Sunday, September 21, 2008

So Undeserved and So Huge

I just finished reading The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind by Bill Johnson. Here is what I wrote about it in my Visual Bookshelf review:

To simply say "a thought-provoking book" would be a disservice to Bill Johnson. This was a spiritually challenging book. There are some areas I surrounded by question marks because I am still weighing if I agree, but there are many more areas I underlined that challenged my thinking about how God wants to move in my life. I have definitely settled for the "normal" Christian life and Bill Johnson's challenge in the book is to redefine "normal" Christianity. The book has challenged me to let God transform my mind.

Chapter 7 of the book is entitled "Remembering". Here is a brief quote from the book that may have forever changed the way I think about how God sees me.

I'd be interested to know what is written in heaven's book of remembrance, but I think the record of Scripture gives us a good idea. Take the example of Sarah, Abraham's wife. In Genesis 18, she,

Laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" And the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh!" (Genesis 18:12-15)

She didn't just give an embarrassed giggle. The Hebrew word for laugh tells us she was mocking what God had said. Not only that, she lied about it when God confronted her. But Hebrews 11:11 says of this same woman,

By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

Wow! The record sounds different than the reality! This tells us something precious: the book of remembrance doesn't have a record of our mistakes. Genesis 18 was recorded for human benefit, so you and I could identify with those who followed God in the past. But Hebrews 11 is how it's recorded in the book of remembrance. Once the blood has been applied, there is no record of sin anymore. God brags all over heaven about Sarah, and He does the same about you and me.

Nobody, besides God, is more aware of my shortcomings and failures than I am. But when I read this "remembrance of heaven" account, it was like the Lord was whispering in my ear, "That's how I remember you, too, Rob."

His grace is so undeserved and so huge!

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