Saturday, April 18, 2009

Because He First Loved Me

Genesis 15:3-7

I'm reading history lately and simultaneously learning more about doctrine--specifically the election of believers. I used to get angry about this because it seemed so unfair to me. Now that I'm letting my personal "will" go, it just makes sense now that my salvation has come from God choosing me and loving me...not from me deciding one day that I want to love Him. Because I simply can't do that on my own.

Abram was from Noah's lineage. God chose Noah to save from the earth's destruction. Noah was not perfect at all; God chose him simply because He wanted to. And this is what made Noah righteous. So then Noah had Shem, and Shem had Terah, and Terah had Abram. So this is how Abram came into the light to be blessed by God. It is nothing Abram has done or even deserved. It was purely because God wanted to bless him. I see this especially when God gently reminds Abram that He brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give him land to possess. In response to this, Abram worships God and sacrifices to Him repeatedly. But he does not get the possessions as a merit system for how well he sacrificed to God.

I think of my own life...and I am getting it more. Let me explain.

Abram's promise from God is that he will have offspring (even though he has none and is already getting up in years) and that they will be blessed, even generations to come. I am technically (biologically) offspring of a people who do not know God, who do not fear God and love Him and serve Him. By birth, I was damned. That's the DNA that knit me together.

And I didn't have a single thing to do with that.

But...God had a different plan. I know I'm no Noah, but isn't it similar in that God intervened and made a choice to reroute the path I was on? The path Noah was on was going to lead to drowning because God was about to flood the earth.

But He chose to save Noah.

The bible doesn't say that Noah petitioned to God to be rescued. He didn't even know of the impending disaster until God had already chosen to spare him.

Likewise, as a baby, I didn't know of the sin into which I was born (nor do any of us). Had I been left in that family, my chances for meeting Christ would have been far less. I just know this and believe it deeply. I know how children are because I have two, and I know that they must be taught to serve the Lord--it will NEVER come naturally. Even if the parents don't teach them, if they ever do learn to serve God, rest assured that someone taught them.

But God moved in my life and set the path for me to be adopted into an environment where I would hear about Christ and I could believe in Him! I did not choose that family--He did! This is overwhelming to me, in a wonderful way. That I, who was nobody, could be chosen and loved by the God of the universe so intimately, and that He would alter the course of my life this dramatically so that I would meet Him...for no other reason than that He loves me. Wow.

And I didn't have a single thing to do with that.

This is one of the hardest things to explain about faith, for me. It's so complicated, so intricately woven together, that there aren't really adequate words to do it justice. We are so sinful that there is absolutely no one who is good. Apart from Christ, we are not even capable of any good. Sure, we may do things that are "good" by the world's standards, but God's not impressed. Can a fig tree suddenly sprout pears one day? Of course not. If we are not even capable of good, how could we choose God on our own?

We can't. We simply can't.

God has to intervene and choose life for us...otherwise, we'll choose sin and hell every single time. It's our nature. It's all we know before God transplants us into a new "family."

Thank you, Jesus, for Your grace and mercy in my life. I know I repeat that a lot, but I fully mean it. Thank You for altering my path and coming to my rescue. I think of the blessings that have come out of that, and I cannot even contain them! You are good.

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. Psalm 96:4a

Peace of Christ to you,

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