The Limitless Possibilities of God’s Grace

The Limitless Possibilities of God’s Grace

WRITTEN BY: Cresean Hughes

One of the happiest memories of my childhood is the day that my grandfather taught me how to tie a tie. To this day, tying a tie brings back deeply cherished memories of him and that particular day. 

Once I got a little older and went off to college, tying a tie was certainly an important skill to have, but I also had this urge to stand out a bit more. I wanted to learn how to tie a bow tie. Bow ties always seemed so unique and stylish, and I thought wearing one from time to time would be a great way to express myself, my individuality, and my personality. 

So, in the early days of YouTube, I found a “how-to” video, set up a mirror next to my computer, and practiced in front of that mirror until I figured it out. That was a proud day for me, and over the years, I’ve probably tied hundreds of bow ties since that day. 

While the process of tying a bow tie is the same each time, the end result can be slightly different each time. Sometimes the bow ends up symmetrical, and other times it’s a bit asymmetrical. Maybe you get a bow that’s really straight, and other times you get one that’s sort of crooked. There may be times when the bow is bigger, and other times it’s smaller. No matter what flaws or imperfections arise, the process of tying the bow tie, when you get it right, always leads to a final product that is inherently beautiful and unique. 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been spending time in the book of James for our current series, Starter Kit. We’ve been exploring ways to build our faith and enjoy God’s best for our lives no matter where we are in our spiritual journey. 

Similar to a bow tie, whether you’ve been a follower of Jesus for years, months, weeks, or days, we can never be reminded enough that it is in the midst of our flaws and imperfections that the beauty and uniqueness of God’s grace is most evident. 

James 4:6-8 (NLT) says it this way:

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.”

Throughout Chapter 4, James warns us of some of the pitfalls that can stand in the way of a close, thriving relationship with God. In the verses here, James focuses specifically on pride. 

Pride is especially detrimental to a close relationship with Jesus because when we become so confident in our own ability, our own intellect, and our own talent, we leave very little room for God to work in and through us. However, when we humbly acknowledge that our abilities, our intellect, and our talents alone can only accomplish so much, we make more space for God to use our flaws and imperfections in ways only he can.

That’s why I like to think of each new day that God blesses us with as a freshly tied bow tie. Even though we are all far from perfect and in constant need of God’s grace, when we allow his grace to work in and through us, we can experience both a closer, more beautiful relationship with him and share the possibility of that same close, beautiful relationship with other people. 

So, practically speaking, what can we do to see each day as a bow tie? In other words, how can we make space for God’s grace to fill the holes left by our imperfections and produce something unique and beautiful? 

The fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) are a great starting point.

Love like Jesus even as the world around us incentives us to hate. Speak joyful words where depression and sadness have taken hold. Spread peace in the midst of conflict. Show patience in a world that craves immediate gratification. Demonstrate kindness in the face of hostility. Be gentle when others are harsh. Exercise self-control instead of selfishness. And be faithful and remember that as we come close to God, he will be faithful and come close to us. 

The legendary and trailblazing actress, Hattie McDaniel, was the first African American to win an Academy Award for her supporting role in Gone with the Wind in 1939. And in a biography of her life, she is quoted saying, “I did my best; God did the rest.” 

Ms. McDaniel understood that, because of our human flaws and imperfections, our ability, our intellect, and our talent are limited. However, when we draw close to a good and gracious God, just like the beauty and uniqueness of a perfectly imperfect bow tie, the possibilities are limitless. 

Cresean Hughes/Production Team Leader

Journey Leadership Institute (JLI) Graduate (2021)

Cresean has a passion for sharing the Gospel through the written word. He currently serves on several teams at The Journey, including the Production, Communications, and Research teams. Cresean and his wife, Jade, have been gathering and serving at The Journey since 2018.

You can start exploring those limitless possibilities over the next few weeks and throughout this summer. There is still time for you to join a J-Group for our summer semester. Be sure to draw closer to God by practicing a slot and spot each day. And you can share the beautiful, unique relationship that we get to experience with God with others by checking out Plugged In and serving on the J-Team and/or our Code Red team.

  • Paula Hopkins
    Posted at 18:14h, 26 June Reply

    I want to say that the service yesterday, from start to finish ( and thankfully beyond) was beautiful. I felt it so so deep inside. I was lightheaded. Thank you, thank you Pastor Mark. I always feel like you’re talking straight to me. I want to be involved in aJ-group. As it is because of transportation & disabilities, I would like to be able to participate on line & I need help with finding the place where I can fit.

  • Lou DeYenno
    Posted at 13:41h, 27 June Reply

    We’ll written and a great analogy!
    Thank you

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