Take a moment to center yourself on God’s presence. He is always with us but often we are too distracted and busy to pay attention. He is closer than your next breath.
Read // Exodus 19
4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
In this passage, we have a clear summary of the order of grace or the basic paradigm of our faith. The order of grace begins always with God’s saving action. Here it begins with the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt, an act that they have nothing to do with (can they help the eagle fly? NO!). In the same way, we did not choose God but He first chose us: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Only after this gracious act of deliverance does God call for a response of grateful obedience “if you obey me fully and keep my covenant…” (v.5a). So, often we think we must obey and live up to the standard of the Law in order to earn God’s love and saving work. But that’s not the gospel. That’s not the order of grace. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. Instead the call to obedience is meant to be motivated out of gratitude and trust that this new way of life is the best possible option for God’s people.
Finally, after the gracious act of salvation and the obedient trust, the people experience blessing as they model their life according to how the Creator of the universe has ordered reality. Only after recognizing who God is and what He has done for them can they begin to live the lives they were meant to live. The life that is abundant (John 10:10).
How have you distorted this order of grace either explicitly or implicitly in your thinking?
“Lord, thank you for saving me. Help me to trust that your ways are higher than my ways and your thoughts than my thoughts. Help me to trust you as the only way and truth and life. Help me to follow with all that I am and all that I have.”