Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Putting Amazing Back into Grace

Part of the RUF internship is the study program: each month, I have assigned reading consisting of one or two books, certain sections of the Bible (by the end of these 2 years, we will have read the whole Bible), and portions of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. I must confess, as much as I would like to be, I'm not much of a reader. When I was younger, I was a giant bookworm; I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. (And often got in trouble for staying up reading waaaay past my bedtime.) Somewhere in the past 10 years or so, I stopped loving reading. (I blame my highschool teachers and assigned reading.) It's sad, really... I want to be a bookworm, but I'm just not. I could go off on a tangent about how media/information overload has killed our attention spans and makes reading seem boring... but that's another conversation. :) Thankfully, the RUF study program is phenomenal - I've really enjoyed these books! (Most of them anyway.) Who knows? Maybe there's hope for his backslidden bookworm! ;)

The purpose of this post is to share a quote from Putting Amazing Back into Grace. It has been my favorite book in the study program so far. It's written by Michael Horton, and I really love his writing style. Its hard to describe, but if you're looking for a book on reformed theology (everyone's favorite topic, I know) that's practical, applicable, and interesting (because let's be honest, not all theological books are), then I STRONGLY recommend this book! (Don't judge it by it's 90s-tastic cover!)

So without further ado, here's a quote from chapter 10, titled "No Lost Causes":

"In the matter of justification, we see Judge; we picture a courtroom. In the matter of sanctification, we see a Father and the image of home. I referred I the ugly duckling's becoming the beautiful swan. Sanctification involves that kind of transformation. Don't lose heart! If God starts this thing, He will finish it!"

Maybe this quote is just beautiful to me in the context of what I've been learning throughout it the rest of the book... but it just resonated with me. My day-to-day relationship with God has the nature of a parent-child relationship, not that of a criminal and a judge. God has already justified me; I am no longer in the courtroom. God is at work in my heart, sanctifying me to be more like Christ, and He is not going to give up on me! I can come to Him freely, I don't have to try to hide my shame from Him. God's not done with me yet; I still sin. A lot. But God doesn't see me as the sinner I am; He sees me as someone who has been redeemed, a work in progress... and He has promised that He will finish what He started!

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
 - Phil. 1:6

If that's not encouraging, I don't know what is!

Things have been busy here; I'll be back soon with a ministry update!