So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Cinderella and the Amazing Pumpernickle Dragster...

Well, I finally moved into my place. I'm living in a basement suite with one of my best friends and I'm unpacking right now...well, I'm procrastinating on unpacking right now. None the less, I'm pretty pleased with how things are going right now. I got all my stuff outa my previous residence and I survived moving on the coldest day of the year; the thermometer registered -35 yesterday night when we were unloading the u-haul. Among all the packing and unpacking though, I found myself pondering the grace of God as manifest in my miniscule spiritual discipline. As I packed my boxes and unpacked my boxes, I was thinking of how many times Israel did the same. Over the Old Testament, they were constantly packing and unpacking; they set up altars to the Lord, then tore them down and replaced them with Asherah poles and Baal's stones, then eventually repented and tore those down only to replace them with altars for the Lord again. We see that pattern happen a few times over the reigns of the kings of Israel, during the captivity and finally again after the second exodus. Even so, I'm a worse offender in that respect, with my attention and devotion often waivering and being offered to other, lesser idols, and that sometimes on a daily basis. In the cold, I was reminded at how God's grace is so stalwart and efficacious because of it's immutable root. God saves us not because it makes us look good, but because it makes him look good; it only shows forth his saving grace, mercy, and magnifies his sovereign electing choice:

"For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. " (1 Samuel 12:22)

"...he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Ps. 23:3)

"Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake." (Psalm 79:9)

"For your name's sake, O LORD , preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. " (Psalm 143:11)

"For my own name's sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. " (Isaiah 48:9-11)

"You will know that I am the LORD , when I deal with you for my name's sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD." (Ezekiel 20:44)

"Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. " (Romans 1:5)

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:11)

" Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad–in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls–she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. " (Romans 9:10-18)

Only in this context can Paul write:

" What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I am such a foolish donkey, but good thing God's salvation plan in untouchable. I'm so thankful that God doesn't give me room to screw things up. Until the next time,

The Armchair Theologian

1 Comments:

Blogger Yosemite Sam said...

God and your roommate are awesome!

Yosemite Sam

P.S. ........toi aussi.

7:43 PM

 

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