Big Sky: Day 5

dsc04742.jpgThe photo to the right is courtesy of God in his incredible handiwork at Yellowstone National Park… and some strange, but friendly, guy who took the picture for us.

I didn’t post anything yesterday about Halloween and Christians because, frankly, I think it’s a silly issue. Take that to mean whatever you like. Here’s something I think is worth thinking and talking about at length:

I struggle with believing that God has enough grace to cover me.

I continue to sin. Some of the ways I sin have persisted for years. Often times, when I pray for genuine repentance and for forgiveness I have a very hard time believing that God will grant it. Why would he? Who (even God) would continue to forgive someone for committing the same offense against him again and again and again. At some point, one would think that the damage to the relationship has been done and the offender and offended must necessarily part ways.

Our relationship with God, again and again in Scripture, is portrayed as a marriage involving a groom (Christ) and a bride (his people). The book of Hosea, for example (and Hosea’s marriage, for that matter), is intended to demonstrate that we are an unfaithful bride, and that our disobedience to God is tantamount to adultery. Now just think on this for a moment: I cannot conceive of any husband who would endure being made a cuckold again and again and again by an unfaithful wife – especially a wife who is so outrageous as to have the audacity to say that she loves him, and to sing to him that he is beautiful and glorious and all-satisfying, and is her only desire. Who could possibly repeatedly forgive such a spouse?

This passage from Communion with the Triune God was comforting to me this morning:

“When [Christ in] his humanity is inseparably united to the infinite, inexhaustible fountain of the Deity, who can look into the depths thereof? If, now, there be grace enough for sinners in an all-sufficient God, it is [also] in Christ… . If all the world [were to]…set themselves to drink free grace, mercy, and pardon, drawing water continually from the wells of salvation; if they should set themselves to draw from one single promise—an angel standing by and crying, ‘Drink, O my friends, yea, drink abundantly. Take as much grace and pardon as shall be abundantly sufficient for the world of sin which is in every one of you”—they would not be able to sink the grace of the promise one hair’s breadth. There is enough for millions of worlds, if they [exist], because it flows…from an infinite, bottomless fountain.

This infiniteness of grace, in respect of its spring and fountain, will answer all objections that might hinder our souls from drawing nigh to communion with him, and from a free embracing of him. Will not this suit us in all our distresses? What is our finite guilt before it? Show me the sinner that can spread his iniquities to the dimensions…of this grace. Here is mercy enough for the greatest, the oldest, the most stubborn transgressor.” (161-2).

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2 thoughts on “Big Sky: Day 5”

  1. This really struck me-

    “Will not this suit us in all our distresses? What is our finite guilt before it? Show me the sinner that can spread his iniquities to the dimensions…of this grace. Here is mercy enough for the greatest, the oldest, the most stubborn transgressor.”

    for me the question is not CAN God give us grace but WHY would he?

  2. As I sat at the cafe this morning, skipping a presentation on the Gospel because I had a few too many last night and wasn’t disciplined enough to get up, I wondered some of those same questions… sulking in my own perpetual sins, hoping for God’s seemingly perpetual grace to change me… clean me up… wondering if and when that grace could possibly run out.

    I asked God why he would even take the time to hold me up? To work with me through my sin? To give me that undeserved grace? To call me son? To call me His beloved? Why? I was led to read Ecclesiastes… some believe it is King Solomon’s book of repentance… whatever the case, it gave me hope… no matter how much I grasp the Gospel, no matter how much I study the word of God… I am still a sinner. God, by way of Paul calls us righteous, denoting us as Saints, but God through Solomon in Ecl 7:20 tells us “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”

    I found comfort in that, but also know that doesn’t give me authority to sin, but gives me understanding that God realizes I will sin. Through realizing sin, I should experience conviction, through that should be lead to repentance, and through that should find union again with God, for a Christian that just seems like the natural flow of things. But why do I know it will happen again? Why do I know I am going to mess up with those same sins yet again?

    Your notes from Owen were deeply helpful showing that God’s grace is so bountiful that it is absolutely impossible for that grace to avoid those that are truly in Christ, no matter how much we try to avoid it, conviction will come, grace will be given, and reunion with God will be certain as we climb through life and our seemingly perpetual sins… picking up God’s undeserved perpetual grace until we shut the box and go. Hope the last day of your trip is going well.

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