The Gift of GRACE
A Special Mother’s Day Engage God Daily
Shelley Frew, author
Mothers. By birth, marriage or adoption, we moms step into the role with visions and dreams for our children. With Mother’s Day approaching this Sunday, this week’s Engage God Daily offers ways to honor the mothers and influential mother-figures in our lives. For the next five days, we’ll look at different passages that will help prepare our hearts to honor moms so that we can offer the gift of grace. As an acronym, GRACE will also represents five virtues—Gratitude, Respect, Acceptance, Compassion and Encouragement. Moms need each virtue in generous amounts as we help shape eternal beings whom God entrusted to our care.
A couple years ago at a family dinner, my oldest asked me, “So when you had me, did you know what you were doing?” The truth is, just like all moms, I knew who I wanted to be as a mother but learned everything I knew through on-the-job training. There was no specific “owner’s manual” to learn how to “operate” each one-of-a-kind child. Sure, I’d read books on parenting but that’s like reading books on how to play tennis then actually getting out on the court with a tennis racket expecting to play. No pressure, but unlike a game of tennis, my role as a mom helps mold eternal human beings…
Along with expectations we have for ourselves, the culture around us is overflowing with blog-advice and podcast-suggestions on how to be a “better mother.” Taking in and sorting through advice from both the Christian subculture and society can feel like trying to sip water from a firehose. The number of competing voices on motherhood can be overwhelming! With so much at stake, mothers need to be encouraged and extended grace.
This week, we’ll consider how we can show grace to the “mothers” in our lives, so think about the women who mean a lot to you — whether it’s your mom, stepmom, grandmother, aunt, family friend, or mentor – and let the Spirit guide you in reaching out to them.
GRACE is a wonderful word to shape our thinking about Mother’s Day. It describes what we want to offer moms.
A current day dictionary understanding of the word grace means “a disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.” In Scripture, the word grace has a similar but expanded meaning. Early in my Christian life I was taught that the word grace in Scripture meant “unmerited favor.” As years went by I learned that the word grace, or charis in Greek, means so much more. While God is the source of and foundation for grace and the Giver of unmerited favor, charis also means “to show kindness to someone, with the implication of graciousness on the part of the one showing such kindness.” Often in Scripture it refers to “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness. [There is a sense of] goodwill, lovingkindness and favor.” As we grow in the likeness of Christ, we grow in our ability to extend grace to one another, something we are instructed to do as image-bearers of God.
So, even though we’re going to use G.R.A.C.E as an acronym, the concept guides our thinking this week.
DAY ONE | Offer Gratitude
Our first grace-offering in this week’s Engage God Daily is gratitude.
In our text for today, Paul wrote to the church in Colossae in order to correct false teaching that had infiltrated the church concerning the full deity and full humanity of Jesus. Paul wanted believers to know that they were built up in Jesus Christ, not in philosophical arguments or paganistic ideas. In the paragraph before today’s passage (Colossians 2:1–5), Paul shared his goal for the Christians in Colossae: that they would know Christ, know his complete sufficiency and know truth so they may not be deceived by logical sounding arguments
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
As a result of Paul’s teaching about Christ, how should we respond? (vs 6)
What should overflow in us because we are rooted and built up in him? (vs 7)
As we are built up and strengthened in our faith, we become more thankful people and our lives overflow with gratitude, first to God and also to others. Having an attitude of gratitude is a Spirit-enabled virtue that grows with practice. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “little” and 10 being “with frequent regularity,” how is your sense of gratitude to God?
How would you rate your attitude of gratitude to those closest to you in your life?
Think of all the ordinary and mundane action items that can go into a mother’s day. We can become complacent and take those for granted! Socks don’t match and fold themselves and sibling rivalry can require strategic instruction on conflict resolution that requires time. After the squabble we moms may have honed our skills such that we could negotiate world peace, but we still can’t get to the dentist or school on time afterwards. Take a few moments to think about all that goes into the days of the mom whom you love. It’s easy to be thankful for the gratifying ways in which moms serve, but what are some of the daily ways that she serves others that often go unnoticed? Take a quiet moment to consider your answer, then record some thoughts here:
What ways can you show gratitude to the mom in your life this weekend? (Remember, that could be your aunt, grandmother, mentor, or the mother of your children — any “mom” in your life.)
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