped us to do good things for Him. Our eternal security through His free gift of grace when it is especially undeserved.

Beauty extended to us, a warm quilt, a cup of tea, a beautiful flower, a prayer offered on our behalf.

All these thoughts bring me again to our perfect example ~ which is where we'll begin next time!

{Photos: enjoying my new camera and its ruffly strap!}


Shelby said...

So true Monica, thanks for the reminder:) LOVE the camera strap, very creative and beautiful colors. Did you make it? Silly question because I am sure you did.

Monica Wilkinson said...

Thanks, Shelby - I did not make the camera strap but a friend from church did! :)

hazelnut said...

Monica, I really think you write beautifully : it is always so uplifting.
Sometimes, as Mums, we have to be so patient and, as you say, put our wishes to do OUR things to one side. I think that is one of the hardest ways to extend Grace, isn't it? My kids are pretty much grown up but this still applies!
Thankyou for your thoughtful post.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I have ever commented before. Grace has been on my heart a lot lately! Loved the post and the camera strap. Hope to read more of your thoughts on grace.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Well said, Monica ;) :) I think I'm loving Proverbs 31 more and more, too :) :) I'm looking forward to more posts about extending grace :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

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