Tag Archives: grace

Throwback Thursday: Fingertips of Grace

Fingertips of Grace

By Carolyn Dale Newell

I could not distinguish the pattern of dots. Again and again, I ran my finger across them. Frustration boiled up inside of me, and I wanted to slam the braille book onto the floor and declare, “I quit,” but I couldn’t do that. The impact would flatten the raised dots, making it difficult for someone else to feel them. Someone who could learn braille easier than this 50-year-old woman. Besides, the vision loss would continue, and I had to learn to live without sight.

Several Bible verses flashed through my mind. They were the ones that I was clinging to through my rehabilitation process. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9b NKJV). Oh, how I needed that grace! It was more than the braille. It was this whole new way of living.

I was reminded of my life verse. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV). I uttered a silent prayer for God’s grace and strength. I made another attempt at reading the letter, and this time the answer was correct. From that point, I could feel God’s grace as it flowed right to my fingertips, and the remainder of that lesson became smoother. Afterward, I erupted in praises and thanks to God.

 

Amazingly, this act replayed over and over. I explained to my teacher what was happening, but there was so much more.

There were the occasions when I would drop something on the floor. Groping for that lost object, I asked my heavenly Father to help me. It was not instantaneous, but God always directed me to the place where the wandering item had landed. My faith increased as I saw God, the invisible, more than the visible world which was slowly passing from my eyes.

I am reminded of something Jesus did near Bethsaida when He fed the five thousand. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, and blessed and “broke” them before the disciples distributed them to the multitude (Luke 9:16). The bread had to be broken before it could be used to feed so many. It was broken before it became a display of the Lord’s power.

We are like that bread. Sometimes, we have to be broken to experience God’s glory. When we are dashed to pieces, we cry out to God. In humble dependence, we seek Him because we cannot do anything in our own strength. Jesus commanded us to ask, believing it will be given to us. We must storm heaven, asking for that all-sufficient grace, seeking divine strength, confidently knowing that these prayers will be answered because He faithfully fulfills His promises.

Friend, it is unlikely that you are going blind, but you may be broken in so many other ways. Maybe it is cancer, or another health issue. It could be financial burdens. Possibly, it is a wayward child or the grief of losing a loved one. Whatever the cause, call on God. He is the Master of putting broken pieces back together. Ask Him for peace. Ask Him for grace. Ask Him for strength! It is yours because He has promised it.

What is your need today? Take it to God and prepare to be amazed.

Advertisements

Guilt to Grace

 

GUILT TO GRACE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

So Judah acknowledged them and said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.” And he never knew her again.

Genesis 38:26 NKJV

She felt deceived, used, and disrespected. Her future seemed dismal and hopeless. She had done the right thing, but where did it get her? Now, she devised a plan.

This was Tamar, the oldest of the great, great… great-grandmothers in the lineage of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:4).

Tamar was a Canaanite. Although the Jews were forbidden to marry Canaanites, Judah and his sons did. Judah gave Tamar to his eldest son, Er, to marry.

Er was wicked, and God killed him before Tamar conceived a child with him.

Judah acted according to their custom, and he gave his second son, Onan, to Tamar to raise up an heir for his brother. Onan married Tamar, but he refused to help her conceive an heir to his brother, Er. So, God killed him.

One son remained, Shelah, and Judah feared the Lord would kill him also. At Judah’s request, Tamar remained a widow in her father’s house waiting until Shelah was grown.

Tamar realized Judah did not intend to give her his last son, so she disguised herself as a prostitute. She waited in the place where Judah would pass by. Covered in a veil, Tamar was unrecognizable, and Judah had relations with her. Judah offered to send her a goat from his flock, but Tamar shrewdly requested a pledge: Judah’s signet ring, cord, and staff.

When Judah sent the young goat to the harlot, his men could not find her. No one recalled a prostitute in that area because Tamar had returned to her widow clothes in her father’s house.

Judah received word that Tamar was pregnant, and he ordered the men to burn her. When they brought Tamar out, she revealed the items Judah had given her declaring they belonged to the father of her child.

Judah acknowledged they belonged to him as well as his wrong-doing. Tamar bore twins, and the oldest, Perez was a great-grandfather to the Messiah.

Can you believe these are the ancestors of Jesus Christ? A deceptive father who unknowingly slept with his daughter-in-law, and Tamar played the harlot.

Only four women are mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy, and Tamar is first. She is a portrait of God’s grace. Grace that says you can never stoop too low. Grace that says all can be forgiven. Grace that says your sins have been washed white as snow. Grace that says you are part of the family. Grace that exchanges honor for shame. Grace that chooses to forget the sins. God’s grace blots out guilt.

No matter who you are. No matter what you have done. You are welcomed into the family of Jesus when you genuinely ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Grace awaits you today.

Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us enough to include guilty sinners in Your family tree. This demonstrates to the world that You truly give grace to the repentant sinner. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 38.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Does doubt ever cause you to question God’s love? Tamar’s story along with the others in Matthew’s genealogy prove there is no limit to God’s grace.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.