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The Simplicity of Grace

I had made life so complicated for so long. I still remember the main thing that drew me to a life of grace, like a magnet, was the simplicity of it.

Eluny, who is from South Africa and currently lives in China (where she works with kids) has now arrived in St. Louis, MO for this year’s Love Life Women’s Conference!

I’ve never met Eluny face to face, but I feel like I know her already. She bought my book shortly after it came out several years ago and every so often she sends me a new testimony about how much God has used it to change her life.

I enjoyed this one she recently sent as it reminded me of the beautiful simplicity of grace.

I added my comments into Eluny’s email in red and then I left more encouragement for you at the end of this post regarding God’s purpose for your life.

Hi Sandra 

Guess who’s in St. Louis!? Today I again realized what an awesome impact your book had on my life. In the midst of crazy circumstances I decided to trust God and receive His grace and that opened the door for God’s favor! 

After living the grace life for 5.5 years now, I’m not surprised one bit!

The revolution of Grace is such an amazing gift and I’m so incredibly grateful for it. I’m grateful you shared your story and I’m grateful God used you to help me get this revelation. I love how, with the help from your book and by the grace of God, it gets easier to realize when guilt and condemnation pop up and it opens the door to choose God’s Grace faster. That is why I want to tell you in short about the few days I’ve been having. 

Saturday, while packing my final things, I realized I couldn’t find my bank card anywhere. I have a debit card. I don’t own a credit card so it’s the only one I have. It was gone. I was like “shoot, I am leaving for Shanghai Sunday night after work. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?” I searched everywhere – no card, I searched again, still no card! How do you travel to a foreign country without a bank card?

The first thing I thought to myself when I realized I lost my card was “Eluny you weren’t focused, you’ve been stressed and that made you lose your card because your mind is running 10 steps ahead. You were being negligent.” Trust me when I say I never lose things – EVER! I was about to go on a guilt and condemnation trip but in the midst of all this I decided that I was going to focus on God’s love for me despite all of the thoughts rushing through my mind. I asked God to help me focus on His peace despite my circumstances and He did give me peace. I decided to completely put my trust in God

I love how The Spirit prompted Eluny to turn away from the negative beliefs the devil was tempting her to focus on – “Eluny, you weren’t focused, Eluny, you were being negligent” – and had her turn toward and receive God’s love.

I’m telling you the truth, one of the reasons some people don’t get grace is because they are looking for something more complicated. They think, “yeah, yeah, this isn’t gonna do me any good, just sitting and receiving God’s love. I gotta do something AND I GOTTA DO SOMETHING NOW. I gotta solve my problem.” 

The only problem with that is, the road of self effort will drop you off in a town called frustration every single time. Believe me, I know. I lived half my life there.

In the end, I thought it was pretty amazing how God showed me my card was missing before I left China without any money! With the help from a Chinese friend I managed to convert all my money into dollars. 

God’s love for us is extravagant.

I love how God takes our circumstances and changes them for the better. I love how God blessed me with friends who are willing to help, friends I can trust. Now that I have chosen to live in God’s grace and receive His love for me I am overwhelmed at His goodness and kindness. When we choose grace we open a door for God to move and I absolutely love that He never disappoints

Listen to all that gratitude that turning to and trusting in Jesus provoked in Eluny’s heart!

It’s like Romans 8:28 says “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.” No matter what happens if you live the Grace life and if you choose God’s peace and trust in Him, He moves mountains!

Oh yes He does!

I was reading a few chapters of your book on my long flight over and I thought back over the few days I had and being tired on such a long flight makes everything worse but then a big smile broke out on my face and my heart skipped a beat. I was deeply touched at how much your book has helped me get to the truth sooner.

I know for a fact that Eluny has already read my book 4 times, yet she picked it up again on that flight to remind her about the truth of God’s grace.

The apostle Paul often reminds us of the importance of continuing in the life of grace we’ve been given (through salvation). When we don’t, we can easily fall back into self effort mode which leads to bad things. This is exactly why my husband Steve and I are always reading the Bible and making sure we read it through the lens of the finished work of the cross, listening to teachings that set our eyes on Jesus, reading or listening to books/articles/blog posts that are all about Jesus or playing worship music and enjoying the presence of Jesus. This is our life, day in and day out.

