This baby born in Bethlehem was both like and unlike every other child —a life so rare, so richly valuable, that still we grope at language edge for words to tell His story, and for names by which to worship Him. He chose fragility, this Lord who once threw stars and galaxies around like pebbles on a beach, so that the powerless would know how well He understands their lives. He entered our dry dustiness where weakness and reliance meet—because grace trusts, grace hopes, grace makes new covenants when all about us are breaking theirs. He chose dependence—releasing Himself, abandoning authority, the majesty, the throne. Christ placed Himself quite literally in our hands, so that—through grace—we might one day learn to place ourselves entirely in His. Stay in His hands. And stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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All our goodness flows from grace. One of our favorite illusions is that broken, self-consumed people like us can still spontaneously do noble things out of some “inner light” we claim to have. I have followed one too many Volvos bearing tattered bumper stickers urging “Random Acts of Kindness.” Unless the Holy Spirit has vanished from the universe, there are no such things as random acts of kindness.  Unrecognized among the myriad ways we interact with each other—some petty, some brutal—are those kindnesses that first formed in the mind of God and reached our world through common grace.  If ever we are good, it’s only because God’s goodness flows through us. Be available this day for promptings—Spirit-formed and Spirit-led—that testify we aren’t left to spin alone on this unhappy planet.  There is no kindness apart from the great grace shown to us in Christ, and known to us because His Spirit still moves among us. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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Dr. Delbert Baker is the Vice Chancellor of the Adventist University of Africa near Nairobi, Kenya. 

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Costin Jordache is the new editor and communication director for Adventist Review Ministries.  

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Bill Knott is the Executive Editor of Adventist Review Ministries, the publisher of Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines.  He shares his unique outlook on life, from a Christian's perspective in the editorial page of the Adventist Review magazine called ViewPoint.  

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"Journeys with Jesus" is an intimate, personal look at the walk we all have with our Savior. Inspirational, heart-tugging, thought-provoking vignettes of life's journey and life's decisions. Most of all, it points us to our Father, our Friend, as the Source of all wisdom, comfort, and peace. www.adventistreview.org

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Is there a force in this wide universe more powerful or more patient than the grace of God? Name it if you can: I don’t know of it. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, what but our obstinate and persistent refusal could keep Him from clothing us, the objects of His everlasting love, with the spotless robe of Jesus’ perfect righteousness? Unless we refuse Him, and all He’s offering, He will bring us to the banquet hall of grace and plenty. There is a holy grip in grace that outlasts our worst sins and our best deeds. Nothing other than the exercise of our choice can keep Jesus from the exercise of His grace. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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Nothing on earth has ever been as beautiful as God’s beginnings; nothing as pure; as whole, healthy and inspiring with vigor to the body and clarity to the mind. Eden was His masterwork, inclusive of the man and woman He put there as its first managers; inclusive of their work and Sabbath rest schedule He instituted from the start. Today, despite sin’s unimaginable ruin, we can learn of true beauty and grow back to wholeness by giving attention to mental and practical reminders around us, holy gifts and actions of the flawless yesterday, that His grace continues to inspire and sustain.

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Thankfulness is all about our expectations. So long as we think we deserve to be healthy—physically, financially—and that a sick body or an empty wallet is an injustice done to us, we’ll never feel all that grateful when God heals us. If God owes it to us to make and keep us healthy and wealthy, why should we thank Him for it? But if we grasp the deep sacredness of living—that every moment is a gift from the Father’s hand—then everything in us will sing of everything God is doing for us. Every illness overcome; every bank account that didn’t run dry; every wounded relationship healed is a special act of grace. We deserved none of these good things: we’ve been given all these good things. “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise” (Ps 51:5). So stay in gratitude—and grace. -Bill Knott

Note: If you are blessed by GraceNotes, please subscribe.

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Bill Knott is the Executive Editor of Adventist Review Ministries, the publisher of Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines.  He shares his unique outlook on life, from a Christian's perspective in the editorial page of the Adventist Review magazine called ViewPoint.  

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