Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Too Good To Be Forgiven

Which category do you fit in? Too good to be forgiven, too bad to be to be forgiven, or so bad that you are glad to be forgiven?

I can identify with all three of the categories. In fact, I have seen cycles of these in my life. I will start out knowing my sin and glad to be forgiven by the Lord, but then, I will begin to feel good about my situation in life and pride will set in. All of the sudden, subconsciously I will be feeling as if I am perfectly fine and don’t need God’s continuous forgiveness in my life. Forgiveness? I got that way back when and have no need of it currently. Sure as rain, I will fall into blatant hard-hearted sin and feel completely worthless.

At this point Satan whispers to me that I am too far gone for the forgiveness God offers. Perhaps I have committed the unpardonable sin. My heart is too hard to repent, therefore I am like Esau who couldn’t find repentance though he sought it with tears (Satan loves to use multiple scripture verses to get at us). I have crossed the line. There is no going back to that wonderful place of relationship with the Lord. I am at the end of my rope, thinking I am too bad to be forgiven. 

That is when I find His grace and forgiveness anew. I relearn that it isn’t based on what I can conjure up emotionally or spiritually - it is just His marvelous grace sweeping over all of my imperfections and shortcomings. And then, I am back where I started. Completely aware of my own need for His forgiveness and totally aware that He offers it freely to me. How wonderful it is to be in that state! 
Sadly, all to soon, I repeat the cycle. May God strengthen my reliance on Him, and help me never to feel secure in my own way of life, but instead, always seeing my need for His grace. 

If I had to identify with just one category listed, in all honesty, it would probably be “too good to be forgiven”. I am always fighting my legalistic nature that is pressing on me and telling me how much better I am than others. I keep all of the reasonable laws down to a tee and those people over there, their standards are way too low, goodness me, how can they even be saved? And those people who have higher standards, well, they're just a bunch of legalists! Woe unto you, Pharisees!

I certainly need a deeper understanding of God’s grace. He who is forgiven much, loves much! If I could only see how grievous my sin is, then I would love God and people much more.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Healing Services

This is an interesting post by Tim Challies. Worth a read.

A Presbyterian Healing Service

At this point, I don't agree with the cessationist viewpoint. I just don't see anything about the spiritual gifts ceasing in the Bible. I feel like the view has been created mostly because of our westernized experience and hence, is read into the Word of God.