Of course, even though we do make it a priority to grow in grace, this doesn’t mean we’re perfect. In fact, I’m about to tell you a story below about how I recently fell back into self effort in one particular area of my life and what the result was.

Steve and I do make it our goal to eat, sleep and breathe Jesus though, which is so very different from how I used to make checking off my task list my daily goal or how Steve would strive to spend his days making sure he was performing for God so God would be pleased with him.

We now know it’s all about relationship with Him and us remembering that He is already pleased with us! 

I don’t even know if saying “we make it our goal to eat, sleep and breathe Jesus” is the best way to say it because desiring to know Jesus more is really a very natural response to living the grace life rather than a “goal.”

When doing the one thing that is needful – sitting at the feet of Jesus – becomes your daily passion, everything else – both your task list and your spiritual growth – falls into place.

The bottom line is: Under grace, life becomes simpler – effortless, really – yet at the same time, so much more effective!

In the past I use to struggle trying to figure things out and I would have felt guilty for not focusing on my whereabouts with my bank card. Now I focus on Jesus and His love for me and things just work out. You can’t explain it but at the same time you can because it’s Grace! God’s favor!

This really is true. When we choose to live under the waterfall of grace, things work out.

Here’s that story I promised you: 

Recently I was feeling frustrated about something and talking to one of my accountability partners about it and we came to the conclusion that I had returned back to living in self effort in that particular area of my life. I was frustrated and I was mad about how things weren’t working out.

As we talked about how Jesus didn’t want that kind of life for me in any area, I repented (changed my mind) about continuing down the road of self effort, received God’s grace and guess what happened? Not long after that I realized the anger left and peace and wisdom about how to handle my situation arrived.

Please believe me when I say a life of grace leads to a life of simplicity and rest!

How amazing is Jesus! I appreciate your book so much because it broke open God’s love for me. I have more confidence because I know Jesus loves me. 

Have a wonderful day tomorrow.

Eluny 

And check this out: The coolest thing happened. Eluny and I ended up at the same hotel for the conference (thanks God) and plan on eating breakfast together on Friday morning! (I added a photo below)

If you would like to check out my book and learn how to live in the simplicity of grace, go here.

I can honestly say that writing my book and now watching God get it into the hands of people all over the world in various ways (through this website, speaking engagements, etc.) is probably one of my main assignments in life. I have not been released to write another book yet and may or may not ever be.

We don’t have to feel like we need to do a million things at once for our lives to be fruitful. Doing a few things that God’s hand is on will far surpass 20 things that God is not asking us to do.

I even went off social media back in May at the leading of the Holy Spirit and do you know what happened? God divinely worked it out for me to meet this group of Jesus-loving ladies who do Women of Grace conferences and the leader, Connie Witter, asked me if I would would speak with them at some of their conferences next year (2018)! See, God knew I needed to be off social media to focus and prepare for what was coming.

I certainly don’t have anything against social media, but I thought it was neat how God didn’t need me to be on social media for these ladies to “discover me.” Instead, He divinely worked it out all by Himself.

My friend, there is no devil in hell or person on earth who can keep you from what God has called you to do! If you trust God, He will open up any doors you need to walk through. You won’t have to kick the doors down. And when God opens up a door, no man can shut it.

That’s why…

Being Spirit-led in life is the most important thing.

Help us live Spirit-led lives, God, in Jesus’ name we pray.

I believe God gave me this motto for my life and ministry the other day when He was teaching me something. Here’s what I want to do with my life.

PREACH JESUS   &   LOVE PEOPLE

So I encourage you to receive, receive, receive God’s grace for your own life (which means you will be resting in Him) and watch Him bring everything together and cause you to fulfill all that He has called you to do. It’s gonna be awesome!

You’re going to be used by God to help others and you’re not even going to want to take the credit for it because when you live under grace you instinctively know what the Apostle Paul knew, “yet it was not I but God who was working through me by His grace.”  (1 Corinthians 15:10b)

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If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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