Well, at the risk of losing any readers who normally visit our blog for family pictures, I can't help but post more of what I'm learning as I re-read J.I. Packer's classic, Knowing God. If you haven't read this book, allow me to just say that I have truly been pastored by J.I packer during the last few days--perhaps in a way that only I have needed. But I dare say it will minister to each one in its own way, as God's Word applied to men's hearts always does.
From Knowing and Being Known (Emphases mine):
"There is unspeakable comfort--the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates--in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me."
[I looked up "disillusioned" for a fuller understanding of this passage. Here is the definition: "Disappointed in someone or something that one discovers to be less good than one had believed."]
"There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that he sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see (and I am glad!), and that he sees more corruption in me than that which I see myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, he wants me as his friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given his Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose."
I don't think I am alone in often feeling "disillusioned" about myself--disappointed in discovering I am "not as good as I had believed"--more wicked than I imagined, in fact. And when the sight of such darkness invades my conscience, it causes my soul to fear that my inheritance as a child of the King may not be sure. What pure, exhilarating, life-altering, soul-thrilling joy it is to be reminded through Packer's words (and Scripture itself!) that God's love to me is utterly realistic. Praise God that for some unfathomable reason indeed, he saw all that I ever was or ever would be and while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me, purchasing freedom for a slave and giving me a new name: Friend. Daughter. Child. Lamb. Mine.
The whole family got to join Sophia's kindergarten class on a trip to the zoo last week. The weather was perfect, and we had a great time! The pictures aren't spectacular since we just had the phone, but you can see there was lots of fun to be had. :)
Here are some sweet, Scripture-based, honey-filled words for the sojourning Christian who is tempted to feel overwhelmed and condemned by the real fight against sin:
"If it is God, the Maker and Judge of all, who passes the justifying sentence--that is, who declares that you have been set right with his law and with himself, and are not now liable to death for your sins, but are accepted in Christ--and if God has passed this sentence in full view of all your shortcomings, justifying you on the explicit basis and understanding that you were not righteous, but ungodly (Rom 4:5), then nobody can ever challenge the verdict, not even 'the accuser of the brethren' himself. Nobody can alter God's decision over his head--there is only one Judge!--and nobody can produce new evidence of your depravity that will make God change his mind. For God justified you with (so to speak) his eyes open. He knew the worst about you at the time when he accepted you for Jesus' sake; and the verdict which he passed then was, and is final."
"For it is the privilege of all Christians to know for certain that God loves us immutably, and that nothing can at any time part us from that love or come between us and the final enjoyment of its fruits."
"Christians 'are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation' (1 Pet 1:5 KJV), and the power of God keeps them believing as well as keeping them safe through believing. Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you."