Thursday, March 31, 2011

Held and Holding Firmly

"Listen: If you’ve got a Christian faith whereby you’re hanging on by your fingernails to God – just making it—then I don’t know that you have understood saving faith.  If you are hanging on to God as a result of how well you’ve done this past week, or how many times you’ve read your Bible, or how many times you’ve witnessed, or how many times you didn’t think the bad thought (or whatever else it is), and when something comes across your mind, saying, “I wonder if I’m a Christian?”  you find yourself saying,  “oh yes,  I am, because of this and this and this and this and this… I’m holding on,” then you don’t understand. The only reason any of us are holding on is because He picked us up in His almighty embrace and gathered us to Himself. Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life (gift!), and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of My hand.”  

This morning the ground of our assured conviction concerning the nature of the Good News in our own lives, is on the fact that we have found our tiny hand nestled  under the warm and large and powerful eternal embrace of God our Father.  And when sin comes into our lives, as it inevitably does, it spoils our fellowship, but it does not negate our relationship."

~Pastor Alistair Begg, Parkside Church, Cleveland, OH

How many of my formative years were grounded in Performance-based Christianity and the fear of man?  Far too many.  It's grievous that even though I went to a "good, sound church and Christian school"  that I missed so much of God's grace and the gospel.  It's baggage that I still carry today, and I constantly need to keep the Cross before me.  Alistair's message was a glorious reminder that I do not contribute anything to my salvation, other than sin.  It's all of God's grace that I am saved and kept.

That is all.


Christy said...

Yes. That's all I have to say. Very muchly, yes.

Like sunshine in the home said...

It's amazing how quickly we forget the wonder of grace. It's the devil's favourite game, getting us to concentrate on our own failings and the weakness of our flesh. We are weak but He is strong.

Like sunshine in the home said...

...and by 'He' you know I mean God don't you? Sorry, that's a bit of a silly question, but the way I read it back to myself it sounded like I was giving all the props to the enemy!

Only God has the glory.