Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Christian's favorite word

This was the title of our pastor's sermon on Sunday. What's your guess? Need a clue? His text was Ephesians 2. Still don't know? I didn't either. Not for sure. There are so many incredible possibilities: mercy, forgiveness, joy, Jesus, the cross, reconciliation, peace, love... the list really is endless. How can you choose? Well, Rick chose grace, and made a convincing argument from this familiar passage. Grace certainly is a most attractive attribute of God and the one without which I would be separated from Him forever. But during his introduction, while he kept us hanging, I had another word in mind. My guess was the word "but." "But God." My favorite word in my favorite spot is in Ephesians 2:3-5:

...we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.

and then in verses 12 and 13:
remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Without that "but" I'd still be a child of wrath. Without "but" I would be without hope and without God in the world. Praise God for "but"s!


NHP said...

Very true! Just what I needed to read.
But God is still in control of when we travel!
: )

James said...

I love the "but now's" of the Bible. Paul is good at them. Good stuff, Laura.