Docstoc

But doesn't God owe me

Document Sample
But doesn't God owe me Powered By Docstoc
					But doesn’t God owe me ?
I’ve given my heart to Jesus and I love God I attend Church and I’m active in the Choir and in Sunday School I read my Bible and pray I help others, give money, and have been used to win a soul or two But, my marriage is failing and my children are going astray I struggle to make ends meet It seems that there is just one sickness after another I have at least the following three questions: (1) Doesn’t God owe me ? (2) Where are His blessings ? (3) I’ve been told that God is in control, if this is true then must I assume that all this is His will for me ? O God keep me from presumptuous sins (Psa. 19:13) Whatever we lack concerning the truth about God we have a tendency to make up for by presuming things about Him. These may be our own presumptions or those we have picked up from other Christians. The answer to the first question, doesn’t God owe me, is actually no and we should perhaps be glad that it is no for otherwise we would still be under the law and not under grace. The answer to the question, doesn’t He want to bless me as one of His children, is yes, more than we will ever know. He that spared not His only son but delivered Him up for us, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things (Rom. 8:32). Just like salvation, however, all of God’s blessings can only be received as free gifts and only in the way that He has prescribed. Our ignorance of that way can be disastrous; He Himself says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). God’s blessings are not based on merit None of us came into the Kingdom of God based upon merit. Whatever good deeds (if any) we may have done before being born again contributed nothing towards our salvation, because salvation is a free gift that comes exclusively by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). In the same manner, now that we are Christians, God does not provide for our needs because of or as a reward for what we do (our works). So winning others
1

to Christ and discipling believers, even though both are highly pleasing to God, do not place an obligation on God to bless us in other areas of our life. If they did then His blessings would no longer be free, they would be based upon merit and could be earned couldn’t they? Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (Rom. 4:4) The world works on a debt basis, but God works on a gift basis. Making the presumption that God owes us because of what we’ve done is not based upon the truth of the Bible. This presumption will inevitably lead to many great disappointments, and worse, it will seriously warp and undermine our understanding of God and His goodness. The new covenant is all about Grace Consider the new covenant between God and man, a covenant that we entered into when we received Jesus. It is not a covenant based upon the merit of our works, but it is a covenant based entirely on the free gift of Grace. Romans 11:6 says: And if by grace, then it is no longer of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, then it is no longer grace, otherwise work is no longer work. All God’s blessings come exclusively and freely by Grace alone. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says: And God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things may abound unto every good work. And to whom does God give this abundance of grace ? “He gives more grace … to the humble” (Jam. 4:6). What then (or who) is Grace ? The Greek word for Grace is Charis. Strong’s concordance in part defines this as “the divine influence on the heart and its reflection in the life”. Now we know that when God by His Spirit breathes life into His written word it becomes His Living Word. As His Living Word is imparted to and influences our hearts we know that this is how He conforms our lives to the image of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:6, Rom. 8:29, 2 Cor. 3:18).
2

It would seem that the above definition of Grace exactly parallels the way in which God’s Living Word works. We could then say that Grace in fact is God’s Living Word imparted to my heart. …And I commend you to God and to the word of His grace (Acts 20:32) But since the impartation of God’s Living Word to my heart conforms me to Jesus Christ or produces Christ in me, we may truly say that Grace is Jesus Christ. And of His fullness have we all received, and grace for grace (John 1:16) … Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17) Not surprisingly almost every letter in the New Testament begins and ends with a reference to the “Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ”. No wonder we sing “Grace that is greater than all my sin” and “mercy there was great and Grace was free, at Calvary”. The more Grace a person receives the more of God’s Living Words reside in that persons’ heart and the more of Jesus Christ abides in that person. The blessings of God are directly linked to the proportion of Grace that we have allowed God to impart to our spirits. That is to say the amount of scripture (written words brought to life by the Holy Spirit) that we have allowed God to write in our hearts. Romans 5:17: “…They which receive abundance of Grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one Christ Jesus (the Living Word)”. How do we access and receive this abundance of Grace ? God is able (and wants) to make all Grace abound towards you and me so that we can have all sufficiency of all things so that we may abound unto every good work. He desires to make more and more of His words (His promises) come alive to us so that they can be written in our hearts. His destiny for us is that Jesus Christ should be fully formed in us (Gal. 4:19, Eph. 4:13). As daily He breathes life into a portion of scripture by His Holy Spirit, when do these now Living Words (Grace) get written in our hearts ? When we believe them.
3

