Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Why is Election in the Bible?

A few weeks ago I planned to teach about election. My parents happened to be in town for that Wednesday night service. When my mom learned about the topic, she raised some points regarding election and its practical place in everyday life. She also cautioned me that it’s very divisive. I’m thankful for my mom and her help because once again she’s right.
Election has caused controversy throughout the church’s history. It’s not a teaching that any believer can ignore because it’s all over Scripture. More importantly, Jesus instructed His disciples to observe everything He commanded, and treasuring the place of election in God’s redemption is a part of our calling as disciples. Believers have the joy of reading God’s Word and discovering the riches of His grace to us. God’s grace to us includes election. The salvation that we have through Jesus is deep and rich. Savoring every important aspect gives believers more and more opportunities to delight ourselves in our Sovereign God. Election is difficult to understand and even outside of our complete understanding. God still gave this gem to us for a wonderful reason – WORSHIP.
Reading passages like Ephesians 1:3-14 offers us a chance to worship God rather than detail who is “elected” and who isn’t. Paul wrote this amazing beginning to the Ephesian church to lead them (and us) in worship for God’s amazing grace. On the one hand we are invited to behold God’s plan of salvation – worship Him. On the other hand in places such as Matthew 28:18-20, we’re invited to participate in God’s plan of salvation – Tell others about Him. To combine these frameworks undermines their purpose and develops a faulty method for reading Scripture.
Election brings praise and thanksgiving from a true believer. Paul’s writing is filled with praise and worship to God for what He’s done. God’s action in electing individual believers sets aside human pride. The very fact that I didn’t do anything or deserve His love directs me to worship God rather than brag about myself for who I am or what I’ve done.
I have confidence in God for His salvation. I trust in His salvation that I know He will make complete. Election produces fruit like Paul writes about the Thessalonians in 1 Thess 1:4-10. Election produces holiness not pride or laziness. Since God elects individuals to salvation I know that nothing can separate me from His love (Rom. 8:29-30). I am assured of salvation through Jesus because of God’s word. When I trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins I know God has chosen me. Oh, what humbling grace! May we draw near to God because of His great grace to us.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Ride for Adoption

Kaleb & Meagan Scharmahorn are adopting a child from Nicaragua. They are great friends of ours. We're thankful to be so close together in Florida. Kaleb's serving at Salty Church in Ormond Beach, FL, and I'm here in St. Augustine.
One of the fundraisers they're doing for their adoption is a bike ride from Nashville, TN to Daytona, FL. Yes, that's correct from Tennessee to Florida - 700 miles in 7 days. Check out the video and consider donating to help the Scharmahorns bring home their next son or daughter! from Ride for Adoption on Vimeo.