None of us are getting any younger!
We had the great privilege to spend the evening with Jo, Jim and Marie to celebrate Marie and Pam's birthday. Marie is in her late twenties and Pam entered another decade (it is up to you to discern which one). I was a great time and wonderful food with Kim and Steve just over the road from the old Rusty. If you should find yourself in Looe with a mere £25 in your pocket you could do no better than visit Mawgans Retaurant: http://www.mawgans.co.uk/
Birthdays are a great celebration but they are also a reminder that "none of us are getting any younger. During conversation I discovered that on that very day the oldest woman born in Britain had died. She was 113 years old and had lived during 3 different centuries. She must have seen some remarkeable changes in our country, she had experienced many things but now it is all gone, in a fleeting moment on the 14th November she was no more. This is suddenly becoming somewhta morose! It only goes to remind me of the question that I am so often asked:
"what is life all about?"
Linked with that question is a statement (the real inspiration for todays ramblings!) from a colleague yesterday. I was somewhat taken aback when told quite categorically that this person did not approve of what we Christians declare as a good thing!
The bratinale is that he does not believe that anybody deserves forgiveness. That made me ponder somewhat and to wonder about how we present our gospel. We speak so freely about being forgiven to others but do we deserve it? There is not a true Christian that I know that believes that they truly deserve the favour extended to them in Christ. Forgiveness is not what we deserve but it is what we gain by God's grace.
I am so sorry that I may have misled others into believing that forgiveness is a pre-requisite for God when He graciously saved us. Forgiveness is God's gift to us in order that He might have fellowship with us. It comes from His amazingly gracious forgettery. He remembers what we were no longer because by His love and mercy he desires a broken fellowship with us to be restored. That forgiveness of course does not come freely, justice demands that wrongdoing is dealt with. Sin as God calls wrongdoing can only have one result: separation or death away from God's presence and grace.
None of us deserve forgiveness, my friend is right in that but God chooses to forgive those whom He chooses (subject for another blog when I am feeling bold enough to publish my Calvanistic viewpoints!). Undeserving forgiveness needs to be carefully explained to unbelievers because as I found out yesterday poor preaching leaves hearers confused as to God's true character and that of course is not true gospel!
Well all of that come from a title that "none of us is getting any younger!" therefore it is a good thing to learn in a late decade (yes I did get there 2 years before Pam!) that we must clearly declare the truth of God's purpose for mankind.
All I can say about it is that we can only guarantee life for this moment and so it is imperitive to speak of the hope that is within us. A 113 year old Brit enered eternity yesterday, she was either forgiven or not (that is God's choice) and she will have been dealt with just as she was. She deserved no favours from God but my hope is that one day I will meet her in heaven because she belonged to the great company of those undeserving "FORGIVEN" called the church. Her name was Grace and it is only by grace that we can enter into God's presence.