Tuesday, April 26, 2011

God Graciously Made A Way...And We Don't Like It?!

In my prayer time this morning I was reminded of the amazing love and grace of God. Sometimes I forget that God does not owe me anything but justice. Sometimes pride rises up and demands that God give me any number of good things. But grace, by definition, is undeserved. Meaning, God does not have to give it!

We were lost in our sins, "having no hope and without God" (Ephesians 2:12). God would have been just if he had done nothing to save us. Do you realize this? When the angels sinned, God gave them no salvation, but only justice (Hebrews 2:16; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). Could he not have also chosen to magnify his justice by letting his holy wrath fall on all of us?

But what did he do for us?
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  Ephesians 2:13, ESV
Praise the Lord! He graciously made a way!

As I thought about this this morning I praised God. But then I began to think about just how sinful it is to be ungrateful for this awesome display of God's grace in Christ. He graciously made a way...and many don't like it! Rather than praise God for setting forth his Son as our Savior, some complain that making "just one way" seems rather exclusive. As if to say, "How dare God not accept those who choose other paths or religions!" This is total blindness to God's revealed love and grace in Christ crucified.

This gross unthankfulness was pictured in the Old Testament. Israel wandered in the wilderness. When they were hungry, God rained down bread for them from heaven! A miraculous and loving provision! They called it 'manna.' But after a while, the people grew tired of God's bread:
Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:4-6, ESV
Their thoughts drifted to desires for other things instead of gratitude for God's gracious gift. Then they found themselves actually complaining about his provision! Was God forced to rain down bread for them each day? Did he have to continue this display of his love and grace? Beggars can't be choosers.

Jesus is the living bread from heaven. He is the loving gift of the Father (John 3:16); the fulfillment of the manna in the wilderness. He is God's provision for our sins. We did not deserve this gift.

Let us humbly and joyfully receive God's provision in Christ without complaining or accusing God. Jesus is enough! He satisfies the soul! God graciously made a way for us...let us be thankful!

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