Monday, March 21, 2011

The desert...

The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert.
I will build you up again. You will be rebuilt.
I am the painter making this mess a masterpiece.
I will rebuild you up again.

--Meridian by August Burns Red

More precisely, the words above come from the book of Jeremiah. Most precisely, the words above come from God.

I have been really blown away lately by God's hatred of sin. The book of Jeremiah tells of the destruction of Jerusalem because of their inequities. God used Jeremiah to give His people a chance at redemption. They rebelled again and again.

However, He didn't give up. He held fast to His promises. He didn't turn His back on His people.

He gave them a promise that if they survived the sword--that is, if they survived His judgment--they would find favor in the desert. The favor they would find is the grace of God. The picture of favor in the desert reminds me of the Exodus. All the Israelites had during that time was God. The only constant in their lives was the Pillar of Fire by night and the Pillar of Cloud by day.

The thing that has really blown me away the most throughout this book is the love that God still has for His people even after they defile Him, mock Him, ignore Him, and forsake Him. They make offerings to idols, they don't keep the commandments, they ignore the teachings of the prophets... the list goes on and on. The scariest thing, is they really aren't very different than me.

On a daily basis I don't give God what he requires. I am so ultimately thankful that when He looks at me He doesn't see my shortcomings. He sees Christ. He sees perfection. He sees righteousness.

All God asks is our repentance. He wants our sincere desire to give up our sin and to embrace His grace. It's so simple.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Don't go changing, trying to please me...

Well I effectively missed February. It's only 3 days shorter. I have no excuse. Bonus points if you can identify the song reference in the title.

Anyways, to update you, my loyal readers, with what I've been learning lately, I figured I would see if I couldn't muster up a little post action. So, without further ado, here goes.

I've been learning a lot about myself lately. I've learned more and more about my shortcomings. I am not perfect. I am so helplessly far from it. Anything I try to do will not be perfect because I am not perfect.

I am so thankful I am not perfect.

It puts me in a wonderful position. It puts me in the best place I could ever be. Being so imperfect puts me in the place where I am so desperately in need of a perfect savior. A.W. Tozer writes of God in his book The Pursuit of God:

"He is immutable, which means He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure. To change He would need to go from better to worse or from worse to better. He cannot do either, for being perfect He cannot become more perfect, and if He were to become less perfect He would be less than God."

There is so much comfort in that. I am so thankful that God cannot change. I change daily. I change my mind, I change my motivation, I change my clothes, I change my facial hair style, I change my plans, I change nearly everything.

I am so thankful God does not change.

Malachi 3:6 says, "I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."

That's it. That's all. That's what I need. That's all I need. God is not my first on a list of... He is my first and only.