Sunday, September 2, 2012

To The Praise Of His Glorious Grace

Imagine if we got what we deserved.

I don't mean for the bits that people see. Hey any of us can put on a good show. I mean, imagine if we got what we deserved for what we whisper behind closed doors or keep shut away in our heart or allow to take up residency in our thinking. Imagine that, thought police.

I am in no way saying that we can always stop a thought. Sometimes those things flash across before we realize what we are even thinking. But, we can prevent it from taking root.

"What a stupid and ignorant thing for that idiot to say ... but Lord I have been an idiot myself at times. Forgive me. In your authority I will love this person."

Sound corny? Maybe but we need a little more discipline in our thinking as well as our emotions.

Yes, the same thing happens in our emotions. We can't always prevent the emotion from entering in but we can certainly stop it from building a nest there.

"Ah, he makes me so angry when he does that I could hate him ... but I know there are people I make angry as well Lord. I am sure I have made you angry. But you forgave me and chose to love me. I set aside this emotion and choose to follow you Jesus. I will love just like you."

Dumb scenario, I know, but it makes my point. We can put on a show and convince everyone we are a lovely person but inside be filled with ugliness. Jesus told us it is not good enough not to murder. We have to be changed, transformed so that there is no longer a nest for hatred in our hearts. He said it is not good enough not to have sex out side of marriage. He said we can't even have those thoughts in our head. We need transformation.

Imagine if we got what we deserved.

Perhaps now you can start appreciating the blessing of God's grace. Some may think they can live a good life without Jesus but God also judges the thoughts and emotions of a person. Scary, eh? This is why God's grace, receiving the forgiveness we don't deserve, the blessings we have not earned, is a thing that provokes us to such depths of worship:

... to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:6)

I love that: To the praise of his glorious grace!

I tell you today, I am praising our Father with great love and enthusiasm because of this grace. As bad as my actions were, my thoughts and emotions were far worse. Oh the things I have thought and allowed to build mansions where they did not belong and the emotions I have allowed to send roots down to such great depths. I deserve God's judgement and wrath. But it is not going to happen. It's not going to happen because Jesus saved me.

Oh, imagine if I got what I deserved ... but it's not going to happen ... to the praise of the Father's glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Think about what you have thought and what you have felt. Now remember the words of Jesus when we spoke against such things. Think about your rebellion against God. Now think of the cross. Think of the Spirit. Think of God's love and now feel the embrace of his grace.

Does it not make the praise on your lips that much sweeter today?

Look up!

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