Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Puzzle I'm Working On

I have a puzzle I'm working on in my brain. I know that God is love, He is good, He loves Jesus with a perfect love; I know that God loved us and sent His Son; that while we were yet sinners, yet helpless, yet enemies of Christ, Christ died for us; I know that we do nothing good of our own strength, that we are like sheep that have gone astray, that our righteous deeds are like filthy rags, that our default tendency is unfaithfulness to Him; that we deserve nothing good but only punishment in hell.
I know that Jesus says that "Who of you, being evil, when his son asks for a loaf of bread will give him a stone?" And yet we, before our world even exists, are God's gift to His only-begotten Son. A gift for whom Jesus will give His life, and who He will purify and complete, and then He will take us as His bride for all eternity. How and why all this works together, how we being so lousy work into God's perfect and holy plan, I can't comprehend.
Jesus starts out with us being worthless in terms of His kingdom view. I understand that. While we are awaiting heaven, He refines us, teaches us, helps us, grows us. I think that we are not saved and valued because of what we are when we are saved but what we will summarily be by the time we reach heaven. Not that heaven is about us, but that we will rejoice in Him and glorify Him, and understand how great He is and what He has done for us. He did it for us, but ultimately to bring glory to Himself.

He values us enough that He tells the story of the prodigal son and the story of the woman and the lost coin and the story of the shepherd with 99 sheep accounted for who goes to look for the one who is lost...He makes sure we understand that He wants us to be with Him. He has gone to great lengths for us!
Still, it's mind-boggling. How did God devise this idea? I sure wish I had a peek into His thinking, not how He knew the end result, but why He would dream up such a complicated means of achieving that perfect result, knowing that so many would be cast into hell in the process and that so relatively few would be saved.
And still again, I am so thankful to be part of it, not because of any worthiness of mine but only of His. Wow! He is so great, so beyond my imagining.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

To See as God Sees!

This morning I was lamenting in my mind having IM'd the night before with a scintillating friend and realizing by the end of it that I sounded so lacking discipline, so inadequate, so boring...and again, on the heels of these thoughts, of course God's hope shone through. He loves me. Why, I have no idea. I am inadequate in every way, and nothing I do to try to change it makes it better! But He loves me, even though He is all-knowing. That is incomprehensible! What a great love and compassion He has. Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
If He loves me even so, I ought to see through those things that would be barriers to loving others, and love them in spite of their frailties, in view of my own, and because God loves them too. Lord, help me. I want to see them like God sees me.
When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of my guilt within, Upward I look, and see Him there, Who made an end of all my sin.
Because my sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free,
For God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me. (From "Before the Throne of God Above" by Charitie Lees Bancroft and Vikki Cook.)