I camped in Psalm 16 recently. Several verses stand out in this great text, but one which always arrests my attention is verse six:
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.”
In other words, life ain’t so bad. Or–to put that in a positive manner–God has not given me what I have earned.
There are a variety of graces that God bestows: Saving grace (God’s grace in choosing those He will save), Sanctifying grace (God’s grace in transforming sinners into the image of His beloved Son), Restraining grace (God’s grace in preventing us from sinning more than we do), Sustaining grace (God’s grace in ensuring we have what we required to go forward) and Common grace (God’s grace in giving us our needs and some of our wants).
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” means that God has granted the common/regular gifts of life in abundance. Perhaps your list is similar to mine. It may be different. The point to remember is that the daily blessings of life are undeserved, not earnings God is obliged to pay.
Most of you would have to admit that your list of blessings is long. You can easily see that God has been exceedingly kind to you.
How should we respond?
I thought of three ways today, implied for us in Romans, chapter one.
Put in the negative:
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” Romans 1:21-23
What should our positive response be?
- Honor God
- Give God Thanks
- Cherish the Incorruptible Glory of God
First, we should honor God. And while I am sure I have written upon this subject earlier, I would like to share my current thoughts on the subject for no other reason than that it be fresh for me. Yet anything I have to say simply will not be as good as what I found here:
Did you take the time just now to read that short article? I found it helpful in my quest–my daily striving for reality. The Apostle Peter stated that all of God’s people are to proclaim His excellencies (1 Peter 2:9). In the very next section, he exhorts us to keep our behavior excellent (2:12). We are verbally to praise God and visually praise God. Our profession and our practice should all point to the truth of the existence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Second, we should give God thanks. Without a doubt, He has not treated you as your many, many, many sins deserve. This is particularly true if you are one of His adopted children (everyone is a creation of God, but not a child of God). One of the good habits I have developed this year was verbalizing to the Lord ten reasons for which I am grateful each morning. It is easy to come up with that list! It is also helpful to begin that way each day regardless of how my night of sleep went or what I am about to face in the coming hours. Give thanks with a grateful heart!
And, third, we need to cherish the incorruptible glory of God. The glory of God is the glorious attributes of God on display for all to see in creation but particularly visible to His children in the face of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote these words in 2 Corinthians 4:
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
The glory of the gospel is the glory of Christ. The glory of God is most clearly seen in the face of Christ. Can you see it? If not, plead with God for that ability TODAY. He alone can remove the veil even as He did for the Apostle Paul (Acts 918 [See also Ephesians 2:1-9]). Only God can open the heart as He did for Lydia (Acts 16:14). Why would you allow yourself to be satisfied with the created instead of the Creator?! If you can see, cherish the glory! Value Christ above all else. He is the treasure found in the field (Matthew 13:44). He is the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:46). He is that which your restless heart desperately needed.
Honor God. Give God thanks. Cherish the incorruptible glory of God. If these actions and attitudes mark your day, it will be a day well-spent. If they are on-going practices, your life will not been lived in vain. Let us not be counted fools by Him who weighs the heart (Proverbs 21:2), especially if the lines have fallen favorably!