Do you ever get the feeling that God is trying to hammer something into your hard head? What about the feeling that you are on a learning curve with God that looks like it is becoming sharper and instead of more smooth?
Well, maybe you don’t, but I do. Sometimes, I feel as if God is going to give up on me because of my lack of speed for learning His lessons. And then other times I feel as if I have a spiritual headache because of the Holy Spirit hammering a certain truth into my brain!
Well, lately the issue is, “ITS ALL ABOUT GOD, ITS ALL ABOUT THE CROSS, ITS ALL ABOUT HIS GLORY!” Period. Nothing about Deanna at all… well, except redemption, forgiveness, grace, justification, sanctification, and so on… but do you see that those things even go back to God?
My husband and I are reading a little book together by John Piper titled “This Momentary Marriage”, it has shook me to the core and we are only into the third chapter. I am one of those strange kinds of people, I really want to be shaken, I may cringe a few times, and cry at others, but I need the OUCH of conviction in my life. Without it I feel like I am not moving forward in my walk.
We happened to be working on the third chapter of this book yesterday and came across this statement “the main point in this chapter is that since Christ’s new covenant with his church is created by and sustained by blood-bought grace, therefore, human marriages are meant to showcase that new-covenant grace. And the way husbands and wives showcase it is by resting in the experience of God’s grace and bending it out from a vertical experience with God into a horizontal experience with their spouse. In other words, in marriage you live hour by hour in glad dependence on God’s forgiveness and justification and promised future grace, and you bend it out toward your spouse hour by hour—as an extension of God’s forgiveness and justification and promised help.”
As I read this part out loud I heard Tony state very casually, “There’s the cross.” My head jerked up as I looked at him, and back down at the paper in front of me. Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart over turned with love not only for my Jesus, but my husband who is learning all these lessons right beside me.
I am amazed at how God puts the cross in every situation/aspect of life. All we have to do is be willing to look and hear. I love that He loves Tony and I enough to show us how to forgive each other by looking at what His Son did for us, and that alone is enough to extend grace and forgiveness to the one whom I have made a covenant before God with.
“This is the vertical reality that must be bent outward horizontally to our spouses if marriage is to display the covenant-making, covenant-keeping grace of God. We see this in Colossians 3:12–13
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
“As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” your spouse. As the Lord “bears with” you, so you should bear with your spouse. The Lord “bears with” us every day as we fall short of his will. Indeed, the distance between what Christ expects of us and what we achieve is infinitely greater than the distance between what we expect of our spouse and what he or she achieves. Christ always forgives more and endures more than we do.
And if you are married to a believer, you can add this: As the Lord counts you righteous in Christ, though you are not righteous in actual behavior and attitude, so count your spouse righteous in Christ, though he or she is not righteous. In other words, Colossians 3:12–13 says, take the vertical grace of forgiveness and justification and bend them out horizontally to your spouse. Marriage is meant to be a unique matrix for this display of God’s grace. This is what marriage is for ultimately—the display of Christ’s covenant-keeping grace.
Forgive as you have been forgiven. Bear with as he bears with you. This holds true whether you are married to a believer or an unbeliever. Let the measure of God’s grace to you in the cross of Christ be the measure of your grace to your spouse. “
This is an amazing truth I have learned and so I desired to share it. It is not an easy one. It is not a comfortable one, (especially if we have fed our flesh), but it is the one that God has called us as believers to. Why? So that He is most glorified in us!
I would encourage everyone who is married, hopes to be married, or is counseling someone who is married, get your hands on this book. You will not be sorry.
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