Rights and Privileges

Posted Nov 06, 2010 by Lorelle Ebens in Devotional - Blog Hits: 6,323
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

By rebellion and apostasy man forfeited the favor of God; not his rights, for he could have no value except as it was invested in God's dear Son. This point must be understood. He forfeited those privileges which God in His mercy presented him as a free gift, a treasure in trust to be used to advance His cause and His glory, to benefit the beings He had made. The moment the workmanship of God refused obedience to the laws of God's kingdom, that moment he became disloyal to the government of God and he made himself entirely unworthy of all the blessings wherewith God had favored him.

This was the position of the human race after man divorced himself from God by transgression. Then he was no longer entitled to a breath of air, a ray of sunshine, or a particle of food. And the reason why man was not annihilated was because God so loved him that He made the gift of His dear Son that He should suffer the penalty of his transgression. Christ proposed to become man's surety and substitute, that man, through matchless grace, should have another trial--a second probation--having the experience of Adam and Eve as a warning not to transgress God's law as they did. And inasmuch as man enjoys the blessings of God in the gift of the sunshine and the gift of food, there must be on the part of man a bowing before God in thankful acknowledgment that all things come of God. Whatever is rendered back to Him is only His own who has given it.

Man broke God's law, and through the Redeemer new and fresh promises were made on a different basis. All blessings must come through a Mediator. Now every member of the human family is given wholly into the hands of Christ, and whatever we possess--whether it is the gift of money, of houses, of lands, of reasoning powers, of physical strength, of intellectual talents--in this present life, and the blessings of the future life, are placed in our possession as God's treasures to be faithfully expended for the benefit of man. Every gift is stamped with the cross and bears the image and superscription of Jesus Christ. All things come of God. From the smallest benefits up to the largest blessing, all flow through the one Channel--a superhuman mediation sprinkled with the blood that is of value beyond estimate because it was the life of God in His Son.

Now not a soul can give God anything that is not already His. Bear this in mind: "All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee" (1 Chronicles 29:14). This must be kept before the people wherever we go--that we possess nothing, can offer nothing in value, in work, in faith, which we have not first received of God and upon which He can lay His hand any time and say, They are Mine--gifts and blessings and endowments I entrusted to you, not to enrich yourself, but for wise improvement to benefit the world. {FW 21,22}

Rights: I have often lived as if it is my "right" to have a nice, easy life; to have the time and energy to do things I want to do. With all the difficulties we've faced recently with our younger boy, we have been struggling at times to even find the time and energy to the things necessary for running the home (eg cleaning, washing, having meals). This has often led me to feel resentment, frustration and anger. But God has been teaching me that it is not my "right" to have the time and energy to do these things.

Privileges: Rather than a "right", God has been teaching me to consider it a "privilege" to have the time and energy to do the things that need doing, or have peace from the trials.

So then my focus can be positive (thankful, praising God when given the time, energy to do things), rather than negative (being resentful during trials, because of what it stops me from having to time to do, or the experiences I am missing out on). This focus helps me to trust that God allows all our trials for our good - how else could I have learnt these lessons. Sometimes I feel like such a slow learner. But at least I am learning, and being refined in God's character factory!