August 9, 2022
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God … (Ephesians 2:8 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I often settle for so much less than God’s very best for my life. I tend to invest time in good things and miss the highest things God has planned for me because I do not pray in faith.
A small country town was in desperate need of rain. One Sunday morning, the pastor of the local church called for a special prayer meeting to be held that night. “It’s time to pray for rain,” he said.
The people gathered with a sense of purpose and excitement, but when the pastor stood to lead the prayer time, his words stunned the waiting crowd. “Only one of you came in faith,” he announced.
Looking down at the first row, the pastor pointed at a little girl who sat quietly, a smile on her face and an umbrella in her hand. We can pray for rain, but faith brings an umbrella.
God is our good and generous Father. He longs to pour out His blessings on His children. We have somehow bought into the lie that we will receive good things from God by working harder or trying to be better. That’s a lie from the pit and smells like smoke.
We are saved by God’s grace and nothing we do or don’t do will ever be good enough to earn the favor of God. In Ephesians the apostle Paul tells us that salvation is a gift that will produce faith in our lives.
Ephesians 2:8 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God … “
If we could earn salvation, it would be our salary. Salvation and the blessings of God are His gifts to us. We just receive them. Sounds too simple, doesn’t it? God is waiting for us to seek Him … to listen for His voice … and then follow Him.
I have received the gift of salvation as have many of you. We have surrendered our lives to Him and are seeking to follow Him. But I want every good gift He has for me – don’t you? The good news is that God wants us to come to Him with “shameless audacity” and ask for His blessings.
Luke 11:5-10 says “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me …’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
Did you catch the mind-blowing truth in these verses? The words “shameless audacity” recently jumped out at me for the first time. God wants us to pray, live, and breathe with the mindset that we want everything He has planned for us now and eternally! We can come to Him with that shameless audacity – not because of anything we have done – but in faith, because of who He is and what He has done.
He is our Father who is waiting to pour out His amazing blessings on His daughters. Why? Because He loves us! We were created by God for God.
Today, grab hold of the truth that in the eyes of God you are somebody special. You are planned and wanted. You belong. You are chosen. Come before Him and tell Him you want it all! Yes, you want everything He has planned for you! Now hold out your hands. God’s highest and richest blessings for your life are on their way!
Father, I am tired of settling for the leftovers this world has to offer. Forgive me for not being willing to step out in faith to seek You and Your plan for my life. I come to You in shameless audacity and ask that You pour those blessings into my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How would you define “grace” and “faith” as they apply to your life? Have you discovered God’s purpose for your life? I’d love to hear about the “next chapter” in your life. Email me!
More from the Girlfriends
Check out the E-Bible Studies available in Mary’s online store. Titles include Anger Management, How to Find Your Missing Peace and Laugh More … Live Better. They are perfect for small group study as well as your own personal study.
Be sure to connect with Mary through email. She loves hearing what God is doing in your life!
Need prayer? Email our Prayer Team Director, Ginger Meador. We would love to pray for you!
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
Originally published Tuesday, 09 August 2022.