Without Cause, Without Measure, Without End

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” ~Romans 5:6-11

I’ve heard it said over and over again, “God helps those who help themselves.” And it’s always said as if it’s some deep profound theological truth that’s rooted in Scripture. Actually, Scripture teaches us exactly the opposite. From Genesis through Revelation, the entire canon of God’s Word proclaims loudly and unambiguously that “God helps those who cannot help themselves!”

While we were powerless. Ungodly. Sinners. God’s enemies.

It’s at that point that God reaches through the barriers of time and space and rescues me — when I’m wholly unable to do anything about my salvation myself. I’ve never done anything in my life to merit God’s favor. In fact, most of my life, I feel, looking back, is an affront to our God. And it’s at that moment he sends his Son to die for me. God’s love for me is completely without cause.

And it’s without measure. To what can I compare it? With all of my sin and selfishness and arrogance and pride and inclination to evil and rebellion, I wouldn’t die for me. But God did. Who else does that?

And God’s love for me is without end. I’m reconciled through Christ’s death. But the fact that he lives and reigns at the right hand of the Father fills me with confidence that he lives and reigns to keep me, to constantly wash me, to ensure my eternal destiny with him in the eternal Kingdom.

Hallelujah.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In just 15 days the real football season begins with eleven college games that mean something, that count in the standings, that matter in real life, climaxing with LSU and Mississippi State on ESPN. And today’s all-time greatest to ever wear the #15 is not Babe Laufenberg. It’s a guy who mainly rode the bench at Alabama and wasn’t drafted by his NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, until the 17th round!

BartStarrBart Starr spent 16 years with the Packers, leading them to six Division titles, five NFL titles, and two Super Bowl wins. He was the NFL MVP in 1966 and the MVP in both of those first two Super Bowls. He was the NFL passing champion three times and represented Title Town in four Pro Bowls. His career completion rate of 57.4% is among the best ever. And, of course, he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Starr

The Packers attempted to manipulate fate and recapture some of that Title Town magic when they hired Starr as the head coach in 1975. But he went 52-76-3 over nine years, making the playoffs only once.

But that doesn’t tarnish what he did as a player. Bart Starr defined an era, almost two decades, as the championship quarterback of the undisputed dominant team in the NFL. And he’s the best player to ever wear #15.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I expect naught from myself, everything from the work of Christ. My service has its objectivity in that expectation and by it I am freed from all anxiety about my insufficiency and failure.”

Peace,

Allan

2 Comments

  1. Bart Castle

    Seldom, if ever do we discuss the reality that there are very American virtues, like self-sufficiency, which may be patriotic – but ungodly. I can love God and still love America. However, it seems to me important to ask myself do I take seriously the notion my citizenship is in Heaven, not Bedford? If I do, I am going to more clearly see those instances when commonly held ideas are leading me in the wrong direction – regardless of their popularity.
    How has the Body universal lost sight of so much? Quite easily. We have tended to adopt the secular notion that the popularity of an idea is a valid gauge of its truthfulness.
    As Romans notes, it is not my ability to pull myself up from my bootstraps that is valuable to God. On the contrary, doesn’t he most value when I will ask what shoes he wants me putting on in the first place?
    Thanks for an important reminder about grace.

    By Friday, a tragic tale may have reached some conclusion. Michael Vick and his counsel will likely have decided whether or not to accept a plea to keep the very talented Vick from almost certainly spending the remainder of his 20s and 30s in federal prison.
    The tale is a tragic reminder that poor choices have damaging consequences far beyond those we might have imagined at the time the decision was made.
    Vick, who will likely miss this NFL season at a minimum, let down his teammates, legions of fans (including kids) who have cheered him and lined his pockets by buying merchandise bearing his name and number, Arthur Blank – the Falcons owner who so believed in Vick and who Vick described as a “second father” and perhaps of greatest consequence misguided boyhood friends and relatives who needed effective leadership badly. Rather than leadership the entire group got a wayward desire to dabble in the shadows, empowering needy individuals to destroy their lives and his.
    Here’s hoping someone will cross Michael Vick’s path with a copy of the story of the prodigal son, showing Vick a loving father who waits patiently for us after the money, friends and fame have gone.
    The way may seem dark Michael, but sometimes a bad first quarter simply sets up an amazing finish!

  2. Doug Crowell

    Grace is unmerited favor. It is God’s free action for the benefit of His people.
    It is different than Justice and Mercy.
    Justice is getting what we deserve.
    Mercy is not getting what we deserve.
    Grace is getting what we do not deserve.
    With God helping those who cant help themselves, this is what I tell my employees. We were sent via the 911 call but you need to realize that you are there to help. Our church does a real good job with helping those who need it. For those who dont help, they dont understand. A couple of years ago a lady came through at “Give away day”, she was there for help. When she put her things her car she came back in and helped walk others through.
    This was an ispiration to me.
    Everyday we are placed in situations where we can help. It is our duty to make it better than before. Give others hope.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For spam filtering purposes, please copy the number 7213 to the field below: