My understanding of grace is growing because of a devotional written by my own sister, Marnie Swedberg, called, 'Gasping for Grace.' While it’s written as a devotional for discouraged dieters, I have found it to apply to any discouragement or just life in general, and it has been life-changing.
Marnie’s 31 daily devotions look at the huge concept of God’s grace and break it down into bite-size pieces that come out like courses in a gourmet meal. The truth they provide has required several readings to sink in, but I can at last hear a new understanding of grace in my self-talk.
Grace allows me to turn condemnation into a way to grow closer to God and to grow in maturity. Now I can look at quotes like "Give it your best, then give it to God." and see why the Holy Spirit doesn't show up until the end of our ability to do anything. I can read a prayer that's more like an apology and wonder where is the God-given power in that? But especially when Satan comes to me with regret, I can take that memory to God and say, "God, I did that and I'm sorry. Thank you for forgiving me. Is there anything I need to do about that today?" And I get to know His presence and His blessing in new ways. Then I show Him the gratitude of my heart.
Of course, I have a long way to go, but my thought life is getting much healthier and I am seeing how grasping what God’s grace is can help me in more and more areas of my life.
If you’d like to go through Gasping for Grace for yourself, you can purchase it at http://www.marnie.com/store/p14/Gasping_for_Grace_eBook.html.