Over the weekend my husband and I got some very exciting news and it has been continuing and keeping us on our toes ever since. We have truly been in awe of the Lord’s grace and what it appears He is unfolding and preparing for us. While what is occurring has brought so much praise and thanks, the Lord gently convicted us as well and opened our eyes to some deeply rooted sin.
Days before the new adventure we’re on began, I was reading more of The Holiness of God. I was reading the chapter titled, “Holy Justice.” In this chapter, R. C. Sproul goes through passages in the Old Testament that are generally hard to handle and understand to us modern day Christians because God seems so harsh; He doesn’t seem like He’s this loving God that we have come to know. The Lord brought brand new understanding to me about himself as Sproul explained God’s justice. I’ve heard people say before, “If God is really the ruler of this world and in control He’s doing a poor job of it.” While I’ve known that is not a true statement, I’ve never really let my mind think too much about it. I think I have been fearful of not knowing how to respond to the question, “Why do bad things happen?” This chapter helped me realize that the focus is all wrong with this statement or question—the focus is on humans, sinful humans instead of the Holy God.
Sproul gave an analogy to help define God’s justice more clearly. He explained that if there were ten people and all ten of them sin and sin equally, if God decided to have mercy on five and then punish the other five, the five that were punished would not be able to claim injustice. Actually, on the contrary, those five received justice and the other five received mercy. As I read this my eyes were more and more opened to the fact of how much each and every day I take God’s grace for granted. Sproul writes, “It is impossible for anyone, anywhere, anytime to deserve grace. Grace by definition is undeserved” (pg. 128).
The last week of the Fearless study has been centered on the gospel and sharing it with others fearlessly. Day Three of Week Six in the study goes through verses on the beauty of the gospel, the truth of God’s grace to us in giving salvation through Jesus. I read verses like John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” and 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” And as much as I really hate to admit this, the first morning I read these verses in my quiet time, I fell asleep. Yep, I read these truths of the amazing gift that I have been given and it didn’t faze me. I was so apathetic, I fell asleep.
What the Lord is unfolding for me and my husband right now, while it is extreme grace and a precious gift to us, is something very this-worldly. We began to realize how badly we want what seems to be unfolding to occur and we saw how our praise and thanks has been greatly multiplied, how our excitement of life in general is greatly multiplied, and how we are more diligent in prayer. The events that have been taking place lately could not be explained in any other way than that the Lord has been orchestrating everything, and we’ve had a great desire to share what the Lord has been doing, to tell anyone just how evident it is that this is all Him. Because it’s so evident that this situation is all the Lord’s doing we also have such a deep desire to make sure that we use what He has given to honor Him and glorify Him by all means possible. As we talked about these things that we saw were so different in us, the Lord reminded me of what I had read in The Holiness of God about no grace being deserved and He reminded me of what Fearless had been teaching about the grace of His gospel. We began to ask ourselves, why isn’t our praise and thanks and excitement always the way it is right now simply because of His amazing grace and the fact that we have salvation? My husband confessed, “We live so much for this world.” Just like we want this mundane thing that we’re being given to be used for the Lord’s glory, why don’t we want that for our whole life because of the eternal gift we’ve already been given?
Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. There is absolutely no way that we could earn our salvation. Scripture says that before Jesus paid our price, we were dead (Eph. 2:1-3). My husband and I have been so gently convicted of our deeply rooted apathy, ingratitude, conditional love based on circumstances, pride, self-righteousness, and worldly living. It’s been very sweet how the Lord has been using a gift to open our eyes to this, but it’s one thing to know this and confess it, and it’s another to really repent from this, to really live out the truth that our salvation is the greatest undeserved gift we could ever have been given. Day Four of Week Six of the Fearless study this morning prompted me to pray for the Lord to grow my gratitude for my salvation and what He has done for me and also to pray that understanding of His command to make disciples would grow. Oh how my husband and I want this.
I heard a song the other day by Jonathan David Hesler titled, “Abba.” The first lines of the song are, “You’re more real than the ground I’m standing on. You’re more real than the wind in my lungs. Your thoughts define me. You’re inside me. You’re my reality.” I’ve got to tell you that the gift the Lord seems to be giving me and my husband right now seems more real to me than the gift of Himself that He’s already, officially given. Father, help us to repent of our worldly views and look to what’s real. Bloom your truth in us.
Planted for His Glory