Thursday, April 30, 2020
Grace alone saves us.
Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.
1 John 3:21-22
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.
Words of Grace For Today
Covid 19 puts many things into perspective.
When our boys were young they came asking if they could have coffee. They were intelligent and persistent. Being occupied and having uttered a few no’s! already I said to them that if they drank coffee they would die. Sort of true and it bought me some peace.
Not for long. They came back a few days later insisting that they be given coffee, it smelled so good! I said no, and repeated the half truth from before. If you drink coffee you will die. … Well, OK back then, a recent study had said that coffee was real bad for you, and worse for children; or so I rationalized it. But the boys did not fall away from but rather into some intelligence beyond their parents’.
They responded, yes, if we drink coffee we will die, but if we don’t drink coffee we will die, also.
So we want coffee.
God is truly good to the upright and pure in heart. And God is even better to the worst sinners, for whom God sent God’s own son, Jesus, to teach, heal and forgive … and then give his own life to redeem.
If we have boldness before God and obey his commands and do what pleases God, God will give us whatever we ask. And God gives whatever they ask for to even those who displease God, sinners that all humans are!
Not really. God answers everyone who calls on God. Most often God gives us what we need, not what we ask for. Most often the answer is simply NO, or wait, or maybe. Rarely God answers with a resounding YES! giving exactly what we ask for.
The temptation is to think that IF we behave rightly (and/or fill in whatever correct description you choose) THEN God will bless us with good things (and/or fill in whatever correct description of benefit from God you choose). This is the Devil’s way of getting us to think that we are little gods unto ourselves, that our behaviour controls God’s response to us.
When we start down that path, the Devil has us for life! Again. Until Jesus saves us again!
God’s reality is that BECAUSE God chooses (fill in whatever God chooses) THEREFORE we are blessed (and can think, say, or do whatever, or receive or fill in whatever blessing you want to include.
God’s reality is only God can choose to bless us. And we can only choose to refuse it. As we embrace God’s blessings it is only because the Holy Spirit moves us to do so.
The kind of religion that says we have to earn our way to God is as meaningless as counting backwards from ten. The best result is we end up unconscious. Anything else is painful to watch or experience.
God’s Grace though changes the whole world, from church being a social club with great language, coffee and tax deductions, to church being a calling to be more than we ever thought we could be, bringing abundant life to others in need.
After God acts, and we respond, then life lets loose, and our tasks vary according to our gifts and jobs and time. For now that will be a photo to share, occasionally. I get to create, you get to enjoy the result (or not.) Regardless whether we survive Covid 19 or not, we will all eventually die … for now the challenge is to be better than the best we imagined we could be. Pure of heart and obedient are just starters.