“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
What I keep noticing as I read through the Bible is that thread of grace that runs like a river all the way through it. I have only done this once before, read it all the way through. I am reading slowly, wading through the current carefully, taking my time. I stalled out trying to pick one of the sophisticated plans online. There are so many to choose from…….You Version, Logos, Daily Bible…..God knows me so well, that my indecision renders me useless at times. The Spirit breathed into my heart……”Just pick it up and read from cover to cover.” So that is what I’m doing.
I have reached the story of Jacob and Esau, where Jacob cheated Esau out of his rightful birthright. I think in my own mind, I am wondering why God would continue to bless Jacob and choose him as the heir, especially after what he did to Esau. But when I study further, I find that Esau had many character flaws as well. And Jacob did not get off scot-free. Here is what it says in the notes to my study Bible:
Jacob the trickster gets his due. After pulling off the ruse, he has to run for his life and spends 20 years in exile with his Uncle. Uncle Laban then gives Jacob a dose of his own medicine by planting an unwanted sister in his wedding bed and by repeatedly changing his wages as head shepherd……This reads a bit like a TV reality show.
When I read all these stories, I am deeply affected by how God uses us despite our many failures, flaws and imperfections. It’s all about Grace…..unmerited favor. None of us deserves what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, but He did it anyway. That’s how much He wants to have a relationship with us……
My Father, how thankful I am that you are always active in “good works” towards me. I can never repay your goodness to me. And all that you ask is that I not tire of doing what’s right, no matter how unresponsive the heart of some whom you’ve called me to serve. Only You can give me strength and courage today, because You know where the way is rugged. Fix my sights on the coming harvest of joy! David Hazard…….”Early Will I Seek You”……40 days in the company of Augustine.