Grace Cannot Be Earned Or Won

“We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God; we must either receive it as a gift or do without it.”

Today is Monday, November 28, 2016. Twenty-seven days until Christmas.

Quote of the Day

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” – André Gide

Word of the Day

Vicissitude – the quality or state of being changeable.

Today is French Toast Day. Some people really like French Toast. I’ve never been crazy about it, myself. I would just as soon have pancakes or waffles.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. We had a good worship gathering in the morning, then stopped by Slim Chickens for lunch, a place we had never tried before. It was pretty good, basically, just chicken tenders and “wings.” (Ever since I discovered that “boneless wings” are just chicken nuggets, I have seriously believed that they should not be allowed to call them “wings.”) They serve up dinner boxes with three to five tenders, a side of your choice (they have mac and cheese, which is good for S), two dipping sauces, and a drink. It was pretty good; better than Chicken Express. I don’t think it’s a place we will go very often, though, as we are not frequently in the mood for chicken tenders.

After finishing season 2 of iZombie on Netflix, we started looking at some of those genealogical DNA tests that you can get. After doing some research, I think I’ve decided that they may just not be worth the money. They can’t really pinpoint what country your ancestors are from, just “European” or “Asian” or “African,” basically just what continent. We are already pretty confident that my father’s ancestors are European, so what’s the point in paying $60-200 to find that out? Also, we read that the Ancestry DNA test is frequently wrong. And since I’m almost 60 years old, I don’t really care to know what diseases I might get. By this time, if I’m going to get them, I’m going to get them. “Que sera sera,” as it were.

We closed out the weekend with an unexpected hospital visit, as C got a call from her step-dad’s daughter. It seems that her step-dad dreamed he could walk and tried to get up out of bed, which resulted in him falling (he had a leg amputated a couple years ago). In mid-fall, he realized what was happening and tried to catch himself, which resulted in two broken elbows and a broken knee. We visited with him for a bit, and he is in fairly good spirits, all things considered. There will be surgeries, but when and how many at one time is yet to be determined.

89 days until the first Spring Training Game
126 days until Opening Day


My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day. Psalm 71:8

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. Psalm 71:17

This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  Psalm 118:23

(From Praying With the Psalms)

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, 
  and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. 
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.
Psalm 138:4-6

Our praise should not be kept private; it is not a hobby to only be indulged in at home. Praise is “a public affirmation, a powerful witness to God’s ways and a celebration of his goodness.”

“‘Mighty God, while angels bless Thee, may a mortal sing Thy name? Lord of men as well as angels, Thou art every creature’s theme. Lord of every land and nation, ancient of eternal days, sounded through the wide creation be Thy just and endless praise’ (Robert Robinson, ‘Mighty God, While Angels Bless Thee’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

. . . and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus . . . Romans 3:24

“We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God; we must either receive it as a gift or do without it.” Until we arrive at a point where we know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we are destitute, God can do nothing with us. If we believe that we are, within ourselves, sufficient, we will receive nothing from God. We must realize our spiritual poverty, and only then can we receive God’s gift of grace. It cannot be earned; it cannot be won.

Father, I praise you for this truth. I am nothing without you. In the words of Horatius Bonar, in How Shall I Go to God, “It is with our sins that we go to God, for we have nothing else to go with that we can call our own.” You have taught me this over the past couple of decades, and to this, at least, I have listened and learned. I am supremely grateful to you, Father, for your salvation, and all that you have given me. I still have much to surrender in my life, so I beg you to keep working in and with me, teaching me to walk in the Kingdom, joining in the easy yoke of Christ.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.