2012: Word for the Year

1:39 PMHeather

After taking time yesterday to reflect on my 2011 word for the year (intentional) it's time to dive into a new year.  For several weeks, I've been prayerfully considering my word for the new year--my word that sums up my focus rather than having new year's resolutions.  And, drum roll...my word for 2012 is grace.  

Grace.  When it first came to mind, I thought it too simple.  Grace?  Duh.  That's basic.  But, as 2011 wound up, I realized that I don't do grace well.  I don't accept God's grace well.  Shaking a guilt mentality is still a struggle for me as  I tend to guilt trip myself constantly.  And, I'm sure when I really start diving into this journey of grace, I'll realize just how much I guilt my kids even though I try not to.  I just don't have grace on myself when I mess up or miss the mark.  And again--I'm sure that trickle down theory means I don't extend enough grace to others.  Just keeping it real folks.  As I stated yesterday--I got a long way to go.

So today, I was really excited to dive into grace.  I started in my favorite Wycliffe Bible dictionary and looked up grace.  I figure really grasping the definition from a Biblical perspective is a good starting point for wrapping my head and heart around grace.  As I read the rich, long definition I knew that I could indeed spend an entire year--and more--exploring grace and all it's multifaceted definitions and applications.

Here's where I focused today--at the beginning.  In the Old Testament, the original word was hen (with an overscore on the e--which I cannot find a way to do on this keyboard).  It means "favor", and the first definition is unmerited (in other words, UNEARNED) favor of a superior to an inferior.   Here is the first Scripture referenced.

At that time, declares the Lord, I will
be the God of all the clans of Israel, and 
they will be my people.  This is what the Lord says:
'The people who survive the sword will find favor
in the desert; I will come to give rest to Israel.'
Jeremiah 31:1-2
Glimpse of grace:  So, here is what I glimpsed about God's grace from this passage.  God's favor--his grace?
 He becomes our personal God
He becomes the God of all
We become His people
We survive the swords in life
We find favor even in the desert
He comes to us to give us rest
Let me give you a word of graceful encouragement.  If you are facing the swords in life--He will help you survive.  If you are in the desert--He will pour favor on you, even there.  And, as you walk through it all--know that He will come to meet you there in order to give you rest.  He is YOUR God.  He is motivated by his love to pour favor on us--a superior to an inferior.  Whew.  May I learn to embrace that grace!  I gotta tell you--I'm pretty pumped to see what this year holds, to swim in the grace that abounds.

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