In Christ, there is so much to enjoy and many things to endeavor toward. It is exciting and it is amazing. Humbly, we enjoy the experience not really knowing what to call this blissfulness. Humbly because we’ve nothing to deserve to be the recipient of such an experience. For those who have wondered as I have, this blissfulness is the graciousness of God.

Gracious, as a verb, biblically means to be inclined toward, to be compassionate, to favor, and to entreat for mercy. It’s meaning in the state of gracious, as a noun, is to be in the receipt of the same. I have received the inclination of compassion and favor, entreated by mercy. This is a remarkable experience when it comes from a stranger or friend from their heart. It is transformative when it comes from God, our Father.

“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Ps. 3:3

Being followers of Christ, we endeavor to not only receive grace but to also extend it. For various reasons, we can encounter difficulty in execution yet it is a fruit (Gal. 5:22 – goodness) of the spirit that we are expected to bear. The common spirits that cause such difficulties in execution are pride, anger, and envy that cover/protect the snare of hurt.

“I’m growling because you’re growling. Or are you?”

Simply, pride is not thinking of yourself according to God’s truth. Anger is the expressed displeasure of a experience that was damaging. And envy is the emotion of wanting and despising the possession, position, or power of another disregarding the value of what is personally held. Many times, we love to receive grace and yet struggle to give it away. Justifying our actions while denying the light to shine on the truth. We overlook what we know for what we want to know, easily. “I already know that it is more blessed to give than receive yet I want to know what it feels like to have…or to be known as…or….”

Remember the start of this…it is a wonderful experience to experience graciousness from others and God. It is also a wonderful and transformative experience to give it to others. Colossians 4:5-6 MSG encourages us to “Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”

Wherever these words may hit home, start there on the journey of graciousness. When God gave the charge to Aaron to bless his sons for their vocation as the Levites, included in that charge was this: “The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” Numbers 6:24-25. Being gracious draws graciousness toward us from our Father through Christ, Selah.

Blessing, Pastor Ceci

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