The Azteca: Full of Grace
(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
If you live in Mexico, you know what an Azteca (Azz-TECH-ah) horse is. Since the country of Mexico is only a little over 200 years old, you’d think the Azteca has been around for hundreds of years, as well. But this beautiful breed only appeared on the scene in 1972 when Mexican charros (cowboys) began to breed horses with great skill and lots of “cow sense” to work on their cattle ranches. The charros crossed Andalusians with their Quarter Horses and the little-known Criollo mares with amazing results. This new breed, officially recognized by the Mexican Department of Agriculture in 1982, now had speed, strength, a sweet disposition with the desire to learn, and equine “grace.” The Azteca became so popular, he’s now known as The National Horse of Mexico.
You might think a horse with all these excellent traits would be a huge brute, but the Azteca only averages from 14.2 to 16 hands. He can be any color or combination of colors accepted in the American Quarter Horse Association and the American Paint Horse Association. His head is a medium size with a broad forehead, alert eyes, and medium ears which are always twitching. His muscular neck arches slightly, and this little beauty often has a long flowing mane and just as spectacular a tail. Despite his “average” height, his free shoulders and hips allow him to be incredibly athletic and smooth to ride.
Whether you like English or Western style riding or whether you need a graceful dancer or cow horse, the Azteca might be just for you. How about if you enjoy jumping, dressage, driving, cutting, penning, or reining? Or would you just love a wonderful companion for trail riding? Take a good look at the Azteca. He can do it all and do it well. All of these skills create a horse full of grace that anyone would be proud to own.
There’s someone else who is full of grace too—the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, He has more grace than anyone ever had or ever will have. He has so much grace, He willingly shares it with us!
Do you know what the word “grace” means? One of the definitions describes grace as having mercy or forgiveness, and that’s exactly what Jesus did on the cross for us. He knew we could never be good enough to be allowed in heaven, so He died, rose from the dead, and is willing to save anyone by His grace. But there’s another important meaning of the word grace.
Grace also means thoughtfulness toward others. If someone has grace in his life, he shows kindness and generosity toward his family and friends, even when he doesn’t feel like it. As a Christian, when you show grace to others, your actions will show God how much you love Him and want to model your life after His. Then others might consider you as someone full of grace.
PRAYER: Dear God, I’m thankful Jesus shed His blood so I can go to heaven someday. As hard as I try, I know I can never be good enough to be ready for heaven. Now I know what grace really means, and I want to give to others with your help. In Jesus’ name, amen.
SADDLE UP! (What would God have you do now?)
Think of the names of a few people who have shown grace to you and analyze in your heart how they did it. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Take your ride: (Do you know?) When Mexican breeders brought the Azteca to the United States, they crossbred him with American Paints to make a stunning, splashy horse called the American Azteca.
Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3: 18).
Join foster kid Skye and her show horse, Champ, on exciting adventures in the Keystone Stables Series!