Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Devotion 7.27.17

Self-made man?  What does that really mean?  That no one in a man's history had any impact on him, who he is, and the path he took to become what he has become? 

Interestingly enough, that sentiment dominates in our culture which still is predominantly Christian, and our Christian faith teaches us quite the opposite.  A familiar Lutheran hymn says this, "We give thee but thine own, whatever the gift may be.  All that we have is thine alone, a trust O Lord from thee."  (William How, 1854)  After we gave our offering to God, we would sing this hymn.  It comes from 1 John 3:17, "But if anyone has the world's good and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"  We give God what he has given us, whatever that gift may be (the widow's mite for example).  All we have is God's alone, given to us as a trust to take care of while we are here.  That's all we have, including our own lives.  "You are not your own.  You were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

So, too, we come to grace given to us by faith, and this grace is not of our own doing as we might sometimes think.  Sola Gratia. Grace alone.  The free gift of faith from the Spirit, bought with a price, gives us the gift of grace, bought with a price.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing;  it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8 - 9 - the theme verse of our camp).

How does that message get messed up in today's culture, as it did in Luther's time?  How does the simplicity of grace through faith in Christ, not of our own doing nor through anything we can do," get lost in translation?

Pray we help teach the truth.  Faith alone.  Grace alone.  Scripture alone.  Pray that God's Spirit work that truth in love to the lost, and that we don't get in its way as we seek to help others know that.

Hope Men's Ministry

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