I transferred my blog to the website below:
2 Chronicles 6:7-10 (ESV, emphasis added):
Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.' Now the LORD has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the place of David my father and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.May we remember this should we ever find ourselves in a torch-passing situation when our use may have stopped in the seed-planting process or helicopter seed tossing stage.
Labels: Bible (O.T.)
Upon entering the saving faith, we are marked with the ultimate stamp of approval, not won by merit but by grace through faith alone. This "seal ... who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance" is none other than the Holy Spirit. We've been stamped with grace.
Just as God's acts of redemption did not start or stop with the ultimate act of saving redemption, so His stamps of grace do not stop upon our entrance through faith's cross-door.
This past Sunday, the Sunday School lesson centered on a selection from Exodus 4. A comment was made in regard to Moses' staff - that it would serve as a reminder of the power of God - not Moses - over the deliverance of Israel. I think someone suggested that if Moses had decided not to follow God, his staff would have been a constant reminder of his disobedience. Interesting that an everyday object can act as a memorial stamp of God's grace and provision in times of obedience, and likewise that the objects could serve as reminders of God's grace needed to cover particular acts of disobedience.
Sometimes the stamps may feel more like scars of grace. In a sermon I heard last year on Hebrews 2:10-18, it seems we were told to "celebrate [our] scars." Do we seek to embrace or erase our scars? In the sermon, Amy Carmichael was referenced. I did a search and found the following poem attributed to her authorship:
Hast thou no scar?Indeed, Jesus endured the ultimate wounds for us. He can provide the strength to endure ours. The One who once wore a crown of thorns would not take away Paul's thorn in the flesh. And sometimes we must endure ours. But as we do so, may we seek God through His Word and prayer, perhaps raw prayer. I think someone once mentioned the presence of teardrop stains on another's Bible. Perhaps for that person bleary tear-stained words acted as a reminder of the grace of God felt in times of despair.
No hidden scar on foot or side or hand
I see thee sung as mighty in the land
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers
Leaned me against a tree to die
And was rent by ravening beasts that compassed me
Hast thou no wound?
No wound, no scar?
Yet as the Master, so must the servant be
And pierced are the feet that follow me
But thine are whole.
Can he have followed far who has no wound or scar?
Whether or scars are physical, such as stretch marks or scars from tragedy, or emotional, may our ponderings shift from the ugliness of the scars to the beauty of the sufficiency of His grace.
Truly, we are stamped with grace and sealed with His deposit. May we embrace the scars and grow through His strengthening grace.
I have found The Blazing Center blog to be quite insightful. Here are links to some of the posts there:
1) How To Master A Book
2) Interrogating Your Soul
3) An Adventure in Disguise
4) The Story of God's Goodness
5) Memories of Wickedness
6) Arguing With God
7) His Last Friday Was His Best
8) Worriers Live In The Future
I once heard the following three lines:
Pursue a PaulThe "Paul" in one's life is like a spiritual mentor, while being the "Barnabas" embraces the role of encourager, and the trainer role would involve discipling.
Be a Barnabas
Train a Timothy
Maybe we could extend the first line to include looking to Paul as an example, as a mentor. There's an article up at Boundless called "Praying Like Paul," by Rachel Starr Thomson. She ends the article with this:
In his Ephesian prayer, Paul prayed "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Ultimately, this is my greatest prayer for the church. That we would walk with God. That by faith, we would reach out and find that Christ is truly "Emmanuel" — truly with us. That by faith, we might know Jesus Christ in an intimate, life-changing way. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:18, "that we might be filled with all the fullness of God."
In the end, that is what I really want.