Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We Can Never Obligate God

The following quote comes from Jerry Bridges book 'Transforming Grace'. I highly recommend this book.

"He doesn't owe me anything, and what He has given me was given by His grace alone."

Without doubt, we live in a culture of entitlement. People feel entitled to certain things. Older adults feel entitled to live a certain lifestyle with a certain level of enjoyment and comfort. Younger adults feel entitled to jobs, to fun, to a life free of responsibility. Teenagers and kids feel entitled to materialistic things. On a deeper level, we all struggle with a sense of entitlement from God.

This attitude of 'deservingness' is extremely detrimental and contrary to the Gospel. In our minds, more times than not, we believe that if we obey God, or do good, we are entitled to God's blessing. In essense, God is beholden to us. He is in our control.

However, in the Bible we get a very different picture of the whole human and God relation. Rather, God says, "Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me." (Job 41:11) and "Who has ever given a gift to God that He should repay him?" (Romans 11:35). The Bible is clear that 1) everything in creation belongs to God 2) Therefore, anything we have in this life is a gift from God and 3) Therefore, we cannot give God anything that God has not already given us.

Reflecting on this, it is obsurd to think how humans even think about questioning God. We are nothing but creatures, who are completely 100% dependent on the grace of God. It is crazy to think that God owes us anything. We are but dirty worms in comparison to the incomprehensible, majestic, flawless God of glory. To think we deserve or are entitled to anything from him is seriously crazy.

But, this is not said to bring us into a state of depression because we realize how small and powerless we really are. Rather, it should bring us to a state of increasing gratitude and joy. Gratitude in that God gives us common grace everyday, in the air we breath, in our health, in every good thing we enjoy in a day. But also, in the particular grace which he has applied to His people. The saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross is that much more glorious when we rightly perceive how unworthy and ill deserving we really are. This, should then produce great joy, that the God of creation, the all powerful, sovereign over every square inch of this universe holds His people, calls them his children, and will see them through unto the end.

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