Thursday, April 13, 2006

God's Grace and LIFE

Why is it that God's grace so often amazes us less then it should? We do we often settle for the trite things of life over the greatness, majesty and beauty of God?

I went on a missions trip last week to Waveland, MS, and the devastation is still VERY visible. People are still living in trailers. Homes are either wiped out completely or unable to be lived in. Unfortunately, for some, the major lesson they learned was that they might get a bigger home! Again, people's natural tendency is to seek for the things in life as opposed to God. But Jesus turns it all around when He says to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33, ESV).

But how do we seek first the Kingdom? How do we seek His righteousness? What happens when we fail in our seeking? I want you to ponder on some quotes from a book, and then give me your thoughts and/or questions.

"...[The] apostle Paul writes, 'For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do....For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice" (Rom. 7:5,19). Would we have to doubt the reality of Paul's faith because 'disobedience and rebellion continue unabated'?"

"...evidence of the new birth is not whether we are, on the whole, achieving victory at any given point, but whether we are at war!"

"While the regenerate do not cease sinning, they also do not cease hating their sin and struggling to eradicate it. The believer loves God's law because it is written on his or her heart (Jer. 31:33-34), but it is his or her inability to conform perfectly to it that creates this tension in the Christian life, this war within."

"Holiness is not an option for the Christian. But hold on - I can hear the hearts racing: 'Holiness, the impossible dream?' To be sure, 'but with God all things are possible' (Matt. 19:26). Holiness is not an option; it is a requirement. But this is not a threat; it's a promise. What God began he will finish (Phil. 1:6). In Christ we already are holy, righteous, sanctified, reconciled (1 Cor. 1:30). Now we are called to live what we are, not to become what we are not yet."

(quotes taken from Christ the Lord edited by Michael Horton, pp. 49-50, 56)

19 comments:

Luke said...

Its hard to say why God's grace doesnt amaze us more.But often I wish it did amaze me more.I believe the more we relize how bad sin is the more we see the greatness of God's grace. I think Alot of times we see small things that we think will give us instint pleasure and go for it instead of trusting in God and believeing that his way is going to give us much more joy then anything else.To seek first the kingdom of God is something we just cant do on are own we need to just come before God and ask for his help to see how great he is and what hes worth and see how worthless everything else is.When we fail in seeking after God first we often find disapintments if we put are hope in anything else were bound to be disapointed but if are hope is in God we will not be disapointed.And wow if we had to work are way into heaven we would have no hope but sense God sent his son to die on the cross for are sins and then rose from the dead we now as christians have hope because now he sees us as holy and if he sees us as holy why not strive to be holy.

Anonymous said...

i think it is because we take it for granted.
~Anonymous(original)

PT2 said...

Luke,

Thanks so much for your answer! There were a lot of good comments in there. Keep posting. It's an encouragement to me....

Everyone have a great day! See you tonight at the Guys Night Out (as long as Tracy doesn't go to the hospital:)

Anonymous said...

i think that people do not choose god first is because, for these things:
1. they donot want him.
2. just found joy in other things.
3. found out that they have to give up their dreams, for gods dreams.
4. do not want their life ruled by someone else.
5. do not think the christian church is alive, meaning that their is no life to the worship, it just becomes a ritual or a time that we do not think about much.
6. are offended by people of the church, then they sdonot want anything to do with it.
~ Anonymous(original)

AgapeTheologian said...

i think that people do not choose god first is because, for these things:
1. they donot want him.
2. just found joy in other things.
3. found out that they have to give up their dreams, for gods dreams.
4. do not want their life ruled by someone else.
5. do not think the christian church is alive, meaning that their is no life to the worship, it just becomes a ritual or a time that we do not think about much.
6. are offended by people of the church, then they sdonot want anything to do with it.
~ Anonymous(original)



2.Finding joy in other things are not even close to what God has to offer, not saying accept God for joy, but...ya!

3.You do not have to give up your dreams! I still have some instict to become an Navy Seal! If God wants me to become a Navy Seal, I will, but it will be a part of God's purpose! God will change my desires to be better desires then I ever though!

4.God wouldn't be ruler us, we would be wanting to serve God! So, we would want to follow our Master!(WANT)

5. Make worship alive, that goes to a personal...

6. How are you affened? Don't be sensitive! People make fun of each other to show love! Does that make sense? Like I might say PT2 looks funny to his face but he knows I'm kidding because he really is a 'Sexy Beast'!(JUST KIDDINIG)LOL

-Justin

AgapeTheologian said...

ALSO, PT2 said, "The reason why people gave up their dreams is because they realized that there was a greater dream, a greater joy! So, they were willing to give up anything for the greatest of all!!

I would never want to give up something if I knew that it was greater than something else.

God calls us to give up "lesser things" for the greatest - Christ!"

Anonymous said...

i would never want a another dream i like mine!! that is why i think that it can be foolish at times.
~Anonymous(original)

Anonymous said...

well i get offende easily, and that is why sometimes i do no like going ot my church. And also it feels like i donot belong there. What should i do?
~Aonoymous(original)

AgapeTheologian said...

If you like your old life style, if you like continuing in sin, if you enjoy sin(sin is fun), if you don't want REAL joy, then serve Satan some more!

You may want that stuff now, but if you surrender ALL, it will be so much better! God will set you free!(John 8:32)

Anonymous said...

i like my life as it is, calvinism is just too confussing. I think that you seriously do not know if you are saved or not until you get to heaven, it is just like a presidental election.
~Anonymous(original)

Barbara said...

Hi All: I would like to quote some things from a book by (yes) an old dead guy, Jeremiah Burroughs
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. He says we must learn how to know our own hearts well, to be good students of our own hearts.By studying your heart you will come soon to discover wherein your discontent lies. As we seek first the kingdom of God, we need to root out discontent. If we don't search our hearts and something "bad" happens - we do not know how to handle it - or to realize that God brought it to us for a specific reason. Our hearts are as a watch, and there are many wheels and windings and turnings there, and we should labor to know our hearts well, that when they are out of tune, we may know what is the matter. Burroughs refers to the heart as a book, and that it should be the second book we know the best, the Bible being the first. Holiness is an overwhelming concept, but by God's grace everyday is a new opportunity to grow in it.

PT2 said...

Barb,

Thanks for your comments. One question though (and this isn't just directed towards you), "When does 'knowing our heart well' become simply a 'morbid introspection'?" What I mean is, "At what point do we search our hearts so much that we end up missing the point and taking our eyes off of the gospel?"

Anonymous said...

can you explain that pt2?
~Anonymous(original)

Barbara said...

PT: I guess that is why the Bible is first book we should know the best-not so much a constant looking inside our hearts - but when we pray - do we search our hearts to see what is there that needs to be dealt with. And what is God's word telling us to replace it with.

Anonymous said...

hi this conversation is way over my head!!
~Anonymous(original)

PT2 said...

Anonymous,

Sorry that's it "over your head". These are just some questions that I have. If you have any more questions about what I asked, just let me know (via e-mail or talk to me).

AspiringTheologian said...

PT2,

Just wondering if you had seen my last response to your post on my blog, and was wondering if you agree/disagree, etc.

Hope I didn't chase you off!

Your brother in Christ,
Aspiring Theologian

AgapeTheologian said...

PT2 and AspiringTheologian,


where is your guys post and reply? I didn't see it under the calvinism section?


Thanks,


-Agape

AgapeTheologian said...

Nevermind, I found it!


-Agape