Grace Upon Grace

Yesterday I had the privilege and honor of attending the wedding of the son of one of my dearest friends.  It was a very precious occasion for all of us.  You see my dear friend was there, the mother of the groom, and it was only by God’s great grace that she was there.  When the bride and groom took time to hug and acknowledge their parents during the ceremony, my heart was so full of rejoicing for them.  All praises to God in heaven for life and mercy and His great grace.

In just a few months I will be attending the wedding of the son of another dear friend of mine.  Their new daughter-in-law just tragically lost her father in a farming accident.  Months before this man was to walk his precious child down the aisle and give her to her groom, God’s sovereign grace allowed his life on this fallen earth to be ended.

These are the difficult life events that cause so many people to have little to no faith in our great God.

The seeming injustice and lack of concern for our sufferings make them doubt His goodness.

As we all know this life is hard and it is certainly not fair – nor would we want it to be.  Because, you see, our God is a just God.

The only thing that any of us deserves is to spend an eternity in hell – that is fairness.  That is justice.  There is NOTHING we can do to prevent this.  Nothing.  It is what we deserve.  It is what we have earned.  None of us can live a perfect life.  Even the best of us is still a sinner – in the same legal condition as the worst of us; damned.

God’s word tells us that we are all born into a sinful nature – and you all know that there has never been, nor will there ever be, a two year-old whom we have had to teach how to be bad.  They have that part down.  We must teach them how to do good – even when they want to do bad.

So we must start with the right understanding about who we are and who God is.

God is good and just and holy and pure.  He alone is worthy of worship and praise.

We are all sinners headed to hell.  Every last one of us.

YET IN GOD’S GREAT MERCY, HE CHOOSES TO SAVE SOME OF US.  He wants to save all of us, but many people choose not to be saved; “Thanks, but no thanks.  I’ve got this.”  In fact, God has made provisions to save all of us, but He leaves that choice up to us.  Not one person can enter hell rightly saying that it was God’s doing that put them there.

Now that we understand our predicament, we can more easily see God’s righteousness.  He does care about our sufferings.  He hates sin.  He has put together a plan to build a kingdom that is empty of sin and suffering.  We are living out our lives in the midst of this plan.  He knows our sufferings and offers us His peace and comfort through them.  He is working to make us like Jesus.  He is molding our character, using suffering as a tool in this process.  What is meant for evil, He will use for the good of those who love Him.

None of us is promised a tomorrow.  We only get to live one day at a time until God says our lives have come to their end.  Yet we all feel entitled to a long life of pleasure and plenty.  And when we don’t receive it we turn to God with fists raised and blame Him for something He never said we were to have – as if He is the one who is unjust.

Knowing that we came from dust and will one day (maybe today) will return to dust, and knowing that God loves us and wants to be with us for an eternity and has planned a way for us to exchange our sinful lives for the holy righteousness that Jesus Christ died to give us – salvation – ought to fill our hearts with joyful thanksgiving and deep abiding gratitude.  You see, God is the only one who can raise up your dead body out of that grave.  Let Him, I beg of you, let Him.

It is a simple confession of sin and belief in Jesus as the one who died for your sins to offer you eternal salvation and eternal life in heaven with God – saving you from an eternity in hell.  I’m a sinner in need of a Savior.  God is good.  Jesus died for me.  Ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life.  Surrender your will to His will.  Seek Him and see what great, abundant grace He has for you.  Then you will be able to praise Him when this life is done – when you suffer – when you experience loss.  Then you will be able to be content regardless of your earthly circumstances.

God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good.  You and I (no matter how righteous we want to think we are) are not.  Yet God loves us enough to declare us righteous based on the work that He has done through His Son Jesus Christ.  It is entirely unfair.  It is entirely merciful.  It is entirely God’s goodness, and I for one am eternally grateful.  Press on!

 

 

 

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