2009-08-08 - The Love of God: 1
Deuteronomy 4:29, "Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and their sons forever!"
We are lumps of ingratitude. We are often ungrateful to our friends here on earth but we are even more ungrateful to our true Friend above. Even when God's grace has changed our heart we are often less than grateful but certainly before our hearts are transformed by the power of the Gospel, we live, or lived, as those who did not show proper regard to our best Friend. Our Friend in heaven who sustains and loves us, even when we are reckless and unlovable. One of the changes that takes place in the life and heart of the follower of Christ, from what he/she once was, is that they render thanks back to the Lord for His mercies. We know that Jesus changes lives. Our giving thanks to the Lord for His provisions in our lives is one way we see that change in us. "I have loved you," Says the Lord. The Christian responds, "Oh, and how I know it. All I have and all I am, is only by Your kindness." The unbelieving heart says, 'How have You loved me?' "(Malachi 1:2)
We tend to take more credit than we deserve from our actions. Let us suppose an instance when you notice a friend who is walking on the road, far from home, as you drive past. So you stop and find out that three miles back their car has broken down and they are walking for help. Of course you give them a ride and stay with them until the car is towed to the shop. You give the auto repair place owner your credit card number and say, "My friend has been having a rough go of it lately. Whatever it costs to fix the car, put it on my card." And so it goes. Have you done anything really? I would suggest the answer is yes, and no, but mostly no. You have been a channel of blessing, yes, and you didn't have to do that. It was kind and gracious of you. In some sense you have bestowed blessing upon your friend. However, where did the money come from to give to your friend? How did you come to have a car to pick up your friend at all? Where did the ultimate kindness spring from which led you to do such things? I would suggest that all these things come from the true giver of all blessings, God Himself. He first gave to you which allowed you to have the blessing of being a blessing to another.
Of course we find God's ultimate blessings in Christ. All blessings "usward" flow from Christ unto us. He is the one who is the fountain of all blessings and we see it most in His atonement for sin on the cross. Have we really considered the amazing reality of sin forgiven? Have you ever sat down, recounted your many sins, recounted that your sins are so many that you cannot come close to remembering them all, and then contemplated the truth respecting each and every sin that comes to mind? "Paid in full by Jesus Christ on the cross!" It is worth taking a moment and doing. For the one trusting in Christ, all sins famous sins (big sins), or quiet sins of the heart all sins are covered by the blood of Christ for those who trust Him. It is a radical claim but it is the claim that the Bible makes throughout. It is the summary of all of God's Word to say: "There is forgiveness from your sins and that forgiveness is found in Jesus Christ. If you come to Him in faith, He will give you His mercy."
Soli Deo Gloria,