I don't really have time to spend on writing a blog post but the morning is so beautiful here out on the porch that it stirs the blogging muse and I figure the muse lies dormant so much of the time that when inspiration strikes I might as well run with it. (And yes, I wanted to see how many metaphors I could cram into a single sentence; how did I do?).
Last night the ladies from my church enjoyed our monthly fellowship with lots of fun and food. I led a short devotion on the gospel and the difference it makes in our real lives, incidentally something we've been discussing over at Southern Baptist Girl if you'd like to join us.
This morning I've been ruminating over all that we discussed and I've been thinking about how remembering the gospel reminds me what my biggest problem is. I may think my biggest problem today is the overwhelmingly impossible length of my to-do list but it's not. Some days I may think my biggest problem is my bickering children or the lack of novelty in my wardrobe or some other stress inducing circumstance (or, not, as the case may be). For some of us, we consider our biggest problem to be our jobs or our scales or our husbands. Not all of our problems are frivolous; some of us have very real problems with very real and very devastating effects.
But the truth of the gospel--that God will judge and punish sin but Jesus died so that sinners may be forgiven if they repent and believe in Him--this truth exposes my biggest problem: SIN. I may fret over how fat I think I look but at the core of my worry is self preoccupation and pride which is sin. I may be overwhelmed with my responsibilities yet my stress reveals my self reliance which is sin. Insecurity isn't my problem; the sin of looking for security in anything other than Christ is. Fear isn't my biggest problem, no matter the object of my fear; doubt and lack of trust in the sufficiency of Christ is.
How is knowing that sin is my biggest problem a good thing? Isn't that dwelling unnecessarily on the negative? My sin has been forgiven through the death of Jesus; why keep harping on it? Here's a reason: because I keep sinning. Until I am glorified in Christ I will continue to struggle but remembering the gospel--rehearsing its truths to myself daily--builds my faith and fuels my affections for my Savior who died on my behalf. Remembering that I was dead in my transgressions and sins, deserving of eternal punishment because of my wickedness and rebellion, grants me a greater understanding of His glorious grace. The more I understand, the more I worship the sovereign God for who He is and what He has accomplished for me in Christ. I will know greater humility; who can boast when she realizes everything (everything!) is of grace? I will be confident and secure because if He did not spare His own Son, will He not in Him graciously give me all things? I will love others and will dare to speak with boldness the good news that Jesus saves sinners; how can I not freely share the grace that has been so mercifully and unreservedly granted to me?
Yes, the gospel shows me my biggest problem, my sin. But it shows me the bigness of the grace and mercy of a good God who shows His love for me in while I was yet a sinner Jesus died that I might die to sin and live to righteousness to the praise of His glory...