16 September 2010

And the grace of our Lord overflowed

In the church today there is little emphasis on self-emptying. I've seen many books on how to be filled with joy and other things, but I don't think I've ever seen a book on how to empty yourself of self. Too much of contemporary Christianity feeds on pride. But a person without poverty of spirit fails to understand the grace of God and cannot be a Christian since salvation is by grace through faith . . .

Christ doesn't become precious to us until we are humble. When we preoccupy ourselves with our own wants and needs we can't see the matchless worth of Christ. Also, until we comprehend how lost we are we can't understand Christ's wondrous and redeeming love. Until we see our poverty we can't see His riches. No man enters the kingdom without understanding his own sinfulness and realizing his need to repent.
-John MacArthur

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
-1 Timothy 1

But I recieved mercy.
Do I truly know that? That is, know it so well that it spills out through my words and actions? It doesn't seem so. I am so quick to judge, extending my beliefs and opinions into unkind, angry attitudes toward fellow human beings. As if I were not a sinner myself-- "the foremost," in fact.

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