Here is grace, friend: God bestowed peace, that is, salvation.
The Lord bestowed righteousness upon us. Paul made much of this. But consider these words of grace:
“He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” (Psalms 37:6 ESV)
He brings and gives us righteousness, it’s a gift made possible by Jesus’ work.
We don’t earn it, had nothing to do with gaining it, so once we’ve got it, or, rather, He’s got us and so we’re secure.
But be careful, you may think you’ve got something by earning it, by your works, by your attendance. you can lose all of that with the snap of a finger, that false sense of religion, and surely you will if that’s what you’re trusting in.
Trust only in the grace of God for righteousness, only He can satisfy.
At the end of Romans 11, that great tome of Peace, where Paul gives that ultimate explanation of how God makes peace with us (salvation), he gives a kind of doxology. These are his closing remarks of theology before beginning the application in 12.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
(Romans 11:33-36 ESV)
Samuel says to Israel: “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24 ESV)
God is dependable because His is unchanging. Thanks be to God for His nature of steadfastness. When I am struggling, I need only remember what He has done and that He is faithful.
After a teaching, Jesus received a word of blessing. His response is simple.
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!””
(Luke 11:28 ESV)
May 2018 be a year in which we:
1) make a daily practice of reading the Bible until we hear it
2) do what it says.
Love God, neighbor, enemy and one another.
I was struck by this text:
“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19 ESV)
Just before, in verse 7, the narrative had stated that Samuel did not yet know the Lord.
There was a process:
Samuel heard and wondered.
God was with him.
We need not wonder what God wants with us, what God may wish to say to us, what God would have us do, for we have His revealed word, the Bible, the word of God.
In Scripture, all these are prescribed.
If we want to know the will of God, we need only follow what He has already told us.
As Augustine heard sung:
“Pick up and read, pick up and read!”
“God does not expect parents to be perfect. He does, however, long for us to be perceptive.” Anatomy of the Soul, p. 121
Chapter 7 of Anatomy of the Soul is such an instructive chapter of the rearing of children. It gives insights on why we do what we do and how we can get a handle on our reactions. As such, it is hope filled!