This morning, as I listened to the wind howling and the water pit against the window pane, winter seemed to be taking it's last breath before releasing it's hold on it's season. You know when you are on your computer and it says "power 10%, recharge now"? Well it was as if winter had gotten that message and there was no recharging so it was letting go.
My battery was deplete as well, since last week was a busy one, so I decided to stay in this morning and huddled under the covers trying to get my battery back from 10%, ( my body's battery, not my computer's :) . So I was worshipping with others online via my tv. We were studying Ephesians 2: 1-9. When we got to 2:2 I was so excited, I know my pastor always says "when you see the word therefore in the Bible see what it's there for." Today I read:
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+2
I had read it so many time before but suddenly...the BUT jumped out! There is nothing I can offer God but myself. He, on the other hand, gave His all for me! I am a sinner, not was, not will be, but am..because I am in human flesh. BUT God in His great love sent Jesus to reconcile me to Himself when I trust in Christ. Perfection cannot dwell with imperfection of which I am. But God made a way for me to be reconciled to Him so that we may abide together (believe me, I have not forgotten how lonely it is without Him)! That way is Jesus. I am not deserving, nor entitled nor able to earn it, BUT because of His great love for you and for me, I may lay it all at Jesus feet and trust in Him and be reconciled with my Father.
We are quick to use attention getting, even shocking words in our tv shows, movies, songs and lives as if they were the word but. Obviously I used that ploy in the title of this post. I remember the old saying "you will do it, no buts about it!" That was not particularly a but I wanted to hear. Today...it was a joy to hear the word, it reminds me that, while I am to be as much like Christ in my behavior as I can be, I am OK with God because of that word.
We hear this word so often today, but in a different context. For instance:
or how about..
There are so many places in scripture where the word but is an encouragement, such as: Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
...But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, … to save much people alive (Genesis 50:20).
Nevertheless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee (Deuteronomy 23:5).
...but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever (Psalm 73:26).
I could go on forever, but will instead say that I hope you know how much you are loved and cared about, but if you don't, trust Him, He is worthy! God bless you and yours.
Because He first loved us!