Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
It’s very easy to understand why this is my wife’s favorite chapter in the whole Bible! It’s right up there at the top for me too, but I have to say it’s got a lot of competition! The key to being blessed by reading the Bible is to understand, “This applies to me.” If we fail to have that understanding, it is great literature but nothing more, and occasionally dense and even boring. When we come at it with the feeling, “God has written this to me,” then the blessings are endless. Just now this particular verse stood out to me because of the talk I gave to the Rotary Club recently on Giving. As I told them, God is a giving God! This verse, properly understood, should eliminate all anxiety about God’s supply to us. Our anxieties are generally based on experiencing wants not being met, rather than on needs not being met. Jesus famously addressed this issue in Matthew 6, using clear illustrations from nature and concluding with, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) At the time He said it Jesus hadn’t yet been given over to death, as Paul is referencing, so He couldn’t use Himself as an illustration! However, we have Paul’s frame of reference, so we should rest as assured as he did.
Naturally, this applies as much to me as it does to anyone. I have learned from experience that God doesn’t spoil us, because He wants us to grow into responsible, accountable children, but He still delights to give us good things. I’ve also learned that we need to be alert to recognize what God is giving us. A sense of entitlement is a massive hindrance to genuine happiness and joy. There’s an excellent reason John Newton chose the adjective, amazing, when he wrote about God’s grace. When we fail to recognize that everything we have is an expression of God’s grace and that we really haven’t earned any of it, we lose the gratitude that turns it all into the blessing God intends it to be. I too like to feel that I have achieved things, but if I lose the awareness that God gave me the ability, the opportunity, and the drive to do it in the first place, then the blessing is fleeting at best.
Father, thank You indeed for Your truly amazing grace. Thank You for all that yesterday held, and all that You have prepared for today. Help me recognize your hand in it all and give you the thanks and praise that You alone deserve, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!