Good Tuesday morning! For the folks on the blog, I'm back! The blog wasn't working yesterday for a reason Blogspot didn't explain on their support page. Praise the Lord, we're back today. Lots of flashin' and bangin' around here last night as a thunderstorm arrived just at bedtime. Flash flood warnings came over the phone lines and we had some good rain. I just heard on MyBridge that the wonderful flows into Lake McConaughy are expected to continue for the next several weeks. Will we get 100% on the lake this year? Probalby not, it's a huge reservoir and can hold a lot of water. Praise God it's coming up though! Of course, if you missed the chance to get your dream lake-house cheap, sorry the prices will be going up for sure.
A house on a nice lake is rightly expensive in this world; many of us would like to have one and so the price goes up. What price would you pay to become, not just be called but actually become, children of God? John 1: 12 brings us the answer to that question this morning.
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
The answer is: it doesn't cost anything that this world considers valuable! You cannot save up enough money, or give up your lake house to gain the right to become children of God. For those without money, don't worry - money is no object! For those without something of material value to give up - none of that matters. For those who want to control their own destiny... uh oh, you do have to give up being in charge of your life, your burdens, your worries, sin, hatred, rage, lust, and quite a few other things that each of us could do without, when you believe.
When I came to realize that all my ambitions for gain, promotion, accolade, and wealth in this world didn't amount to a hill of beans in the sweep of history, control of my life wasn't so difficult to give up. Uh,yeah... of course it was. That sounds very noble, but it isn't quite what happened. We tend to think that we know best in so many things. We are trained to believe in ourselves and to make our own way in this world. Actually, I had to realize that I had no chance at all of saving myself before I could see the saving grace that is the gift of Christ Jesus. Those who have many 'accomplishments' in this life have the most difficulty in accepting the grace of Jesus.
A huge pile of loot in the bank, awards and honors from organizations, trophies from academies and athletics, and our own 'good luck', can all stop a person from believing in Christ. How many lottery winners have taken their check and said, "It's all yours, Lord!" Probably none. How many Oscar winners have said, "Thank you, Lord!" and walked off the stage to let God have the glory? I think we all know the answer to that one. Belief in Jesus is easy/hard. Easy because those called to believe have usually hit bottom in their own efforts to have a successful life. Hard because many with talent and ability are encouraged to believe in themselves first. Easy because Jesus has no strings attached to the offer of eternal life. Hard because we cannot see eternal life from our little viewpoint on this world. Eternity is in our hearts, but not in our vision. We are trained to not admit guilt or fault, which is what we must do when we come to believe in Jesus.
A person without guilt cannot admit to Jesus that he or she is a sinner in need of salvation. A person who believes in his own ability cannot believe in the strength and ability of Christ. Of course we speak not of confidence here, but of placing our own ability on the throne of our lives. There is no room for Christ when we occupy the throne of our own life. We become children of God when Jesus sits on the throne of a life given to Him. The right to become children of God has been given to people who still sin, struggle with the lusts of the flesh, and in all ways deserve only eternal judgment? All through the love and blood of one man who gave his unique life for us? Belief in that fact humbles the mind, does it not?
What would cause God to give us such an important right as this one? I can only answer that it must be a love greater than we know. To become God's children just seems like throwing pearls before swine; something Jesus warned us not to do. Does that mean that God is doing as he does and not as he says? Who are we to question God in this? But, in this case, God must be doing something to us to make us not swine. The pearl is beyond question and price - the right to become children of God, so the change must be in those who believe. When you feel down and discouraged, remember that God has changed you. He alone and on His own, has made you into something valuable enough to die for. What love from Him! What joy for us! Believe in Jesus and gain the right to become a child of God. Hallelujah!