In the very worst condition
my should could ever be,
You paid my greatest debt,
by love, You set me free.
“What made me love Christ wasn’t that all of a sudden I figured out how to do life. What made me love Christ is that when I was at my worst, when I was at my lowest point, when I absolutely could not clean myself up and there was nothing anybody could do with me, right at that moment, Christ said, “I’ll take that one. That’s the one I want.” You know the Bible calls the church Christ’s bride. So it’s like standing before Jesus, completely exposed, all of our flaws and insecurities and-worse than that-our sins are right there in front of his face, and against all reason and rationale, the song of grace becomes startlingly, exhilaratingly true because the Groom looks at us and declares us beautiful. Spotless. Righteous. Justified. This is the gospel. It is important to admit, believers in Jesus, that Christians are not more moral than anyone else. The essence of the gospel and what we celebrate is not that “we can” but that Christ did.”
Yesterday’s prayer J.A.R. challenge was to praise God for who He is and what He has done.
This was interesting because it went deeper than just thanking Him for things that went well during my day. It was quite an experience to think about who He is, and praise Him by all of the names that describe His character: Rock, Provider, Merciful One, Lover of My Soul.
When I got to the “what He has done” part, I didn’t think just about the things He has done for me recently, but also the things He has done for me since the beginning of time. Creating me, sending His Son to die for my sins, forgiving me, loving me unconditionally, blessing me when I don’t deserve it.
I started thinking about all the little things He does for me everyday. As an example, I thought about if I was crossing the steeet and didn’t see a car coming, but God intervened and got the driver’s attention so they saw me and stopped. I would probably never know that even happened, but God was there, watching over me.
There’s a quote (there always is, right?) about how God is always working in our lives.
God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of 3 of them.
I find that so encouraging! Even when I feel like God isn’t doing anything, He is working behind-the-scenes to make everything work together for my good.
Sorry I’m a little behind on posting these. The thing is that I usually do them at night, so I can’t post until at least the next morning.
My challenge for day 4, which was 2 days ago, was to pray for the world.
That sounds like a pretty heavy challenge, doesn’t it? There’s a lot of tragedies happening in the world right now, which means there’s a lot to pray about.
As I was praying, I found myself becoming irritated with the world. I obviously wasn’t going to blame God for what was happening, so who was left to blame?
People. Us. You. Me.
It’s so easy for us to point the finger at God and say, “If He is a merciful God who controls everything, then why is He letting bad things happen?” I know, trust me I do, how difficult of a question that is to answer, and how caught up on it people get.
The simple answer is, it’s not His fault. It’s because of evil. If you want to blame someone, blame Satan!
You might think, “Why can’t God just abolish evil?” Well, eventually He will. It says so in Romans 16:20-“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
Until then, it goes back to the matter of free will, which I posted a quote about not long ago. Though free will makes evil possible, it also makes possible any joy or goodness worth having.
Maybe you’ve seen the movie Bruce Almighty, where a man played by Jim Carrey is given the powers of God, and told he can do anything but mess with free will.
He tries to use his powers to get his ex-girlfriend to love him, but it doesn’t work. But isn’t that a good thing? Because would love even be love if it were forced? Doesn’t it feel good when someone loves you not because they have to, but because they want to?
Sure, there is a lot of evil in the world, but there is also a lot of good. I’m not suggesting we ignore the evil. I’m suggesting we overcome it with the good. Romans 12:21 puts it beautifully: “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Conquer. That’s such a powerful word. Conquer evil! Be so good that evil just can’t stand it!
I would like to close with a quote that was on my mind while I was praying for the world.
People deny the existence of God, and then blame Him for the chaos that ensues.