Monday, March 31, 2014

Humble Pie

How can I say this? I am trying to be as polite and thoughtful as I can. Ok, here we go - The Lord does not need you. I did not say the Lord does not want you. I did not say that the Lord did not choose you in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world. I did not say that the Lord does not love you - He sent His own Son to die for you - and to cleanse you from your sins individually. But it is important for you to know, that if you decide not to respond to His love, God will still be God and He will get along in eternity just fine.

As John the Baptist was preaching and baptizing, several Pharisees and Sadducees came from Jerusalem to hear his message. They were not doing so in order to hear truth and engage in personal reflection, but rather, they wanted to discredit him. So John told them, "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones'" (Luke 3:8). These "religious giants" needed a nice big slice of humble pie. Somehow they had become so confident in their personal performance of the Law of Moses, they probably thought they were doing God a favor. John was telling them to get over themselves.

It took me too long in ministry to figure out that I am nothing and that God is everything. What a dangerous path we begin to go down when we start believing that somehow we are divine! Paul understood. He looked at his past life and said he was the chief of sinners. He looked at the grace of God and said that grace made him who he was in Christ. We need to remember every day that Jesus died for us, and that without His sacrifice we would be eternally lost. This keeps us humble, and helps us appreciate God's goodness in the face of our disobedience.

When Mordecai approach Esther about going before the king, he told her that deliverance for the Jews was coming, whether she decided to be a part of it or not. I have thought a great deal about that in the last three years. The church is going to heaven, whether I am going or not. The gospel will be preached, whether I preach it or not. Goodness and kindness will exist in this world on some level until Jesus comes, whether I am good or kind or I am not. The Bible will overcome every opposing attack upon it, whether I defend the Bible or not. God will be loved, glorified, praised, and will remain the supreme and sovereign God, whether I decided to fully submit to Him or not.

These facts are what make being a Christian and having the privilege and opportunity to serve in His kingdom so amazing. We are so unworthy of such a blessing. We are simply stones. God has created the material universe, including the human race in His own image with nothing more than the sound of His voice. We are just rocks! But God can do incredible things with rocks!

“So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” ~ Luke 17:10

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