No time for a full update on the brigade activities today....but I wanted to share Pastor Jeff's thought for the week since I saw it has not been updated on his blog yet. Surely there is a long story here on why I am posting this, but for now I would just hope as he does that it being edifying to you and reason for praising God. You can get his past thoughts at (http://www.thoughtfortheweek-jeff.blogspot.com/) Here it is:
They have to do with God's glorious grace in bringing people to salvation. Read them, ponder them, wrestle with them, and then go compare them to Scripture (Ephesians 2:1-10) or think back on your own pre-conversion / conversion experience. I trust they will edify and bless your hearts as much as they did mine. Enjoy!
"I hear someone murmur, 'God will not give grace to men who do not repent.' I reply, God gives men grace to repent and no man ever repents until grace first is given him to lead him to repentance. 'But God will not give his grace to those who won't believe,' says another. I reply, God gives grace to men by which they are moved to believe. It is through the grace of God that they are brought to faith in Christ...
I must confess I never would have been saved if I could have helped it. As long as I could, I rebelled and revolted and struggled against God. When he would have me pray, I would not pray. When he would have me listen to the sound of the ministry (preaching), I would not. And when I heard, and the tear rolled down my cheek, I wiped it away and defied him to melt my heart.
The he gave me the effectual blow of grace, and there was no resisting that irresistible effort. It conquered my depraved will and made me bow before the scepter of His grace. And so it is in every case. Man revolts against his Savior, but where God determines to save, save he will. God never was thwarted yet in any one of his purposes. Man does resist with all his might, but all the might of man, tremendous though it be for sin, is not equal to the majestic might of the Most High."
Spurgeon has one additional thought that is helpful in this regard:
"A man is not saved against his will, but he is made willing by the operation of the Holy Ghost. A mighty grace which he does not wish to resist enters into the man, disarms him, makes a new creature of him, and he is saved... I believe that Christ came into the world not to put men into a savable state, but into a saved state. Not to put them where they could save themselves, but to do the work in them and for them, from first to last. If I did not believe that there was might going forth with the Word of Jesus which makes men willing, and which turns them from the error of their ways by the mighty, overwhelming, constraining force of a divine influence, I should cease to glory in the cross of Christ."
A good and necessary reminder for us who frequently (and mistakenly) think salvation is a mere choice we make (like casting a vote at an election), instead of being a mighty work of supernatural grace that God works in us as an expression of His kindness and love for us.
Grace to you, Pastor Jeff