Monday, March 01, 2010

According to His Own Mercy

1Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (Titus 3:1-11. ESV.)

This weekend was truly amazing. The blessings began on Friday when my very first friend ("partner in crime" I dare say) came to visit me. She brought with her one of her children so that our kiddos could have some playtime while we caught up. We first met the year I was born and have been pals ever since. Though we lost touch for a little while there I would still say truly she is friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). And that in itself is, beyond doubt, incredible. I am so thankful God has placed her in my life, and I am grateful for her love, friendship, conversation, support, generosity, honesty, and kindness. Thank you, Kiki, I love you dearly.

I am always amazed at how God works (often times doing things much differently than I expect or would do them myself). His orchestration, unlike mine, is flawless, perfect in timing, and indisputable. Not to mention awe inspiring. I marvel at how He moves people according to His purpose for my life (and theirs), in each season. I watch as individuals come and go. Some are gone only for a season while others leave for good. New friendships are generally exciting though sometimes a little intimidating and endings are usually sad. Further, when I take a guess at who is going to continue to be a part of my life and whom the Lord is going to remove, I am often times surprised at His choices for me. But I know, all is in His infinite wisdom. For that, I am so thankful.

Sunday brought fantastic fellowship at the local Sovereign Grace Church plant where I learned a dear sister in Christ and her husband had just lost their six month old daughter. Though they were joyful she is now with our Lord they were also visibly sad their time with her had been so short. What touched me, personally, the most was this sister in Christ had been so hospitable to me my first week at this church though she was struggling with the tribulation of her tiny daughter's pending health. I saw Christ in her! Her kindness (not just a "hello and welcome" but a genuine "here, let me show you around and serve you" attitude) washed over me as I hugged her and thanked her for her service to me (when I was just a newcomer) in spite of her trial. Her words in response were, "God is so good." Indeed He is.

The weekend wrapped up with a precious celebration of marriage (bridal shower) for my soon to be sister in law and the resurfacing of an item I thought was gone forever. What is better than getting something brand new? Rediscovering an old, sentimental belonging. Yes, I know, the things of this world will pass away (Isaiah 40:8) however I could not help but get excited about seeing this worldly pleasure again. (Hello old friend.)

So, I guess, to say this weekend was a blessing would be an understatement. It touched me to the depths only light can reach. And the author of that light, of course, is God. To Him be the glory.

20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20. ESV.)
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