The Big Dog Versus Pluto

Today is Thursday, October 17, 2019. Blessings to you!

Day 22,498

26 days until C’s birthday

We have three more days in our vacation (four, I guess, if you count Sunday). Three more days in Galveston.

Yesterday was an odd day. It was somewhat dreary, as the weather never really cleared up. The temperature never rose above 70, I don’t believe, and it was quite windy out here on the west end. C and I sat out on the deck for as long as we could take it, but it was just too chilly. Well, too chilly for the kind of clothes we packed. 🙂 We wound up not driving into town at all. We had already planned to cook breakfast at the house, which we did. But when it came time for the evening meal, C didn’t feel like going in to Miller’s or the Gumbo Diner. So we called in an order to the Way Out West Grill and Pizzaria, which S and I got food from a couple nights ago. S and C had the patty melt, which was reported to be delicious. I got this dish they call “Old McDonald’s Fries.” It had crinkle-cut french fries, loaded with spicy ground beef, spicy shredded chicken, pulled pork, queso, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Talk about delicious!! Oh, man!

The rest of the time was spent sitting around reading, or whatever. C watched some TV. We listened to the wind whistle outside. At one point, I watched as it knocked over a large wooden rocking chair on the deck!

It’s still cloudy, this morning, but not quite as windy. It’s supposed to reach 70 degrees today. I do believe we will drive in and go to either Miller’s or Gumbo for “brunch.”

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. 
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. 
With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. 
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. 
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

Psalm 71:14-19

Today I am grateful:
1. For the beauty of creation that surrounds me.
2. For all of the people around me, not just in my immediate are, but throughout my life.
3. That I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 116:9)
4. That the boundless grace of God stands ready to meet whatever need I find myself in.
5. That God’s grace is infinitely bigger than my need.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Psalm 43:3
O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 89:8, 14
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:9

(From Faith That Matters)

The Infinite Grace of God, by A.W. Tozer

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8

I decided to check this verse in The Message.

Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!

“No one was ever saved other than by grace, from Abel to the present moment. And wherever grace found any man it was always by Jesus Christ. Grace indeed came by Jesus Christ, but it did not wait for his birth in the manger or his death on the cross before it became operative. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Perhaps we need to rediscover this truth. We are all too familiar with grace, right? And we frequently visit that verse in Ephesians, but it seems that we often go there for the purpose of showing that we can’t work for our salvation. This is true, of course, so there is nothing wrong with that.

But if we keep reading, we come to verse 10, which is never part of the quotation (we always stop at verse 9, don’t we?).

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

So we see that works are involved, after all. Just not to gain our salvation. And these works, God prepared beforehand for us. Which means he has a plan. He has a plan for me. Little ol’ me. In this humongous cosmos, really big, big picture, God has plans for me. That makes me echo the psalmist who wrote in Psalm 139, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”

But it is all still grace, and it all still comes through Jesus, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

“In olden times men looked forward to Christ’s redeeming work; in later times they gazed back upon it, but always they came and they come by grace, through faith.

“Instead of straining to comprehend this as a theological truth, it would be better and simpler to compare God’s grace with our need.”

Wait, what?

Let’s read that line again.

“Instead of straining to comprehend this as a theological truth, it would be better and simpler to compare God’s grace with our need.”

We do a lot of straining to comprehend theological truths, especially those that, as Psalm 139 so aptly points out, are too high for us to attain.

Tozer continues, “We can never know the enormity of our sin, neither is it necessary that we should.”

That is another “wait, what??” moment, right? I mean, how much time to we spend in our “evangelism” trying to get people to know the enormity of their sin??

“What we can know is that ‘where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.'”

So let’s go back to that bit about comparing God’s grace with our need. And let’s don’t just take that to mean our sin, either. What need do you have in your life right now? I mean, we’ve all got sin, right? But we have other needs. Someone’s mother is ill and needs to go to the doctor. Someone is having issues with work and health. Someone has “unspoken” prayer needs. Someone needs a kidney transplant, but has a rare blood type.

I tried to find a picture that illustrated the difference between God’s grace and our need. All I could find was scripture verses on pretty pictures. However, what did finally come up with, I think, illustrates it perfectly. Well, not “perfectly,” because even this illustration falls short, because God’s grace is infinitely bigger than my need, right? And that is the point that we really need to grasp here. So here’s the image.

The big star on the left is Canis Majoris. I call it the “Big Dog Star.” It is the largest star known to man. That itty-bitty dot on the right? That’s our sun. We call it “The Sun.” Are we imaginative or what? So let’s say that God’s grace is represented by the Big Dog. And let’s say that our need is represented by . . .

I bet you think I’m going to say The Sun.

I’m not. I’m going to say Pluto. Because, you see, our Sun compared to Pluto is just about the same as the Big Dog compared to our Sun.

So God’s grace is Big Dog, and our need is Pluto in comparison.

If that doesn’t make you feel better about whatever is bugging you, I’m not sure I can help you.

But I know, without a doubt, that God can.

Father, thank you for these words, this morning, from Mr. Tozer. I really needed them. Your grace is greater than my sin, greater than my need, greater than anything I could possibly face today, tomorrow, for the rest of my life. Help me to keep my faith focused on that grace and walk in your Kingdom in its power and strength.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Grace and peace, friends.