Welcome to our study, Grace & Goals. This month we will explore our pursuit for positive change and how it is directly impacted by our relationship with Jesus, our beliefs around trust and faith, and our choice to ask for and accept grace and allow it to make us over from the inside out.
Today's verse: "Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own."
Romans 4:3 The Message
You're here because you know that something needs to change. You may not be sure how to make it happen. Hopefully you read the practical Getting Started post prior to this - it will provide you with the how-to and process of goal setting.
I want to encourage you today, on day one of our goal-setting challenge, that you are not in this alone. In addition to our support group, as a child of God, you have access to grace that can fuel whatever changes you are called to make. Grace is the difference between 'will power' and God-power. Grace is defined as:
...the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
Grace provides us with the strength and power to 'enter into what God is doing in us' - the complete opposite of will-power and self-improvement. Grace is a 'holy influence' that directs our choices, defines our goals, and builds the muscle of discipline.
I have heard beautiful stories from folks who experienced miraculous healing from addiction and unhealthy living. I've also heard raw and real stories from folks who are still working towards their freedom. We don't know the route on which God will take us. It's important to know that quitting bad habits (especially addictive ones like sugar or smoking or alcohol or drugs) can be a process. One study suggests that smokers, for example, can expect to 'quit' 30 times before it finally takes! I don't share that to discourage you, but to remind you that if you struggle these first weeks, and can't seem to make your goals, DON'T GIVE UP! Our 3 for 30 group is designed not only to celebrate success, but most importantly to encourage each other when we struggle.
Below a prayer card for you. Print it out (download below) and pray this over yourself throughout your days.
Download & Print the prayer card here