God’s love and grace meet us where we are, but never leave us there. They are crucial to our foundation as we walk with God, because they are where we begin and where we rest, but they also change our lives entirely. Today Karyn introduces the beautiful concept of the grace of God.
On my way out of a college Bible study in 2004, Karyn handed me a card. Unbeknownst to her, I was going through a really difficult time in my life. When I opened the card, I decided God must have told her my difficulties, because out slipped a teabag, a verse that nearly made me cry, and the note that she was praying for me. That was the first of many, many such cards, coming at just the right time. This woman is so close to the heart of God that He often puts a person on her heart at just the right time, and she begins to pray for and encourage that person. She is inspiring. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet, with a heart as pure as gold. Last year Karyn graduated from Regent University with a bachelor’s in psychology and now she is working at Schenectady County Community College. Six years after receiving that first card, I am honored to call her one of my closest friends. You can’t help but love her, which is why I am so excited to bring you…Miss Karyn Raney!!
Favorite color: Blue/pink…can’t decide
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Describe yourself/life in 3 words: Introspective, quirky, passionate
What you want to do with your life: Help people in whatever way God calls me to!
One interesting fact about you: I love barbecue sauce and could eat it with just about anything
Most dangerous thing you’ve ever done: Jet skiing in a bay with sharks…well there could have been sharks there…haha
Favorite quote: “We plan-and God steps in with another plan for us and he is all wise and the most loving friend we have always helping us!”~Nettie Fowler McCormick
Favorite Bible verse: Philippians 4:6-7
What is one secret to living life as a woman of God in today’s world? I would say to “not conform any longer the pattern of this world…”(Romans 12:2). “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21). It’s important to not become polluted by the things of this world. When Jesus is your heart’s desire you “lack no good thing” (see Psalm 34:8-10).
“Grace” by Karyn Raney
So what is grace exactly? I’ve been thinking a lot about this word lately. Grace is simply getting what you don’t deserve. This definition sounds too simplistic and plain for such a marvelous and glorious word.
In Christian circles, the term grace is most often heard when explaining Christ’s offer of salvation. I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to grasp the full concept of this gift of grace. Nor am I sure that I ever will until I see Jesus face to face.
However, I’ve begun to realize that grace is all around me every day. Humans show grace to one another all the time. It is in these moments that we catch a glimpse of something far greater than ourselves. It’s simply heavenly and a reflection of the beauty of Christ.
Years ago I had a part time job at Bath and Body Works. It was my first job and it was rather intimidating for me. One night in particular stands out in my mind. It was a required work night where all the employees came in to change the floor display for the Christmas Holiday season. There were about thirty of us working feverishly to get it all done. I was in charge of a display with three large glass vases. I turned around quickly and bumped something causing the vases to fall to the ground with a loud crash. In one instant, all thirty eyes peered at me with condemnation. It was completely silent but I could feel their judgment penetrate my embarrassed face. Then out of nowhere this one lady quickly came to cover my shame. She reassured me that it was okay although none of the other faces displayed that. This lady brought over the broom and dustpan and quickly swept all of the glass up. She didn’t have to do this. It was my mistake and I should have been the one to clean it up. In my weak and vulnerable moment when everyone else chose to condemn me she chose to show me compassion and forgiveness.
While studying the word grace, I found that Paul frequently addressed and closed his letters to the believers with a salutation of grace. Also the disciple John ends the book of Revelation by extending grace to God’s people (Rev 22:21). We are saved by grace (Eph 2:8); we are encouraged to grow in grace (2 Pet 3:18); and we are called to administer grace unto others (1 Pet 4:10).
In what ways have you received grace or given it to others?
To continue to Devo #5 by Bethany Walton, click here!