Monday, June 25, 2012

Why We Must Celebrate Grace

What does it look like to celebrate grace? I think the answer is found in the beginning of Psalm 122:1-2: "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.' Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem."

Envision the scene here as David speaks for the average Israelite. A farmer and his family are planning their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They are brimming with excitement as they make their plans and preparations. They are actually going to the tabernacle where God dwells, and they can't believe it! They are enjoying the same kind of excited anticipation that a family would experience as they prepare to go on a particularly wonderful vacation. They are imagining the sights and sounds. Their hearts are not just excited about worship. No, their hearts are filled with worship already. They are recounting and remembering all that God has done for them to make this pilgrimage possible. The very thought of being in the presence of God absolutely thrills them, even as it fills them with holy fear. They have not even begun the trip and already their hearts are overflowing with joy.

The second sentence, "Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem," advances the scene. Now the pilgrims are actually inside the walls of the holy city. They simply cannot believe they are there, and are repeating to themselves, "I'm inside the gates. I'm inside the gates. I'm really inside the gates!" It is almost impossible for them to take it in. They are having trouble grasping that it is really true. What are these Israelites doing? They are celebrating the amazing grace of a sovereign Redeemer.

Pastor, it's like us waking up in the morning and saying, "I'm redeemed. I'm redeemed. I'm redeemed. I'm redeemed. I can't believe that I am one of God's children! I can't believe that God has placed his love on me. I can't be live he has called me to his work! No, my life and ministry isn't always easy, but I'm redeemed. No, the relationships with people around me don't always work the way they should, but I'm redeemed. Yes, I live in a world that is broken and does not operate as intended, but I'm redeemed. Yes, I face personal and ministry disappointment, but I'm redeemed. I can't believe it, I am one of God's children and one of his spokesmen!" Read more

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