DayBreaks for 05/22/13 – A Confused Perception
NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25. Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence! Thank you…I cherish your prayers! You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.
I think that there are two crucially important things that God wants us to know: first, He wants us to have the right perception about Himself; secondly, He want us to have a right perception about ourselves. Consider the effect of wrong perceptions about God: some think of Him as a stingy, mean-spirited kill-joy who sits above the earth deriving joy from making humans suffer. Others would overemphasize the fact that God is love – and that nothing else matters to Him except that we love others. Still others would think that His apparent absence from our day to day life is testimony to the fact that He has lost interest in His creation – if He exists at all and isn’t just an concept that mankind dreamed up just to make us feel better.
We can have the wrong perceptions about God, but we can have the wrong perceptions of ourselves, too. Some look at their lives and feel that they’re doing just great – they have confidence in their own righteousness and feel they’re OK because of a long litany of deeds and acts that they have done. Others look at their lives and see their own sinfulness – and that’s all that they can see. Sin after sin, week after week, year after year. Now, to make it really complicated, Christians can have an honest self-assessment of their sinfulness and of God yet leave the topic of grace out of the picture.
I liked Brennan Manning’s analysis of this situation in The Ragamuffin Gospel: “And Grace calls out; you are not just a disillusioned old man who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold. You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken, or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted. Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.”
Are we sinful? Yes. But God knows that – and He still accepts us. He won’t accept my sin, but then again, He doesn’t have to because He’s removed it! I do the grace of God a disservice and insult him when I let my own analysis and perception of myself conflict with the fact that I am His child by the grace of His adoption. (Ephesians 1:4-6 – “4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…”)
God didn’t have to adopt us. He didn’t have to choose us. He didn’t have to save us. He didn’t have to accept us. But He DID adopt us, He DID choose us, He did save us and He does accept us. Why? It was “in accordance with His pleasure and will…” Rejoice in the knowledge that God has accepted YOU!
Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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