In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
When we look back over our lives we readily see both the good and the bad things that have come to us. There are few people in the world that haven’t grasped the reality that, in terms of this physical world, we do not possess a guarantee for the good nor immunity from the bad. At the risk of sounding pessimistic, life often seems to be merely a matter of survival. Since we do not know what lies around the next corner, we wonder if we will survive whatever it is that comes our way next?
The long-running and popular reality show, “Survivor,” was filled with this dynamic: Will I survive the next thing that comes at me? Unlike life, the contestants knew that from time to time opportunities would come to win a “guarantee for something good” or an “immunity from something bad.” While we know in our minds that this is not how life works here on earth, we struggle to accept in our hearts. Deep down inside we want God to “guarantee the good” and “grant immunity from the bad.” If you stop and think about it, if the good were guaranteed there would be no bad. On the other hand, if we were immune from the bad, there would only be good. So, let’s just go forward speaking just in terms of our longing for immunity from the bad things of life.
When we allow this longing to dominate us, we gradually lose touch with the fullness of who God really is to us. We become fixated on God being to us our great “Protector” from the bad things of life. This colors everything, so that instead of experiencing God as a spiritual “safe place” in the middle of an unsafe physical world, we keep looking to Him to provide the physical “safe place” in this physical world that we long for. Now God can and does provide “physical protection,” but his priority is “spiritual protection.” The things that are true of God are amazingly suited to the “spiritual protection” he seeks to provide to us. Those who stay in touch with the fullness of who God is, will experience his “spiritual protection” in its fullness. Our goal for this week is this: Becoming ones who fully experience God’s protection by staying in touch with the fullness of who he is.
So, today we are looking at the “protection of God’s grace.” Let’s state today’s Scripture backwards: “According to the riches of God’s grace, we have the forgiveness of our trespasses, because in Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood.” What better place is there to start looking at “spiritual protection,” than looking at God’s grace. God’s grace provides forgiveness of sins through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. Because the forgiveness of redemption is ours, God’s grace protects us forever from the penalty of eternal separation from God. God’s grace “guarantees” heaven and grants “immunity from hell.” Being in the “safe place” of God’s grace is a “safe place” indeed. All the “guarantees” and all the “immunity” that we could possibly possess for having a “safe place” in this physical world amount to nothing compared to the “protection of God’s grace.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I get it: experiencing You as a spiritual “safe place” in the middle of an unsafe physical world is the true priority. But I confess that my longing for immunity from bad things runs deep. Help me to get wrapped up in you and the amazing gift of spiritual protection through your grace. As we go through the week, please teach me how to stay in touch, more than ever before, with the fullness of who you are. Amen!
Posted on Mon, September 12, 2016
by Ken Hart