Friday, January 4, 2013

thoughts from church: Romans 4:1-25‏

Leap of Faith? An Example to Follow by Pastor Troy Nesbitt

Romans 4:8

8 How joyful is the man
the Lord will never charge with sin!

Pastor Troy walked us through Romans 4 today and the examples of sinful men, Abraham and David, who by faith were made righteous before God.

Pastor Troy used an illustration that struck home with me and provoked my mind immediately to ponder the content of this post.

He mentioned that he is learning to do mechanical repairs to automobiles with the help and supervision of some close friends. On a particular occassion, he was turned loose to address a particularly difficult repair which he had not completed on his own before. He struggled and sweat and in exasperation surrendered to his supervisor. He asked them for help. They were quickly able to resolve the issue he had just previously spent so much time and energy failing to resolve.

This made Troy both angry and joyful.

Angry because Troy had tried so hard and after so much effort had wanted to be able to have some fruit to show for it. The more time he invested, the more he desired to see it through on his own. The more frustration he felt, the more zealous he became to cross the finish line under his own power. To have spent so much and fallen so far short and then to have someone sweep in and so easily do what he was unable to do made him mad. He was mad at the person for being so much better than him. What a frustration! Who wants it that way? Especially after so much investment? To experience so fully your own inadequacy. Argh!

Joyful because he had a friend who was so capable and sufficient.

A friend who could oversee his failure.

A friend.
A capable friend.
A capable friend close by.

Troy was free to attempt things bigger than his abilities because he felt the security of having one so capable by his side. What a joy to know you are safe! What security! You are free to try. Free to invest energy. Free to work hard because in the end there is One who can finish where you fall short.

One who is not only capable, but close by.
If He were only capable, but distant, it would be another cause for anxiety.
One that capable without compassion is a cruel reminder of the judgment to come.
But this capable One is close by.
He cares.

In Him we are completely free. We are free to try, because we are free to fail. But not because we desire less than we did before. It is not now that we no longer desire to win. We do. Even more so. And winning is worth wanting. It is knowing that the winning is His that distinguishes us now. It is wanting the Winner and the winning. We are under His glorious supervision.

On the one hand, we resent that our difficulties are so easily remedied by His sufficiency.
On the other hand, we take full rest and assurance in knowing that in His Sovereignty, nothing is insurmountable: not our sin, not ourselves, not our situations.
One is only made possible by the other.

If we can do it, we do not look for One who can.
If we can't do it, we must trust in the One who can.
If we have witnessed His provision, we cannot turn to any other.
if we know He is there, we are free to live under His guidance in joyful discipleship.

Abraham and David both confessed that only God could save them.

He was their hope.
He was their salvation, their reward.

For those who desire God as their gift, the gift of God and eternal life are given freely.
This is in, because, and on account of Christ Jesus, our Lord, alone.

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