Sunday, July 14, 2013
Another Day of Grace along God's Path..
This is absolutely one of my favorite Bible verses. Let's face it, I walk to the beat of a different drummer. At the time of my engagement and marriage nearly 29 years ago, I had in my desk drawers not address labels, but labels imprinted with this very verse. I decided to stick this label, carrying this verse, to the back of our wedding invitations.
I believed that God would show me the path to joy, if only I could get to know Him somehow...
I struggled with believing that He was a good God. Why did I have to take that anthropology class in class in college and listen to a sneering, sinister laugh from my professor while my belief in Christianity was nearly snuffed out in a single lecture? I sat in tears in the University library while my fiancé tried to put his Humpty Dumpty wife-to-be back together again. If it was like that back in the 80's, it is probably ten times worse now. Pray for college-age kids, they are under assault like never before. (Watch the movie Expelled with Ben Stein for a real eye-opener at what is being taught these days.)
I wondered about all those people who had never heard the gospel. Like the Native Americans for instance. But my worries and (the creases in my forehead) were due to my own ignorance of the Scripture. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for this same thing,
"But Jesus answered them, 'You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.'" Matthew 22: 29
I didn't need to worry about those who had not heard the gospel. For it implied that I did not trust that God loved all mankind, that if He was so kind and gracious to send His own beloved Son for every single one of them, would He not make a way for them to believe on Him if they were positively inclined in their hearts? I was living in unbelief, as a believer! Ouch! No wonder I was miserable.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Romans chapter 1. But again, I was ignorant of the Scripture.
"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and Divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1: 19-20
and David, in the Psalms:
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge." Psalm 19: 1-2
But God knew that in spite of the fact that I wanted to know Him, He also knew that there was no way I could find that path to life on my own. Well, those little old invitations were sent, and shortly after that God used that man I married to point me to the way of grace, to point me to what Hebrews 10: 20-23 says is:
a "new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water...
Since then, I have had two choices, two pathways. One is the old pathway of looking back with un-forgiveness toward others, regrets, anger at my own bad choices etc. ad-nauseum. The other path is to Seek First the Kingdom of God.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6: 33
I want to keep choosing the latter. The Grace Path that Leads to Life, provided freely to me, but highly expensive to the One who offered it.
For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
II Corinthians 5: 21