Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Thank-based Life, Part 3

It's been a while, but I'm still thinking about the awesome article by Paul Tripp that I've been outlining on here. (If you missed the other posts, they start here.) I want to be a thankful Christian, not a complainer!

When we complain, we aren't living in the truth that God has sufficient grace for us. We're so busy looking at our circumstances that we fail to see the grace that covers our lives. The third aspect of the thank-based life that Tripp describes is this: it lives with a powerful awareness of God's grace.

"It is an amazing truth that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. There is no pit so deep that Jesus can't reach deeper to get you out of it. There is no human condition, thought, word, or action that is beyond the rescuing power of the glorious grace of the Lord Jesus. Even complainers can receive grace!" (pg.5)

I want to be living aware of God's grace! There is so much to be thankful for, how can I possibly complain? No matter what my situation is, God's grace is abounding and available for me. He will help me even when I seem stuck in my sin.

Ok, so we see that grumbling isn't good and we want to be characterized by thankfulness. But does it really matter that much if we utter a little complaint every now and then? I mean, how serious is it really? Here's a quick run-down that Tripp gives of some bad-fruits that a grumbling heart produces:

(note the utter seriousness of this negative fruit)

-grumbling always blames others and, in so doing, destroys relationships
-grumbling rejects ministry (grumbling doesn't want to hear truth, because grumbling doesn't want to be comforted. Grumbling wants what it wants.)
-grumbling forgets grace because the grumbler wants to be strong, ready, and prepared
-grumbling questions the Lord
-grumbling produces rebellion (it's hard to follow someone you don't trust)

Grumbling is serious. Complaining is not a little thing because it reflects that we are discontented in our hearts. We're not satisfied with Christ. Today, I challenge myself and you to take a closer look at our hearts and see if there is grumbling present. If so, let's see the seriousness of this sin. It's a sin that Christ had to die for.

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