The Power Of Grace 

A lot of Christians would define grace as an unmerited gift, salvation, or the forgiveness of sins. These are all correct. Few believers, however, would identify grace as empowerment. Yet this is exactly how God has described His grace.

Let me show you 2 Corinthians 12:9:
“My grace is all you need, for my power works best in your weakness.” (TEV and NLT)

God refers to His grace as His empowerment! It’s the power at work in situations beyond our ability—including our attempts to be holy.

In 2 Peter 1:2–3, grace is again referred to as God’s power. This passage reveals another awesome truth. Every resource we need to live a holy life is available through the empowerment of grace!

How do we receive this power? By simply believing. Romans 5:2, along with many other New Testament passages, tells us we access God’s grace by faith.

So do you want to pursue holiness? Remember, it isn’t an end in itself. We embrace holiness so we can see and know God. If you want to grow in intimacy with Him, believe in the power of His grace. Ask Him to enable you to live in holiness and friendship with Him. You can be sure He will, for He is willing and able! Yes, keep in mind that God’s grace is a gift, it is salvation, it is forgiveness of our sins. But, hold onto and remember that God’s grace is God’s power that gives us the ability to do the things that we are not able to do in our own strength!

            ~ Thomas Joel Trevino 

Connect with Thomas on Instagram Here

Chicago Treasure Hunt 

       Lately, God has been reminding me to look for “treasures” wherever I go through out the day. I wasn’t exactly sure what was meant by the word “treasures”.  

     On a trip to Chicago with some friends two weeks ago, we all decided to became intentional looking for the “treasures” that God had in store for us each day. 

We became treasure hunters on a mission to uncover things hidden around us that had the potential to be of great value and worth. 

A treasure can be wealth or precious stones or it can fall into the category of someone or something of great value or worth. 

We were looking for people or things that lead us to an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness. 

Matthew 6:21 says,”Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

We asked God to open up our hearts and to show us all the treasures around us as we explored the city. We kept our eyes and ears open to the possibilities that God would give us the desires of our hearts. 
Our treasures were like ordering a drink. Several came in a small size cup, some were medium and others were extra large cups filled with surprises. 

Treasure Hunt 101

Step One: Ask

Step Two: Look

Step Three: Discover

Step Four: Share

We found a treasure on day one. They were dressed up as police officers protecting the block that we were walking on and gave us daily directions. These officers sacrifice their lives to protect us as we are shopping and walking up and down the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago. There were three officers placed at every block. 

Do we stop and thank them? Do we acknowledge their time and sacrifice? It’s a discovery of the people and things around us. 
That is ordering a small drink of thankfulness. 

One night, we look around and discover a man and his wife coming out of the Ralph Lauren Restaurant. We were wondering why they do not sell clothes but rather serve food at a Ralph Lauren establishment. We investigate and find out that there are only three of these restaurants in the world. Curious to see what this couple thinks of the food served there, we stop and talk to them. Forty five minutes later we are still talking and sharing insights into marriage and congratulation goes out to them. They were celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary. The couple had joined their six children to celebrate their anniversary.
  Our treasure was found in the prayers and tears we shared together as we stood and conversed about life’s up and downs. 
That was our medium sized drink of encouragement and counsel. 

I won’t mention how unorganized and not so smart it was for us to wait until the last minute to order our tickets to the production of CS Lewis’s life as the reluctant convert. It really was the initial reason we went to Chicago. So let’s not focus on why we did not order the tickets in plenty of time. It’s amazing how God still leads and directs and delights in helping his children obtain the wishes and desires of their hearts. Even when we at times fall short of our responsibility to make it happen.  
No tickets, it was sold out. We ladies got bold and decided to test our faith. Deb called the ticket booth holder and he said he was sorry there was nothing he could do for us. I’m sure he was wondering why we came all the way to Chicago to see this production and failed to purchase the tickets in time. Not our best move!
Still we knew God would make a way. So we had to just ask, order up an Uber and go to the theater with the expectation that tickets would appear. This is where it is good to have others around you that have more faith than you have at the time. I figured we could try and then shop if all else fails. Not these ladies, they had unshakeable faith that we would all four see the production and God was going to provide the tickets. We got there and hovered over the poor ticket booth guy. He knew who we were from the phone call. First man walked in and said his wife was sick and he couldn’t use the the two tickets. Jessica made a deal and bought his tickets. He used the money to buy new tickets to take his wife later when she was feeling better. Second man from a performing arts company came and gave the ticket booth guy 4 tickets for anyone who wanted them. The show started in ten minutes and God showed up with ten minutes to spare. Third guy walked in with his wife to see if he could buy a ticket for he and his wife. We gave him the tickets we bought and we took the four tickets and all sat together and enjoyed the show. We had five minutes until the show started. 

That was our large cup sized order of faith. It was delivered free of charge. 

The next day we go to the beach. Yes, Chicago has a beach and a body of water without sharks and jellyfish. Lake Michigan is huge and appears to be an ocean.  
We did the whole 





Treasure Hunt Strategy

Well, in reality we sat down on a bench behind the walking path and beach under a tree. Miriam said, “Let’s do a Bible Study!“. Not really sure what that meant since we did not have a Bible. We said okay but for five minutes only. We know our dear friend is an evangelist and we could be there for hours. So we set our phone for five minutes or we would never leave that bench. “Go” we shouted. Miriam asked if anyone needed prayer as they walked by us. Honestly, we were just talking and listening to all the rejections of people going by saying, “No, thanks.” That was fine with us. We only had one minute left. Then our super sized treasure walked past us and he stopped and turned around and softly whispered 

“Sure, I could use a prayer”.  
We were surprised and all at once four moms jumped in and started praying and speaking his future over him. We were all so excited to share the potential he carried and we were perplexed what he was doing there. A homeless young man who was clean, sharp and wise above his age. He listened intently as we shared with him God’s plans and the love that His Father has for him. His eyes were piercing blue and crystal clear with vision as he was reminded of the promises of God specifically for him. Sometimes we just need a reminder. I sat there thinking this could be my son. This is somebody’s son!! We discovered that by sharing God’s love and taking our last minute left to speak hope and purpose over this young man we were the ones blessed mightily. 
We actually sat with him for over an hour as he graciously allowed us to remind him that God has a set purpose and plan for his life. 
 He was the super sized drink of compassion. 

These are NOT your normal treasures one might look for or discover on any given day. However, we found them to be of great worth and value. This particular treasure hunt investment is eternal and lasting. 
Where do your treasures lie?
Are you looking for any undiscovered treasures along your path today?
They come in all shapes, sizes and packages. 
Be on the look out!! Set a timer and I bet you find at least one!!
Ready, set, go,

Kelley Allison