Saturday, October 3, 2009
I have frequently referred to the exciting and surprising joys which fill my life as "unexpected blessings," and without a doubt they are. Last night, however, I was challenged to reclassify them as something else: "undeserved blessings." At the recommendation of my wise older sister, I decided to attend a children's ministry Biblestudy which meets on Friday nights. One of the couples who lead the study are close friends of my sister and brother-in-law, and I have enjoyed getting to know them as well. The group has been reading through "A Simple Christianity" by John MacArthur, and last night they discussed a chapter titled "In the Likeness of Men." I've known (I think) since before I could talk that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He came to earth as a man to die on the cross for the sins of the world. In spite of this knowledge, I rarely pause to reflect on how much He gave up to come or the sinfulness and unworthiness of the humans He came to save.
The leader pointed out that His overwhelming and incredibly undeserved gift should alter the way in which we live our lives as Christians. The fact that Jesus gave up the comforts of Heaven and His face-to-face relationship with the Father to come to earth and die, should radically change our worldview and force us to reconsider what we "deserve." The word deserve is defined as to "be worthy or deserving." Psalm 103:8-12 says:
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to
our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (emphasis mine)
The reality is that we deserve death (Romans 6:23). We deserve eternal punishment, and are instead given eternal life. God sent His Son to die an unimaginable and horrific death on the cross so that we might spend eternity in Heaven with Him, and all we must do to receive this free gift is place our trust in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). So the next time I'm tempted to respond with "righteous" indignation toward the person who has dared to pull into the gas station slot I "deserved" because I was there first, I pray that I will remember that I am a sinner who actually deserves death and was instead given life, and that this remembrance will allow me to smile graciously and settle back into my seat. The God of the universe saved me from what I deserve. And I can wait.
Posted by Emily at 9:46 PM