Looking for Grace

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What are you looking for? This week the national lottery in the USA is in the multi-millions and lots of folks are buying tickets and looking for the magic winning number. Which means they are looking for the big win and the big change in their lives that would come with a jackpot of millions of dollars. The motto of the lottery seems to be 'you can't win if you don't play.'

The Bible asks this same question. What are you looking for? When some of the first disciples approached Jesus and sought to follow him, he turned and basically asked them "What are you looking for?"

There is a story in the Book of Acts which tells of a rumor of a spiritual event happening in the city of Antioch that reaches the early Christian leadership in Jerusalem. They send a team to visit Antioch and then report back what they see and hear. Is God at work in this city in some new way?  Barnabas was on the team. Acts 11:23 Then when he (Barnabas) arrived and saw the grace of God..." Barnabas saw the grace of God. I believe Barnabas saw what he was looking for.

The prophets declared the whole earth is full of the glory of God. Jesus said the Father is working and speaking in the world around us. The apostle Paul emphasized the ever present leading of the Spirit. Jesus opened his ministry by saying plainly that the kingdom of God is at hand.

I am looking for grace...for the signs of kingdom...for the work of the Father...for the presence of the Spirit. Grace is not just one thing but a million and one things that all flow from the presence of God at work in our lives and world.

You can't see if you don't look. If you are looking for the big change or any change at all that deeply matters, then it is grace that you need. The grace of Jesus is what we are really needing and longing for...underneath all the daily impulses and desires which course through our souls...behind all the chronic longings for something more...is our God-designed need for the grace that comes from Jesus.

Followers of Jesus, when they are growing, learn to see grace. God wants us to see. God wants us to connect. God wants us to receive. We are made for grace and grace 'fits' us.

When I was on sabbatical earlier this year, I wrote a blog with this same title based on this same verse from the Book of Acts. For 9 weeks I took this posture in my daily life. I now plan to continue my looking and my reflections in this space on Apostles' blog. Join me in looking and then share with me what you see.