Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rules & Heroes/ Sin & Grace


I wrote this on 2/29/2012

Two  Sunday’s ago I was a helper in Sunday school for the children and the lesson was about how the Bible is not just a book of rules and not just a book of stories about heroes but that it is much MUCH more. Since then I’ve been thinking about the attitude with which I have been reading the bible. You see, I’ve been s l o w l y making my way through the Old Testament. It can be tough for me to not just look at these profitable words as stories of heroes or rules that I should flippantly apply in my life. Sometimes it takes me weeks of prayer, speaking to  re-reading the same passage and pondering certain stories to get to the bottom of what the Lord is trying to communicate to me; these are times that I feel so dry and a little silly for not being able to grasp a concept. Other times what I am supposed to be learning can be as clear as day; these are the times when I feel so fluidly connected to the Lord that the transfer of information from the Spirit to my heart feels more like osmosis. Both situations are profitable; struggling to learn something helps it to become engrained in your personality. However no feeling or earthy pleasure is as sweet as when I am encouraged and rejuvenated by the Holy Spirit through God’s word.

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I wrote this on 3/7/2012

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:5-8

This week I am studying to teach for the children’s bible study and almost weeping- just little tears. Through the story of Noah we are learning about sin; what it is, the consequences, how it deeply troubles God and the universality of it. Just as I am reading in the “Teacher’s Text” of the section of how wicked my heart is (and almost crying) the author brings up chen- GRACE. She brings up that grace is free and how because Noah found favor with God is the reason that he walked with God not the other way around. You can’t earn Grace. We haven’t done anything to deserve it. The author mentions at the end of the section how God accepts us and saves us by His grace- saving His people continually through the Old Testament and Sending His only Son to die on the cross in the New Testament.

Noah was just a man, nothing more and nothing less. Noah was just a man who walked with God because of the grace with which God saved Noah and his family. Noah is just a man who trusted God even though what the Lord asked him to do was different than anything he had done before; Even though Noah’s friends scoffed at him. The Lord asked Noah to do something, and Noah did it. Noah was just a man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

The curriculum that we are using at Sanctuary Berkeley is called The Jesus Story Book Bible Curriculum. The Curriculum follows the bible that was written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sam Shammas. The “Notes for Teachers on the Text” were written and developed from material by Timothy Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church- no wonder I cried.

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