(Emotions and Affections Pt. 2)
I think it is helpful in the daily battle for proper emotions and affections, to dwell often upon what we deserve. This simple act of stopping to reassess reality in light of eternal truths brings much-needed perspective to the distorted selfish ways of thinking we so easily fall into. It is difficult for me to constantly fix my mind on God. Oh, how I long to be consumed always with His wondrous majestic truths! And yet, even with the best of intentions, I settle for lesser things. I allow fleshly desires, and earthly worries to usurp God from his rightful place. Instead of viewing life in light of God, I see my circumstances through a lens of pride, unthankfulness, discontentment, and ungodliness.
That is why it is paramount to constantly remind ourselves of God’s unwarranted grace towards us. We deserve nothing. How humbling it is to think of the absoluteness of that statement! We are “unworthy servants” who deserve no privileges or rights from the master (Luke 17:7-9). If it’s true then that “every good good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights”, then every blessing we receive, no matter how small, is an oppurtunity to see God’s unmerited favor in our lives. Even the most minute details are evidences of grace, intended for our joy. John Calvin expertly writes, “There is not one little blade of grass, there is no color in this world, that is not intended to make men rejoice” Think about that. Every subtle expression of beauty: a blade of grass or bit of color should evoke wonder in us because they are undeserved gifts.
Of course, we know God blesses us with far more than just color and grass. How much more so then should we rejoice at his greater gifts! Are we due health, food and drink, or the privilege of education? By no means! Are we entitled to friendship, religious freedom, or easy access to the bible? We are not. We do not even deserve this day to be alive. When I stop to think of all that God has bestowed on me, I am simultaneously dumbfounded by God’s love, and ashamed by my daily failure to recognize it. Think of the joy to be had, if we recognized and praised the abundance of gifts that God graciously gives everyday!
I would be remiss if I ended without speaking of the Gospel: the ultimate Gift that dwarfs every other blessing, the gift that we most profoundly do not deserve. Jesus Christ, perfect Holy God, became man to lay down his life for me, a wretched sinner, to adopt me, to make me a child of God. May I never move past the breathtaking truth of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” In light of this unfathomable love, what reason have I to complain? What cause have I to be discontent and despondent? How can I not rejoice, worship, and give thanks to the God who has “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3)
I’ll end with a video that I posted earlier on tumblr. I keep watching this over and over again. Every time it gives a sobering rebuke to my selfish ungrateful heart. How can I lose sight of God’s blessing in my life, when others around the world live with nothing? How can I remain ignorant to their tremendous pain, and dwell instead on my trivial worries? And most importantly, how can I lose sight of the power of the Gospel?
“God in eternity looked upon me forseeing my faults, my pride, my sin, and said, ‘I want that man in my family. I will pay for him to be in my family with my Son’s life.‘ That’s love folks. That is mega off-the-charts love” (John Piper)
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24)
I write this post as the foremost of offenders. I know I often employ “we”, and other collective pronouns, but I write this primarily to rebuke and preach to myself. Also, I’m not completely sure what the title means. I just remembering seeing it on a Yu-Gi-Oh card. xD