Abiding in God's Word

Daily Abiding – Jan 10, 2012

Dear Disciple,

Quick accountability from yesterday: as I was in a posture of waiting on the Lord (submitting my timeline to his), I was contacted by someone I had not heard from for six years regarding what I was waiting upon. Okay, that may sound a bit obtuse, but basically, as I was intentionally waiting according to God’s Word, God sent a prompt and encouragement from another disciple whom I had known six years ago – for me, a sign of God’s interest and intent.

In today’s texts, Abraham dies, and Esau and Jacob are born in Genesis 25 – and the boys’ stories are full of family intrigue and self-seeking. Genesis 26 is a mirror of Genesis 20 only one generation later: Isaac does the same “my wife is my sister” act that Abraham did with Sarah. Same kind of ending, too – God blesses Isaac. Doesn’t really fit an evangelical spiritual entitlement idea of “If I live a life that pleases God, then he will bless me.” With the patriarchs, it is clear that God blesses them because he has chosen them and continues to bless them despite their actions. In Matthew 8:1-17, Jesus heals many, including a man with leprosy as well as the son of a Roman Centurion – someone outside of God’s Covenant people Israel.

What is God’s Word saying to me?
God’s grace comes to me, not because I deserve it but because I need it. That’s what grace is – undeserved blessing. Jesus’ healing of the Centurion’s son shows me that God’s grace extends beyond Israel and includes me, a Gentile like the Roman Centurion.

What am I going to do about it?
My heart is welling up with gratitude toward God. I am humbled to receive so great a salvation. My response is captured in these lyrics of the a song of praise written by Matt Redman:

I Will Offer Up My Life

I will offer up my life in spirit and truth
Pouring out the oil of love as my worship to You
In surrender I must give my every part
Lord receive the sacrifice of a broken heart

You deserve my every breath for You’ve paid the great cost
Giving up Your life to death, even death on a cross
You took all my shame away, there defeated my sin
Opened up the gates of Heaven, and have beckoned me in

Jesus, what can I give
What can I bring
To so faithful a friend
To so loving a king
Savior, what can be said
What can be sung
As a praise of Your name
For the things You have done
Oh my words could not tell
Not even in part
Of the debt of love that is owed
By this thankful heart

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