September 20, 2022

Hello Advent Family,

A few years back I was in Seattle at a conference.  We were out to eat after the evening session and I had the opportunity to catch up with an old spiritual mentor of mine.  One of the people in the group was talking about a recent wave of awful crimes in the city and said something to the effect of the world was really evil.  My mentor piped up, “Isn’t God awesome!”  We all were a little taken back and he followed up with saying, “but for the grace of God go I.”  One of the folks in the group asked him to elaborate and he began expounding on how God’s grace is such an amazing thing and that absent of the grace of God that same crime spree might be our own fate.  It reminded me of Psalm 14.  Let’s look at it together today.

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.
Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

Left to our own devices we all are children of wrath.  We go our own way, do our own thing, and think we have no need for God.  Our sin problem is much bigger than we think but so is God’s grace in our lives.  God’s grace in our lives turns our hearts toward Him.  It reconciles us to Him but it also protects us from ourselves.  The next time you find yourself thinking about some of the evils and bad things you see in life take a moment and thank God for His amazing grace in your life!

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave