Once again I had convergence between a sermon I heard, a devotional I read and a conversation I had. I shouldn’t be so surprised anymore, but it still catches me off guard. The passages weren’t new ones, but they hit me in a little different way this time. The devotional was on the idea of adoption as sons in Romans 8, the sermon was on God sealing us in 2 Corinthians 1, and the discussion was on a house sale by a guy I work with.
Individually, these are good topics unto themselves, but I had a new thought coming out of these. We are God’s investment property. In Romans and many other of Paul’s writings he discusses how we are not just orphans in Christ, rather we are fully adopted and equal heirs to the kingdom. I have heard that a lot, but the reality is that I hadn’t really thought it through. Far too often I have viewed myself as God’s redheaded stepchild or as I have heard it put in a different context, His “little silver medal”…something okay, but not best. Despite such great books as Elyse Fitzgerald’s “Because He Loves Me” or “In the Grip of Grace”, it is just an area I have struggled to understand and fully appreciate.
Indeed, a sermon I listened to by Dave Blum recently asked a challenging question as to when the last time we basked in the knowledge that God enjoys and approves of us (Dave said it much more eloquently you should listen to it online). Frankly, I can’t remember a time when I ever did that. It always seemed to me that, even though I know the truth that grace is freely given and can’t be earned, I have pretty consistently and harshly looked at my past and all my failures, including the many ways I fall short of His perfection today and just couldn’t grasp how God could love me when I have treated Him so poorly and cheapened His grace with my actions and attitudes. I don’t think it is bad to not fully comprehend His love for us, but it is damaging to judge ourselves without at least some appreciation of it and a commitment to seeking a deeper understanding.
Anyway, that is probably a topic for a future post. For now, I will just say, it is an area of personal struggle and challenge that I continue to grapple with. The second sermon focused on God sealing us and placing His Spirit in us. I had memorized that passage in 2 Corinthians in quizzing years ago, but this time I was drawn to the phrase “…and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come in verse 22 of chapter 1.
With that, let me get this posted and join me on the 28th for part 2.