To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song. Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the vow shall be performed. 2 O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come. 3 Iniquities prevail against me; [As for] our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them. 4 Blessed [is the man] You choose, And cause to approach [You], [That] he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple.PSALM 65:1-4
CHOSEN BY GRACE
“Chosen.” Here is a word we don’t like to hear sometimes. We often kick against it or try and get it to mean something other than what it means. But it’s all through the scriptures and so it must mean something and we do well to seek to understand this word and the truth it reveals about God.
We often think that God gives us “grace” and we choose if we receive it. We like to think that we are independent and able in our own strength and ability to choose God. But if you think about it, you really can’t choose to receive grace. It’s not up to the receiver on if they get grace or not, its up to the giver. It’s kind of like a getting hit in paintball. The one doing the shooting does the choosing. If you get hit by the paintball, for all your choosing or lack of choosing, you are struck. Grace is given independent of how it is received otherwise it’s not grace… you have merited it by your response (see how hard we play this game to take even grace out of the hands of God?)
Grace is more radical than you might imagine because grace does all the work. Indeed we can’t “choose” grace because grace by it’s nature has chosen us! The fact that you even WANT to “choose” grace is a GIFT of God’s grace (see verse 4). Read Ephesians 2:8-10 with me:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.“
What is the gift? Grace? maybe… but maybe it’s also “faith,” that ability to trust in the Lord. What does it mean? Our lives (including faith) are a work of God’s hands! We are His workmanship! He is working faith in us! Read with me what Paul says in Philippians 2:12-13:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure.
We are to work out our salvation, but why? Because it is God doing all the work! Grace isn’t a purely external work, it is internal. Grace causes me to WANT to worship God. Grace fixes me from the inside out. Grace changes everything!
It’s early in the morning when I publish these posts and so it may be difficult to grasp, but God’s choice of you or me is a far greater gift of grace than many can even imagine. It is more real and more weighty than what we often give God credit for. It’s blessing after blessing poured out over and over. It’s a cup running over. It’s a heart seeking missel that can’t be shaken. David saw it and was provoked to praise the LORD. We should be too!
One of the best ways to understand grace is to give grace. Grace doesn’t mean that you just don’t hold a grudge. It means that you seek to bless a person no matter what.
Father, Thank you for the grace upon grace that you have poured out in my own life. Thank you for your word that is truth. I am amazed this morning as we examine your utter and complete sovereignty. There is no better place for my future than in your hands. I am confident that you work all things for your glory and my good! today I marvel at your goodness poured out to even cause my heart to believe. I rest in the arms of your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.