Wow…what a week! God is whirling and twirling His Holy winds everywhere! Since doing the cardboard testimonies I have heard many people say that they have experienced a sense of release and new found freedom! I know I have! For a few days I felt the darkness of evil in my thoughts about myself and I was reminded by one of my many accountability partners (AKA FRIENDS!) that satan was trying to trick me up. Why do I always forget that part? So I redirected myself and my prayers and that has passed. Thank you Lord! Everytime we step out in faith-no matter what it is-we will inevitably face warfare of some type. Count on it. So, prepare your heart and mind by memorizing God’s Holy Word and hiding it in the deepest crevasses of your heart and soul. It will be there, at the ready, when you need it. Read your bible, take a bible study, get down and dig into God’s Holy Word. All the answers are there!
Having said that, I have felt compelled to start a new drawing this week. After Ronnie’s preaching about the adulterous woman and the forgiveness of God I have reached a new level of understanding about GRACE. It wasn’t just Ronnie though- it was also events that happened during the week. I saw grace given in a bag of groceries. That bag of groceries was given in love to someone who needed it-that person in turn gave it to someone else-who also needed it. Folks! THAT is the HOLY SPIRIT at work! I have been so blessed to witness that one little thing between two people-unconditional love. True love. We are absolutely NOT to judge others or the reasons for their needs- we are to HELP THEM and NOT count the cost. Read your bible and let God speak to your heart on this matter. Deuteronomy 15 says it best: 10-11 Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.
My drawing is called EXTREME GRACE. Why? Because God’s grace IS extreme. Webster’s definition of extreme is this: Going to great or exaggerated lengths, exceeding the ordinary, usual or expected, an extreme measure. When God sent Jesus to save us he did so in EXTREME MEASURE. Why? Because that’s how much he loves us. We will never fathom the depth of our Father’s love while here on earth. We can imagine and dream, but we won’t fully get it until we are with him in eternity. For that- I am anxious!
This first snippet of the drawing is only part of it. It looks like little kids throwing rocks and yelling and spitting doesn’t it? Well, it is-it’s us! “For they know NOT what they do…” We are the Father’s beloved children and we are disobedient, just like these cartoon kids are. It’s not really pretty and it isn’t meant to be.
This next piece is Jesus looking down on the children while he hangs on the cross. He has a sorrowful look in his eyes. He says to his father in heaven, ” Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Why would he do that with his dying breath? Why? Because he loves us. He truly does. Even in his extreme state of dying he is still thinking about the children-us-you and me. Doesn’t that blow your mind? It does me.
This next piece is the adulterous woman ( could be anyone) coming to Christ in her own personal agony of sin and the people wanting to stone her. Those children were throwing the stones at her! Why? Because according to the law- she is a sinner-but then-aren’t we also? Someone should be throwing rocks at us too! ” WHOEVER BELIEVES is NOT condemned!” It doesn’t say Mary, Joe or Tom, it says WHOEVER! Meaning anyone, anywhere, anytime. The word NOT is in red and larger for a reason-it is an important word- is NOT NOT NOT condemned. So, let’s stop doing it. Part of my cardboard testimony was about this very issue. I have condemned people for the dumbest reasons-why? Judging attitude. Ugh. I fully gave that up last weekend and I have experienced a great sense of God drawing me nearer to Him. I have spent the past week yearning for Him and today I have spent the entire day with Him-even here and now. I can always tell when God is working through me because my fingers type faster than I am able to! haha! Like the adulterous woman who heard the truth- “Go and sin no more!” So did I. Truth IS being heard.
I know I have said this before and I will say it again- I am no master artist but I do know when God moves in my heart and hands I must sit down and give him the time to work through the pencil and paper. As I look at this today, I see myself in the picture- just as Ronnie challenged us to do- he said see yourself as the stone thrower, the adulterous woman or the man who hasn’t been caught and is nowhere to be found. I was the stone thrower and today I am the adulterous woman in the fact that I heard the TRUTH from the WORD of God spoken through many people and circumstances this week. Here is the entire drawing as one piece and as I look at it I weep because of the love I feel from God-it is unspeakable and unpaintable. I humbly stand in His presence and place my forgiven heart in His hands.
Thank you Lord, thank you Ronnie, thank you grocery lady and thank you church.
Love you all…