Debtors to Grace

CBR003000As born again believers, we are quick to acknowledge that we are saved, bought, only because of the grace of God.  We say that we know we are not delivered because of our own righteousnesses, but solely  on the merits of the mercy of God and His great goodness.   We sing, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling…” as we remember our conversion–but does this melody still ring in your heart?  Each day, do you live with these strains reverberating in your soul:

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee. ~Annie S. Hawks

This verse brought this home to me, in my reading a few mornings ago:

“Not for your sakes do I [this], saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.”  Eze. 36:32

This verse falls in the midst of God’s promise of restoration and prosperity for Israel.  He will heap them with blessings, avenge them of their foes, bring healing to their hearts.  Why?  Because they were faithful?  Because they demonstrated an unwavering dedication to living in holiness?  Because they lavished Him with love?  I believe you probably know the answers to those questions.

Does the sense of the bankruptcy you knew the day you trusted Christ still remain with you?  It hasn’t changed–although your sensibility to it may have.  In Him we live and move and have our being.  Oh ladies, we are still wholly, completely dependent upon Him for everything.  But we are woefully forgetful.  I know I am.  God knew we would be.  There are cautions in His Word regarding our forgetting Him, especially when things are good.  Embrace the trial that pulls you to your knees, dear friend, for it is in that heartache that He yearns to support you with His everlasting arms.  It is through the deep waters, while you flail and gasp, that the distant, golden shore becomes an even sweeter destination.

Our Savior established a memorial so that we would be caused to remember how we were rescued and washed and restored with His precious blood.  He knew our human frailty would require reminding.  A sad commentary on our own inordinate preoccupation with self.  A glorious reflection upon our gracious and loving and compassionate God.  He gives, He loves, He forgives, He blesses, He hearkens–because He does…not because we earn it, deserve it, or achieve a level of spirituality that could ever possibly, remotely warrant it.

When we get to glory, we’ll finally understand, as M’Cheyene wrote, just “how much I owe”:

When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart,
Then Lord, shall I fully know-
Not till then-how much I owe.

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2 thoughts on “Debtors to Grace

  1. Hi Diane,
    I’ve decided that I’m going to ask all the questions in my head 🙂 so let me ask this … what would you say to someone who absolutely, positively accepts all this — so much that he can’t accept God’s love? That he feels so low, like such scum, that he would even harm himself like the flaggelants?

    I’m just wondering how he might make both extremes — God loves us incredibly, yet we’re worthless without him — meet in the middle.

    Thanks 🙂

  2. Hi Jen,
    Good to see you.

    About your question, I believe the “middle” you are inquiring about is the cross of Christ. This person does not have an adequate grasp on the message of the gospel. Romans 5:8 says that “while we were yet sinners” (hopeless–I would not say “worthless” because we are of great worth to God, “of more value than many sparrows” and created in His image) that “God commended or demonstrated His love toward us to the degree that “Christ died for us” (He loves us incredibly, with an everlasting love). The adversary loves extremism. The Bible is about balance. To focus upon self, listen to self talk is nothing more than leaning upon one’s own understanding (Prov. 3:5,6). We are not to do it. We are supposed to stand before the mirror of the Word (Jas. 1:23) and allow it to reveal what we truly are (which is actually worse than we can imagine, in all our attempts to berate ourselves!). The gospel does not operate according to man’s reason. That is a main reason that human beings have such a struggle accepting it. We prefer to “do” something (btw, when Paul spoke of “keeping his body under” in 1 Cor. 9:27, he was not punishing himself…it was not an exercise in self-humiliation…he was addressing the importance of not allowing our bodies/flesh to master us), when God says “No, it has already been done; furthermore, it is a gift, and you cannot give Me anything in exchange for it, or pay for it, or merit it in any way”. “I can’t accept God’s love” really translates into “I won’t”. It is a refusal based upon human logic. This person, I would say, needs to get into the Word of God to experience release from the bondage of his own thoughts.

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