Sunday, February 8, 2009

Undeserved Favor

As I've mentioned before, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around God's magnitude, holiness, love, grace, mercy, and so on. I feel like I'm not worthy, and I'm absolutely not. But the fact that I still experience all of God's goodness and that his mercy is poured out on me and his love is present in my life is a lot for me to take on sometimes. I struggle with the fact that I can't repay Christ for what he's done for me and what he continues to do for me. 

We live in a world that is pretty much give and take. We give hours of work, we get a paycheck. We give money, we get groceries and clothing and a place to call home. We earn much of the abundance we receive, and how much you get is correlated (in most situations) to how much you give. 

This is not the case with Christ's love.

Recently, some wonderful things have been happening in my life and I've been struggling with not feeling worthy of these things to be happening. What did I do to deserve these things? Surely they're too good to be true and they will be wiped out from underneath me shortly. I haven't done anything to deserve the Lord to bless me.

What he did for us over 2,000 years ago cannot be repaid by anything that we do. It was and is a gift of a life that will be eternally spent with him. I was struggling with this concept recently and my friend told me that what I was struggling with was pride. It seemed weird that she would use that word, considering I was telling her that I feel too sinful and too disobedient and unworthy of God's blessings. That doesn't sound prideful...but it is! It's thinking that Christ shedding his blood on the cross wasn't enough to pay for MY sin. It might've been enough for this person and that person, but it wasn't enough for me. She used this analogy, which really cleared it up for me:

Let's say a husband brings home a bouquet of flowers to his wife. He's so excited because he wants to show her how much he loves her and he wants her to feel happy and cared for. When he gets home and gives her these flowers, she responds not in joy, but in sadness that she hadn't done anything nice for him to deserve this gift. She has nothing to offer him in return. He tells her that it's ok- it's a gift and he wants her to just take them and not try to repay him, but she insists on wallowing in the fact that she didn't have anything to give in return.

Psalm 107:21-22 tells us how to rejoice in thanksgiving:

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.

Living our lives in a way that glorifies and honors God is the best way that we can show him thanksgiving for what he's done and what he continues to do in our lives. I pray that, in everything I do, God is glorified and praised.

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