Thursday, July 06, 2006

Treading Water

Before I begin my post, I just wanted to give an update to any who are curious. No my eyes have not gotten any better yet and for the second week in a row, I have had to have the youth read the verses while I just humbly listen and then attempt to explain them. It is just another confirmation in my mind that God is in control and I trust him to do what he does!

If you've read some of my posts recently, the area that God is continually shaping me is the area of humility (or lack there of). I shared this example last night at youth group and it really puts our position in this world in a better perspective. Have you ever heard a preacher or evangelist use the analogy of God being like a captain on a ship and we have fallen overboard. Many times the will say, we can't save ourselves, no more than a drowning man can save himself. I know people say this, because I think I've used this example in a few sermons a couple of years ago.

I have been realizing recently how theologically, and Biblically inaccurate that example is. When we first here about how we are drowning in our sin and God throws out a divine life raft is sounds pretty Biblical. Let's take a closer look at some Scripture that describes our real condition. In Ephesians 2:1 Paul talks about how we are DEAD in our transgressions, not drowning, not trying to keep our head above water, or getting tired of struggling, we are DEAD. A more accurate (but more grotesque) example would be our dead and decaying corpses laying on the bottom of the Ocean with no life left in us. We were never alive. When we were born, we had a sin-nature and we were sentenced to death (Romans 6:23), but God in his Gracious love, picked us up off the Ocean floor and brought us to life. He took our dead bodies and made us new in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17).

The drowning example implies that we were surviving on our own but we just got tired so we needed God's help. In reality, we never had a chance! Without God, we had no hope. What a hope we have in Christ! I hope this thought encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!


At 08:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good example, matt! it's not only how we should see ourselves, but how we should see others who are not yet "alive in Christ". perhaps we'd be less fearful and more bold to share with them the Good News....

At 13:38, Blogger Matt Strader said...

Amen! Thanks for the comment

At 13:29, Anonymous Cindy Mathews (of the long lost Fiver) said...

I think a really neat (and graphic) picture of what you're talking about is in Ezekiel chapter 16. God is reminding Israel (aka us) of what we were without Him. "No eye pitied have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born. And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, "Live!"...I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured and became very beautiful....Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord God. " (excerpts from verses 5-8)

You have to read the whole chapter cos it's AWESOME and humbling and a great picture of grace.

I'm sorry to hear about your eyesight but I'm glad you are learning so much and pray God's power will continue to be made perfect in your weakness. xoxo grace and peace to you

At 21:18, Blogger marissa finch said...

I had heard that illustration before but never really analyzed it in that way. After you shared that at youth i was wondering how many other's are just like that,sounding really good and appealing, but there being little truth behind it. hmmm

At 09:09, Blogger Matt Strader said...

probably more than werealize for sure.


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