Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
December 2018 (2)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

DON’T DISDAIN THE PROMISES
by Philip Owen

            We can become so familiar with various scriptural texts that they cease to provoke in us the awe that they deserve.  Whether long but careless acquaintance rounds the sharp points of a truth that once stabbed our hearts and minds and blunts its force so that now we take it for granted or whether overt sin has dulled our senses, we too often find that a glorious truth no longer shines before us as it once did but as it still ought.  May the glory of the following text never dim.  “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).  There is far too much truth here to address in this brief space, so we will focus on the last clause:  “He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews declares that this is an essential belief.  Let’s consider two aspects of its truth:  (1) What it says about God; (2) What it says for man.

            About God.  The simple but profound truth this clause asserts is that God is a “rewarder” (more literally, “one who pays wages”).  In our current religious culture, which promotes a caricature of God as an omnipotent genie, bottled up and out of our way until we command Him to come forth and perform some service for us, a god whose sole purpose, apparently, is to make certain that we have our best lives now, it is critical that we not lose sight of the fact that as wrongheaded as such a view is, God is, nevertheless, an infinitely rich rewarder of His children.  His generosity beggars description.   It is not just that the blessings He bestows are immeasurable in the value they offer but that they were purchased at infinite cost.  As Paul reminds us, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (II Cor. 8:9).  The fact that it is not God’s will that most of His saints drive a Ferrari, live in a 10,000 square foot mansion, and take long vacations in the Caribbean every year should never detract from the immense liberality of the Lord’s nature.  Those who preach the kind of God just described have little if any concept of true reward.  They suffer under a far greater misconception than the child who grabs a dime because it is shiny while refusing a dull check for a million dollars.  God is powerful, loving, gracious, kind, and generous beyond our greatest imaginings.  Paul again assures us that He “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).

            For man.  We must preface these remarks with a reminder that the generosity of God described by the author of Hebrews is neither universal nor automatic:  it is bestowed only upon those who seek Him by faith.  And what is the nature of these rewards touted in Hebrews?  Surely, it is not anything so poverty-stricken as cars and houses and jewelry and wardrobes and playthings?  Those can be obtained with money, and anyone—of which there are quite a few—with sufficient cash or credit can acquire them.  No, the blessings God confers on those who exercise faith cannot be purchased with all the wealth in the world.  They may be summarized in one word, salvation.  That word encompasses a gift spanning time and eternity.  Right now (to offer only a representative sample), the believer receives forgiveness of sin and peace with God, deliverance from the penalty of sin, a promise that God will hear and answer prayers according to His will, deliverance from guilt, from fear, and from despair.  By faith he receives inexpressible joy, peace that is beyond understanding, and the identifiable Presence of the indwelling Spirit of God so that he may enjoy genuine fellowship with the Father and the Son.  The eternal life that he enjoys right now will afford future blessings such as a glorified Christlike body, joint heirship with Christ, the privilege of reigning with Christ on His throne, and the opportunity to fellowship with, engage in useful service to, and bask in the Presence and fellowship of the Lord and all His saints forever.

            Now who could place a proper value on such rewards?  May we meditate on Christ’s bounty that we might honor Him with faith, and love, and submission.  

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page

Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 372-8692 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com