blog births

blogbirths

Some people may wonder where my blog posts are birthed. Where do they start. We need to roll the clock back.

A number of years ago I had the opportunity to take a course with Don Whitney, who is a relatively well-known author and speaker in Baptist circles. I’ve come to appreciate him much more after reading a few of his books and hearing him speak through the years. He has written the classic ‘Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.’ It’s a book that was published in 1991 and I still see it from time to time. A fellow pastor was working through it in a small group setting. We walked through it in a Sunday School class two years ago. I saw it for the bargain basement price of five bucks at a conference a few years back. In 1996 Whitney wrote a follow-up called ‘Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church.’ He went from personal disciplines to group disciplines…I think we need both. Anyway…

His course was birthed out of reading about and participating in the spiritual disciplines. For some that may be a new term. Essentially things like prayer and the Word (reading, meditating, memorizing, studying, and hearing it preached). Those are the two key ones and that’s what the early church leaders were committed to (Acts 6:2,4). He also included chapters on giving, silence and solitude, fasting, and journalling.

Journalling was part of our assignment for class. We had to write x number of journal entries for x number of days and he said that they were easy marks because you would have to work really hard to fail. Our entries were to be birthed out of something in life or from the Word of God. So if we saw a deer dart across our path while driving we could write about God’s creation and connect it to the Word. If we were struck by something in the Word, we could write about it and connect it to daily life. And that is how it happens for me with blog births. Little did I know that that course would be so helpful today.

I hear a song, see a movie, time in nature, relationships, and other things find their way into the blog. Or I’m reading, in Bible study (individual or corporate), or hearing the Word preached and something starts to simmer on the back-burner of my mind that may eventually make it’s way to the cheap seats.

We were studying Romans on Wednesday nights a few weeks back and were confronted with the fact that God in His good pleasure chooses some for His kingdom before time began. And one of the things that came from that discussion is that some would see that as unfair. And I understand that perspective but we need to better understand what fair is in light of the Word.

[23] For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV)

We see what is really fair in the first part of the verse. God’s justice decides that fair is death, physical and eternal. That means eternity separated from God. That is what fair is. A hundred percent of the people who have walked the face of the earth are guilty of sin…except for the Lord Jesus Christ. Our sin deserves punishment.

Let that soak in for a moment. Our sin deserves death…physical and eternal death. From God’s vantage point, and that’s the only vantage point that matters at the end of the day, is that we deserve death. We deserve eternal damnation. Consider that. Wallow in that. Embrace that. That nasty thought…that gossipy word…that self-righteous attitude…that lustful look…we could go on but you get the picture…each one of those is deserving of death. That’s fair. That’s justice. We all deserve to be separated from God…but…

The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. God has been more than fair. Fair says that Heaven is empty but Hell is bursting at the seams. That’s fair. But God chose grace over fairness. He didn’t have to but in His love He chose some to be a part of His family and it has nothing to do with our stellar track record. The Apostle Paul was a hater of God but in His good pleasure God knocked him off his horse and laid him out…and Paul repented and believed the gospel.

Grace is God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment. So, the next time you get into a theological discussion and someone suggests that it’s not fair that God would choose some over others, step up to the microphone and let them know what fair is…and then tell them that God was more than fair, when He showed His grace to some in the sacrifice of His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

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