How amazing is it that not only does the Creator of all give the created the freedom of choice, but also no matter what choices we make throughout our lives, both knowingly and unknowingly, Father God’s compassion is so great that He continually gives us new chances to choose again. Every day He sets before us the opportunity to choose between life and death (Deuteronomy 30:15). Every day His mercies are new. (Lamentations 3:22-23). You may give up on yourself because of the choices you have made, but your Heavenly Father does not. He is faithful to complete what He started (Philippians 1:6).
His love is so great that out of His joy and delight in you, in me, He CHOOSES to extend favor rather than to take offense at our sins. What is that favor? Grace = “The empowering Presence of God enabling you to be who He created you to be, and to do what He has called you to do.”
Let that sink in to the very depths of your being!
I remember the first time I heard this definition of grace taught to me by James Ryle. It made grace so much more real to me. When I would hear “unmerited favor”, it created a perspective in me that My Heavenly Father was barely putting up with me. Learning that the Greek word for grace “charis” comes from the root word “chairo” which means “to rejoice, be glad, delighted” literally rocked my world. It is out of our Heavenly Father’s joy and delight in us that He acts towards us.
If your perspective is our Heavenly Father is “merely putting up with us” it creates fertile ground within us for a belief that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection created “blanket coverage” and it becomes very impersonal. When in actuality, it’s very, very, very personal. It’s all about you. Yes, the person you see looking back at you from the mirror is the very reason He never gives up. Spending eternity with you and with me is the reason He created us. (John 3:16-18)
What is God saying when He tells us that every day the choice between life and death is ours?
To choose our Heavenly Father and to choose to trust His heart towards us is what it means to choose life. How do I know that? When Eve chose to doubt the heart of God towards her, death entered the world (Genesis 3), i.e., separation from the very One who creates us and is the source of life itself. (John 1:4)
As much as spending eternity with me and with you is God’s desire, He still created within each us the capacity for free will to choose whether or not we will love Him and trust Him or to choose “something other” than Him.
That “something other” can take many forms … control, isolation, money, manipulation, understanding, anger, or bitterness to name just a few. When Jesus cried out “forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), He was not just speaking of those present the day of His crucifixion. Jesus was praying for you and me as well. Jesus knew that just as the enemy deceived Eve, he would constantly parade choices before us trying to get us to doubt the heart of God; to believe either that God is holding out on us or that “something other” can keep us safer than God can. Let me assure you, you are definitely not alone in sometimes choosing “other than God”. We’ve all done it in one form or another, including the Apostle Paul. (Rom 3:23).
The kicker …. it’s no surprise to our Heavenly Father.
The psalmist David tries to capture in words the vastness of God’s intimate knowledge of us; His provision for us; and, His presence with us in Psalm 139. I encourage you to read the psalm in its entirety and let it permeate your being. As David is writing this psalm, he shares how the revelation of such loves impacts him:
It is the most amazing feeling to know
how deeply You know me,
inside and out;
the realization of it is so great
that I cannot comprehend it.
Our Heavenly Father knows more about each of us than we know ourselves. With all of that insight, still His choice is to love you and me. Now there’s a reason to hope!
Do you believe that your past choices are too great for God to overcome?
Do you believe that your circumstances are beyond what God can redeem?
Watch this amazing testimony of Ian McCormack to see just how many opportunities God provided to choose Him in the most dire of situations and what God can do when we do choose Him.