Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Friday, June 22, 2012

What is the Church? Grace

"During the last year or so I've come to know and understand more and more the profound this-worldliness of Christianity. The Christian is not a homo religiosus, but simply a man, as Jesus was a man...I don't mean the shallow and banal this-worldliness of the enlightened, the busy, the comfortable, or the lascivious, but the profound worldliness, characterized by discipline and the constant knowledge of death and resurrection." Bonhoeffer

The reality of this world is it's utter dependency on God. Even in life and more profoundly because of life we need God. Life begins and subsequently ends ... death is imminent. From this promise of death and a life lived under it's threat we need salvation. That is the ultimate reality.

Salvation and resurrection are the product of grace.

Romans 4:16, "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all..."

"Thus justification is by faith, in order that its purely gracious character may be seen, and that all who follow in the steps of Abraham's faith ... may be assured of the like justification with the parent believer."

Ephesians 1:6, "... we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace..."

"It may not be given to every man to enter into the fullness of the promises of God, but it is given to live with such fidelity and service that he will bring nearer the day when others will enter into it." (William Barclay)

We never make a decision without it having a consequence, the same can be said for inactivity.

I find it appalling the state of the Church in this Western world,
We have comforts beyond compare, yet we toss Pastors and Lay Leaders aside like Tim Horton's coffee cups, strewing their lives, education and  calling down the ditch like grounds..
We have embittered and 'suffering' people in our churches who are nonetheless refusing to enter and find the solace that is to be found in the deep deep love of God. Their faithlessness is astounding, their refusal is bewildering.
We have people who are rich beyond the dreams of 80% of the world's population, that fret over their finances and fail to understand a provisional God and in that they see no value in participating with the Church through their tithe. These are the same people who seem to have little or no grasp on what faith and the love of God actually mean in a personal context.
We have those who sit perched on the edge of their pews waiting for the wrong word to be used, anticipating a poorly turned phrase, screaming heretic and blasphemy, but are unable to forgive a wrong done to them 20 years ago, or forget that so-and-so said ...
We have those who wish to be waited on hand-and-foot expecting respect, reverence and privilege, yet when the call comes for workers to reach out into a community, they cross there arms and lay claim to an excuse or reason out their inactivity.

There are many among us who live a 'graceless' life, it is even more ironic those who are invested in our Churches who live that same way.

Throughout life there are conflicts, decisions will be made, questionable though they may be, we must do with what God gives us. There will be times appointed and choices of the heart which will be in opposition, there will be times when the wind blows contrary to our direction. May resentment be replaced with the grace and wisdom to know that God is God and nothing exists apart from Him. May grace allow and enable you to follow as straight a course as possible and accept in grace what God has given.

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