Posts Tagged ‘Unmerited Favor’


Deuteronomy 11 (NLT) “You must love the LORD your God and obey all his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands… “Your children didn’t see how the LORD cared for you in the wilderness until you arrived here… But you have seen the LORD perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes!… If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey!… Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain— a land that the LORD your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!… “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the LORD and serve and worship other gods. If you do, the LORD’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the LORD is giving you… Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.[b] No one will be able to stand against you, for the LORD your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land…

Haven’t we heard it all before and why should any person live in fear? What is God speaking to the Israelites and us and is there any message in today’s chapter for us? (more…)

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John 3:25-30
An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.

John the baptist certainly was no ordinary man and it is interesting how he deals with loss of respect and position. John (A disciple of Jesus and the writer of this gospel) captures the essence of the situation well in this passage above. The arguing parties were John the baptist’s own disciples with a Jew and how good it must’ve felt for him to note that his disciples were supporting him. However, without a moment’s notice, John the baptist corrects his disciples and the Jew that he is only a close associate of the groom, Jesus Christ, who is the long awaited messiah and his joy is to prepare the way for the groom to meet his bride, Israel. The last statement he makes, however, is the toughest one for any follower of Christ to make until they understand the inverted perspective of God’s kingdom. Less of us and more of HIM.

In life we are constantly battling situations to improve and enhance ourselves, our means, our position, our wealth, our comforts, etc. However, when we submit our lives to Christ, we recognize our brokenness and are testifying to God’s abundant grace (Unmerited favor) for our sinfulness and we are made a new creation in him. This new creation is purposed to serve God and not self. We are called to give God the glory and not ourselves. When we serve God in our lives, he will provide for our every need and will be the one who gives and takes away. God is no genie in a bottle who works for our glory but it’s the reverse. I pray today that we would live by the same motto, More of Jesus and less of me!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Distant Horizon