Tuesday, March 24, 2009

accomplishments and grace

I've been reviewing the Creation series from Kent Hovind. It's sooo interesting. The guy has definitely done his research and knows his stuff. Shew - good stuff!
In one of the first episodes, tackling the issues of the age of the earth, Hovind made the following statement:
"A person who contemplates what God can do
is not impressed with what man has done."
(emphasis mine)

Spending the weekend away, submersed in God's beauty of the mountains around me, without internet or phone, I honestly didn't miss or "crave" the electronic distraction. That was somewhat of a surprise. I've been so hooked to my laptop since getting it in February. :) However, I'm a "introvert" by nature when it comes to refueling. I need some quiet time in life and it's at those moments that I feel most refreshed. So, this weekend, I snuggled up with a book, stared out over those great big mountains and soaked up a few hours of alone time. It's easy to get caught up in wants and desires. It's easy to think about what great accomplishment a sports figure or scientist or (past) politician has completed. But how often to we get caught up in God's amazingness? When we keep our focus on His grace... that we have accomplished nothing, created nothing, became nothing... without God's hand of grace touching upon us, we are humbled. At that moment we realize it had nothing to do with man and everything to do with the God of the universe.
I've also been listening to a sermon series by Chuck Swindoll. (If you have itunes, search the podcast section and subscribe or download "Insight for Living" to get Swindoll's messages automatically. If not, check out his website here). He is going through the book of Ephesians, entitling the series "Becoming a People of Grace." He said something in one message which went something like this: "If you earned it, it's a wage. It's due to you. Grace is not earned." It's given. In the case of God, He gives us grace, most tremendously in the case of our salvation. Absolutely nothing could ever be done to earn salvation. It's not "due" to us. It's not a wage that we earned through working for it. The opportunity is graciously given, because of His grace.
You know, also because of that grace, we should not feel we are limited in what we can do. Going back to Hovind's quote - when we think it terms of man, we will feel limited. We will compare ourselves to others. But, when we focus on what God can do, we are humbled and open to His limitless boundaries! He may have something in store for you that would would never imagine for yourself. If I knew that by losing a son I'd get the chance to share about God's amazing peace and comfort many times, I still wouldn't volunteer for the experience. I'm human. But because He has brought me through the tragedy with a filling that could only be explained as simply "God," I've been open to receive chances to share with others and even pray for others in similar circumstances. Prior to May 24, 2008, I would never have thought I'd "get through" the death of a child enough to have a heart to reach out to others. It was/is truly a God-given-grace-filled gift, this peace and moving on.
I don't want to be impressed with man. I want to seek God's accomplishments and praise Him for what is due. I want to be used to help others focus on God's achievements. May I seek to point out the "HIM" in all there is, not the "him."

1 comment:

rachel said...

Hi Mrs. H! I am so excited (and a little jealous!) you're going to a Deeper Still. I've heard nothing but phenomenal things about those conferences. I did go to the Nashville event (so great!) and I'm hoping to attend Living Proof in Memphis this fall. Love your blog!