1 year ago
When we--without thinking too much about it--give away our time to things un-appointed by God, we will not have the grace to sustain them. Consequently, we put ourselves at risk of the enemy's schemes. We may forge ahead with energy and enthusiasm, but, under our own strength, we're not strong enough to keep our own footing. Especially when we live out from under God's best will for us. (p.21)When we try to do things that God has not chosen for us to do, we don't necessarily have the energy that we need to do them. And we rob those things that He has appointed for us to do. For example, if I choose to volunteer at the pregnancy center, but it means neglecting my children and husband, I have chosen something good, but not the best. God can find someone else to help out at the center, but only I can take care of my family.
When we say that God is Sovereign in the exercise of His love, we mean that He loves whom He chooses. God does not love everybody; if He did, He would love the Devil. Why does not God love the Devil? Because there is nothing in him to love; because there is nothing in him to attract the heart of God. Nor is there anything to attract God's love in any of the fallen sons of Adam, for all of them are, by nature, "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3). If then there is nothing in any member of the human race to attract God's love, and if, notwithstanding, He does love some, then it necessarily follows that the cause of His love must be found in Himself, which is only another way of saying that the exercise of God's love towards the fallen sons of men is according to His own good pleasure.Isn't that humbling? God doesn't love us because of anything that we've done or anything that we are; He loves us because He loves us. Isn't that wonderful! If we haven't done anything to earn His love, we can't do anything to lose it. How comforting!
Were we to announce from the average pulpit that the subject of our discourse would be the Sovereignty of God, it would sound very much as though we had borrowed a phrase from one of the dead languages. Alas! that it should be so. Alas! that the doctrine which is the key to history, the interpreter of Providence, the warp and woof of Scripture, and the foundation of Christian theology should be so sadly neglected and so little understood.....To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will....
To argue that God is "trying His best" to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent. To throw the blame, as many do, upon the Devil, does not remove the difficulty, for if Satan is defeating the purpose of God, then Satan is Almighty and God is no longer the Supreme Being.If God is truly sovereign, then we have to realize that nothing we can do, nothing that anyone can do, is able to thwart His will. It also makes me wonder if I really want to have any control since I don't know everything like He does. Not knowing everything
You listen. Really listening to someone is a very tender and generous gift. (p. 88)I wonder how much our relationships with others would benefit if we listened, really listened when they spoke, instead of trying to figure out what they're going to say next, how we're going to respond, or what topic to pick next. Think about how much you appreciate it when someone stops what they're doing and obviously pays attention to what you are saying, listening attentively. Then think about how your husband, children, and friends would enjoy your listening to them. How could our relationships not grow deeper and closer?