Christianity 201

July 12, 2019

God Is Not Playing Us

Today we return to Gary Henry at WordPoints. Pray for Gary as he deals with what he calls a “trifecta” of health problems right now. Click the title below to read at source:

God Has Never Trifled with Us

“. . . I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3).

WHEN WE SEEK GOD, WE CAN BE SURE THAT HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN SEEKING US, AND IT IS WITH DILIGENCE THAT HE HAS DONE SO.

Knowing of God’s earnestness toward us, we should turn toward Him with all the more gratitude and carefulness. “If God is diligent, surely we ought to be diligent in doing our duty to him. Think how patient and how diligent God has been with us!” (Oswald Chambers).

Lest there be any misunderstanding, it needs to be emphasized that we can never reciprocate God’s love in any way that would be complete or even adequate. Our best efforts to respond to God’s diligence are broken and marred. Even if we were sinless, as creatures we would still not be able to attend to our Creator in the same way that He attends to us. And having sinned, we surely cannot deserve the earnestness of the love He has shown to us. In one sense, all of our human deeds are trifles.

Yet the frailty of our condition should not keep us from doing what we can do, and that is to be moved by God’s love. We can choose to be responsive rather than unresponsive. We can hear His voice. We can answer His call. And knowing that God has never trifled with us ought to make us determine, out of sheer gratitude, to take Him seriously. Knowing what our atonement cost Him, how can we simply dabble in religion? Trifling with God is the most horrible form of ingratitude.

Words are interesting things, and we can often be enlightened by their history. Originally the word “trifle” meant trickery or deceit. To trifle was to say or do something that one did not really mean, pretending to be serious. Today the verb “trifle” means

(1) to deal with something as if it were of little significance or value,
(2) to speak or act with little seriousness or purpose, or
(3) to play or toy with something.

When we trifle with God, is there not a bit of the old meaning of the word in our actions? When we pretend to love Him dearly but give Him no more than our leftovers, is it some trick we are trying to play on God? Do we think He does not notice our lack of seriousness?

“God is earnest with you. Why are you not so with Him? Why trifle with God?” (Oswald Chambers).


Because that was shorter one, here’s a bonus article by the same author…


You’ll Have to Let Go

Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).

TO FOLLOW JESUS IN THIS LIFE, WE MAY HAVE TO FORSAKE SOME THINGS, BUT TO FOLLOW HIM ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN, WE’LL HAVE TO FORSAKE EVERYTHING.

Nothing is ours to keep. There is nothing — nothing — we won’t have to let go of, except God.

Most people would say the rich, wonderful love that can exist between a husband and a wife is the highest of the temporal blessings available to us. In the midst of enjoying a good marriage, most people would say, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” But without denigrating the joys of marriage, it must be said that marriage is earthly. It won’t be in heaven. It must be let go of.

I want to share with you one of the starkest statements that I have ever come across, considering who made it. This is James Dobson talking, the man who, for many folks, is the foremost family authority in America:

“Nothing is really important in [this] life, not even the relationships that blossom in a healthy home. In time, we must release our grip on everything we hold dear.”

I suggest that if James Dobson, a man who has devoted his life to the importance of the home, sees that marriage and family life are not “really important,” the rest of us had better sit up and take notice.

Most of us, I suppose, would say that we love the Lord more than anything else and that heaven is going to be better than anything we have here. But do you really believe that? Do you love God more than you love your spouse? Would you give up marriage for the Lord? Is the spiritual life better than sex? If the Lord gave you a choice between going to heaven right now and staying in the world with your grandchildren for ten more years, which would you choose? Now certainly, we may enjoy these things right now and then have the Lord in heaven later on. But even now, the Lord had better be more important to us than these things. And the main measure of whether we have a proper attitude toward temporal joys is how ready we are to let go of them. And I don’t mean “someday” — I mean today, if the need should arise.

What it comes down to is this: anything we can’t let go of is an idol that will destroy our souls, however good that thing may be.

“Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal” (Agnes Maude Royden).

 

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