Friday, September 22, 2017

A Trip Back to the Cross

Seasonal consumers of religion.

At the risk of sounding harsh, a lot of those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus who are exactly that—seasonal consumers of religion. We come and go when it’s convenient and when something piques our interest in the program of the church. We turn up when we can’t find anything better to do. We blame the pace of the rest of our lives on our lack of attention to what needs to be THE priority of life. We are religious but we are not very spiritual. We treat Grace cheaply.*

It’s a good thing God doesn’t operate that way.

I was struck this morning by David’s response to God as we see it in 1 Chronicles 21. He did a “no-no” (21:6, 7) and God gave him a choice of punishments—that in itself is significant and shows us the high regard God had for David in spite of his sin. David chose to submit to God’s hand as the instrument of punishment (21:13) rather than subject himself to the punishment men would bring on him.

When David begged for mercy, the Lord granted his request (21:17). In gratitude for that mercy, David went out to build an altar at the spot where the angel of the Lord had been withdrawn from his deadly task. The land belonged to Araunah, a man who was more than willing to give the king the land on which David wanted to build the altar. David’s words are significant: “But King David replied, ‘No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing’” (21:24, NIV).

David recognized just how merciful God had been and the depth of his gratitude would not permit him to give back cheap thanks to God.

Perhaps we don’t understand just what God did for us in sending His Son to take our judgment upon Himself. Perhaps we don’t appreciate our salvation and perhaps that lack of appreciate has caused us to offer cheap thanks, gratitude that costs us nothing.

Perhaps we need a trip back to the cross.

 

** For more on abusing grace, read Abusing Grace.

 

Lynda is a missionary, speaker, educator, writer, editor, and cat lover. She was born and raised in Timmins, the heart of gold mining country in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Lynda has served with Fellowship International for more than thirty years, first in Colombia, a brief stint on home staff in Toronto, Ontario and, more recently in Venezuela. She is currently on staff at First Baptist Church in Timmins, Ontario where her primary focus is spiritual formation. The author of Divine Design for Daily Living, a 365 day devotional journey through the entire Bible (published in Spanish and English),  Lynda blogs Lynda’s Grain of Sand, maintains her own website Northern Breezes , and has been seconded by Fellowship International to serve on the Communications team of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.

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