Romans 5:2 says: “…we have access by faith into this grace…” Romans 4:16 says: “Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace…” Our walk with Christ began by Grace through faith, we read or heard God’s words of life (the Gospel) and for the first time in our lives we believed them (being born again … by the word of God – 1 Pet. 1:23). Our walk with Christ can only continue by Grace through faith, by having an inner ear to hear as the Holy Spirit breathes life into more of His Word, which He speaks to our spiritman, and as we receive them by faith they are written into our hearts. Even this faith though is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God lest we should boast (Eph, 2:8 & 9). How do we get this faith How do we get this faith that Galatians 2:20 describes as the faith of Jesus Christ ? The Bible identifies three ways by which we receive this “faith of God” (Mark 11:22 marginal translation – Schofield bible). 1 Corinthians 12:9: Galatians 5:22: Romans 10:17: “To another faith by the same Spirit,…” “The fruit of the Spirit is .. faith…” “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”.

Clearly, our ability to receive with our spirits and to believe Gods words as He speaks them to us and so be able to access His abundance of Grace, is itself a gift from God. It stems from both having the fullness of a relationship with the Holy Spirit from whom the gift of faith and the fruit of faith are imparted, and maintaining a tender heart that can hear when He speaks through His word. The Father’s desire is that all His children should abound in Grace so that we are fully equipped to do the work of the ministry or in other words it is no longer us doing it but Christ living in us (Gal. 2:20). What about the question of God being in control ? Let’s just think about it, God in His sovereignty created us on earth with a free will and the right to exercise that will either in line with or in opposition to God’s own will. He says “I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life (and blessing) – Deut. 30:19. If God were in absolute
4

control of all events on earth, then in effect God would have decreed them and there would be no such thing as free will. That this was not the case can be immediately seen in the lives of Adam and Eve. God told them not to do something, following some trickery by the enemy of God, Adam and Eve exercised their free will and did what God told them not to do. Clearly God was not in control. Neither has He been in control of every despicable thing that has happened in the human race since then, from Cain to Hitler. We need to distinguish between two kingdoms that are in total conflict. There is the Kingdom of God where our heavenly Father rules. There is also the kingdom of darkness where the “god of this world” Satan rules (Mat. 12:26, 2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 6:12, Col. 1:13). We all once belonged to the kingdom of darkness and were by nature the enemies of God living virtually entirely outside of His control (Eph. 2:2&3). When we became Christians we became citizens of the Kingdom of God. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we always live in the Kingdom of God. Romans 14:17 states that “The Kingdom of God is … in the Holy Spirit”. To the extent then that we are led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14) and therefore are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28), we remain in the Kingdom of God and under its provision and protection. This is when the promise that all things are working together for our good applies (Rom. 8:28). When we are not acknowledging God in all of our ways (Prov. 3:6) but are self ruled and not submitted to His will nor led by His Spirit we fall back under the influence of the kingdom of darkness. The ruler of that kingdom, Satan, comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) whatever he can in our lives. If we let him, by remaining outside of the kingdom of God through ignorance and or disobedience, while it is totally against the loving wishes of our heavenly Father who wants to bless us, our free will choices will prevail and the consequences will be our responsibility. The fact that God’s will is not being done on earth is also clearly evident from the Lord’s prayer isn’t it ? We are to pray daily “Thy Kingdom come (and grow) Thy will be done on earth (and specifically in this situation and in that situation) as it is in heaven”. If God’s will were going to be done anyway regardless of our prayer (which is the dangerous presumption that is made in fatalism) then this part of the Lord’s Prayer becomes quite meaningless and irrelevant. Nothing Jesus said was irrelevant.

5


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:18
posted:1/30/2010
language:English
pages:5
Lingjuan Ma Lingjuan Ma
About