Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Outrageous Grace

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

4th December 2011

When I read through the Old Testament it always amazes me that the featured characters had some pretty severe problems. Just consider:

  • Adam, the first man, was a blame shifter who couldn’t resist peer pressure (Genesis 3:12).
  • Eve, the first woman, couldn’t control her appetite (Genesis 3:6)
  • Cain, the first born human being, murdered his brother (Genesis 4:8).
  • Noah, the last righteous man on earth at the time, was a drunk who slept in the nude (Genesis 9:20–21).
  • Abraham, the forefather of faith, let other men walk off with his wife on two different occasions (Genesis 12 and 20).
  • Sarah let her husband sleep with another woman and then hated her for it (Genesis 16).
  • Lot had a serious problem with choosing the wrong company (Genesis 18-20).
  • Job suffered from the nagging of a faithless wife (Job2:9).
  • Isaac, who was nearly killed by his father, talked his wife into concealing their marriage (Genesis26).
  • Rebekah turned out to be a rather manipulative wife (Genesis 27).
  • Jacob, who out-wrestled God, was pretty much a pathological deceiver (Genesis 25,27,30).
  • Rachel was a nomadic kleptomaniac (Genesis 31:19).
  • Reuben, the pride and firstborn of Jacob, was a pervert who slept with his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:21).
  • Moses, the humblest man on the face of the earth (Numbers12:13), had a very serious problem with his temper (Exodus 2,32:19;Numbers 20:11).
  • Aaron, who watched the Lord triumph over Pharaoh, formed an abominable idol (Exodus 32).
  • Miriam, the songwriter, had sibling jealousy and a greed for power (Numbers 12).
  • Samson was hopelessly enmeshed with a disloyal wife and ended up taking his own life (Judges 16).
  • Eli, who ruled over Israel, was a hopelessly incapable father who lost his sons to immorality and to an untimely death (1 Samuel 2,4).
  • Saul, the first and powerful king of Israel, was apparently a psychotic with manic bursts of anger, episodes of deep depression and traces of paranoia, too. He committed suicide (1 Samuel 16,18,19,31).
  • David, the friend of God, concealed his adultery with a murder (2 Samuel 11).
  • Solomon, the wisest man in the world, was arguably the world’s greatest sex addict with 1,000 sexual partners (1 Kings 11).
  • With rare exception, all the kings that followed Solomon had mammoth issues in their lives.
  • Hosea, an incredibly forgiving man, grappled with the pain of a wife who could be described as a nymphomaniac.
  • The prophets, even as they spoke for God, struggled with impurity, depression, unfaithful spouses, and broken families.

Perhaps we should all just throw up our hands conceding that people are typically a mess?

But enter the Baby born in Bethlehem, who shall be called ‘Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins’. (Matthew 1:21)

This baby is none other than the ‘Saviour, who is Christ the Lord’. (Luke 2:11)

The good news of the gospel message is that there is grace, forgiveness and salvation for broken, dysfunctional, warped lives and families.

As Godfrey Birtill has written,

There’s a lot of pain but a lot more healing
There’s a lot of trouble but a lot more peace
There’s a lot of hate but a lot more loving
There’s a lot of sin but a lot more grace

Oh outrageous grace oh outrageous grace
Love unfurled by heaven’s hand
Oh outrageous grace oh outrageous grace
Through my Jesus I can stand

I find all this incredibly comforting for I know that whatever my problems or issues God’s outrageous grace, given to us in Jesus, means that I can stand.

So let us take our scrambled lives to God who understands and has mercy (Hebrews 4:16) and be thankful for the coming of Jesus through whom came grace (John 1:17 ESV) and ‘from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace’. (V.17 ESV)

Have a good week basking in God’s outrageous grace.

Pastor Barry

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