Thursday, December 9, 2010

Response in Life

Christians often believe they deserve far more than they have, when in reality they have far more than they deserve. - John MacArhtur,"The Pillars of Christian Character, p.106
Long before I heard Dave Ramsey reply, "Better than I deserve." to the question of "How are you?" I heard another man say that regularly - the Pastor of our small Midwestern town in the mid 80's. It was a bit of a jolt the first several times I heard it: I responded with nervous laughter. Later, that laughter transitioned to a reflective smile and nod. Pastor was changing my worldview by speaking truth. Of course, we are called not just to speak truth, but walk in faith of the One who is Truth. A few years ago while visiting for Christmas we drove up to see Pastor and his wife. Life was not easy for them, Pastor had watched his son die in a tragic accident, they had been in a close to deadly accident and were swamped with medical bills, and had a church whose board did not want truth to be taught for fear of community retaliation. The enemy was seemingly advancing on all fronts for them. When E. asked softly, "How are you doing? His bright eyes and beaming face relayed his contentment in Christ and he replied, "Better than I deserve."
Romans 5:8-9, "But God demonstrates his own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."
A few paragraphs down in "Pillars" MacAuthur, points out the early Chritians greeted eachother with the Greek Chairete, which means "Rejoice". What a great salutation. We were talking about this with our friends this week. We were exorting one another to "Rejoice" and somewhere inside I felt that nervous laughter of long ago. Walking and speaking truth can make me and others uncomfortable. Yet, it is more than just a seasonal novelty. We are commanded to "Rejoice!"
"Rejoice, that your names are written in heaven." -Luke
So you might just hear us say, "Rejoice" instead of our, "Hey, how are you doing?"

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