SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:27d (TM)
You'll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift.
One morning R.C. Chapman, a devout Christian, was asked how he was feeling. "I'm burdened this morning!" was his reply. But his happy countenance contradicted his words. So the questioner exclaimed in surprise, "Are you really burdened, Mr. Chapman?" "Yes, but it's a wonderful burden--it's an overabundance of blessings for which I cannot find enough time or words to express my gratitude!" Seeing the puzzled look on the face of his friend, Chapman added with a smile, "I am referring to Psalm 68:19, which fully describes my condition. In that verse the Father in heaven reminds us that He 'daily loads us with benefits.'"
The larger context of the Matthew scripture has Jesus rebuking Peter about Peter’s negative response to the soon to be unfolding circumstances of Jesus’ final days on earth. I’ve always been captivated by the paraphrase of The Message: “You’ll get everything you have coming to you…” to which I normally respond: “God, I hope not!” Even further is the fact that God was going to make it a “personal gift”… really? Boy would I be in trouble. How about you?
If we got what we deserved we would all be in trouble… big trouble… take our breath away kind of trouble… stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off trouble.
Praise be to God that God doesn’t deliver what we deserve, but what he decides to give. We just need to stop this maddening Protestant work ethics thinking. We cannot earn anything from God no matter how hard we work. We don’t deserve anything. We haven’t earned diddly squat no matter how good we think we have been.
God’s personal gift to us is grace, pure and simple... undeserved, unwarranted, and unexpected. God chooses to bless us simply because he chooses to bless us… end of story. Or, is it the beginning of the story… his story and our spiritual walk with him. God loves us into being what he has designed us to be. Oh, we can fight it, but why would we? We would only be like Don Quixote with drawn sword fighting the windmills of our existence.
Isn’t it better just to give in and allow God to take over? Life sure works better when we follow the operating instructions for living. When we do we discover what R.C. Chapman discovered… that God “daily loads us with benefits.” For that we are thankful, the old turkey day celebration takes on a how lot of meaning and purpose.
Well, God the day of Thanksgiving, or should it be Thanks-living, is fast approaching – much quicker that we would like, but here it comes ready or not. Disturb us out of our comfort zones. Bring us to a new understanding of what this “blessings from Heaven” stuff is all about. Help us understand there truly is a reason for the daily loading of your benefits… and it is more than just to make us feel good… or special… or get us into heaven… help us to take it to the next level!