Mercy & Grace. Two of the sweetest words we will ever hear. But like any other word, familiarity breeds a ho-hum attitude if not outright contempt. When you hear these two words do you still experience wonder and awe? Can you still sing, Amazing grace. How sweet the sound?
God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are often too full to receive them.
God hath made us for Himself.
A popular “evangelical” blogger decided to tackle the subject of the near sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham found in Genesis 22. This passage has long been Exhibit A for those who question the God of the Old Testament (as if He is different from the God of the New Testament) and question the divine inspiration of Scripture.
Her hand is revealed when she makes this statement,
How could I ever bring myself to worship a God who, if these accounts are true, ordained and derived glory from actions I believe are evil?
God is just…this gives us our terror at first; but is it not marvellous that this very same belief that God is just, becomes afterwards the pillar of our confidence and peace! If God be just, I, a sinner, alone and without a substitute, must be punished; but Jesus stands in my stead and is punished for me; and now, if God be just, I, a sinner, standing in Christ, can never be punished. God must change His nature before one soul, for whom Jesus was a substitute, can ever by any possibility suffer the lash of the law.
–Charles Spurgeon, MORNING AND EVENING: DAILY READINGS (Morning, September 25)
I love his statement of faith which is oft repeated in black churches in America. Typically the pastor or speaker will declare, “God is good.” The congregation responds with “All the time.” Then the congregation begins the “God is good” while the pastor rejoins “All the time.”
It is a solid theological affirmation of the goodness of God. The refrain stresses that the goodness of God is a constant attribute. It does not waver in times in which we experience difficulty.
In his book, The Conviction to Lead, Albert Mohler quotes from Eugene Peterson’s Perseverance: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.
Everyone is in a hurry. The persons whom I lead in worship, among whom I counsel, visit, pray, preach, and teach, want shortcuts. They want me to help them fill in the form that will get them instant credit (in eternity). They are impatient for results. They have adopted the lifestyle of a tourist and only want the high points…The Christian life cannot mature under such conditions and in such ways.
–Eugene Peterson (emphasis mine)