Here are some ABC’s of extending grace:
Assume the best.
Bend when possible!
Delight in joyful news!
Fellowship with new members and visitors at church; and, no matter where you are, be friendly!
Greet people with a smile, remembering about each person present that they have made the effort to come to church or to get out of bed, no matter what their circumstance.
Help when you can, pray when you can’t help.
Invite friends, neighbors and co-workers to regular services as well as special events. You never know when a simple invitation could change a life!
Just be patient! God isn’t finished me. and He isn’t finished with you yet, either!
Know when to listen and when to speak.
Love one another, as Christ has loved you.
Make others feel welcome and valued!
Now is the time to pray for your neighbors, friends, family, people in the news, co-workers, and brothers and sisters in Christ…whenever they are brought to your mind for any reason.
Open hearts can give and receive love freely!
Put aside preferences! People are always more important than our preferences! Preferences (or what we think is best) in areas of clothing, music, behavior, etc. are NOT the gospel of Christ. We may associate these expectations with the Christian life in our own minds; but these things that we enjoy or that make us feel comfortable are often just part of our life experience, traditions, or the way the we were raised. They bring back memories of worship and fellowship times that were personally meaningful. However, right now is what matters! If we want the Kingdom of God to come to pass in this world and want future generations to know the Lord, we must be open enough to make people feel welcome and to worship the Lord with a new song, even if it’s not as comfortable for us. Or, we must realize that the well-loved hymns of the church are well-loved for a reason and that they have much theological truth. So, when the chorus or hymn is not your style, be aware of the people around you who are worshipping, and pray for them! Extend grace first. Then, worship HIM! (The Lord is the focus of our worship…not a particular song or song style, not a person, but God Himself.)
If someone wears clothing that you consider inappropriate, let go of that concern and give it to the Lord. Make them feel welcome! If someone is behaving in a way that does not meet your expectations, just pray for him or her. Perhaps there is a lack of family background in areas of modesty or proper behavior, and this may be something that can be learned through observation of others as this person begins to feel comfortable around God’s people and His Holy Spirit begins to lead them into all truth.
Question to ask before you speak: Will what I am about to say build up the body of Christ and the Kingdom of God?
Rejoice when God is at work in the lives of people! We cannot be skeptics concerning decisions to follow Christ. The first thought in our minds when someone says ‘yes’ to God’s invitation should not be. “I wonder how long it will last.” We must instead be encouragers!
Seek the Kingdom of God first! Leave self behind every morning for a natural outflow of grace extended to your fellow human beings!
Treat the hearts of children with tenderness.
Understand that we are all at different points in our journey.
Value the person MORE than any outward manifestations (clothing, appearance, social awkwardness, position, intelligence, special needs, behavior, rudeness, or moral failures). That’s what Jesus does for us!
Walk in love. Random acts of kindness are not random when done in the name of Jesus. He has brought this person across your path.
eXpect the Lord to touch hearts, and pray for those around you (even people that you do not know).
Yesterday is gone…forgive!
Zip your lip….bite it if you have to! Resolve to speak words of kindness and uphold the dignity of all people as unique creations of Almighty God. Let Him work on their problems! He’s got the master plan and the power to make it happen!
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” II Corinthians 4:15
(These ABC’s are far from elementary. I’ll be working on them for the rest of my life! The more we know,…the more we grow!)
Post written by C. A. Boyd
Do you know Jesus?
The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/