Such a tiny offering,
Compared to Calvary,
Nevertheless, I lay it at Your feet.
continuation: I had those words running through my head all day. As usual, it is usually the simple messages that spark the most thought in us. I couldn’t help thinking how many Christians, and I myself felt the weight in particular, are giving all the want to Christ rather than all they have. The two can go together, but not often. All that has been going on in my own life and the life of my Church has confirmed once again this immense truth: we can do nothing without Christ. It’s like what Tozer prayed:
“Our heavenly Father, we have heard you say, ‘I am the almighty God; walk before Me, and be perfect.’ But unless You enable us by the exceeding greatness of Your power how can we who are by nature weak and sinful walk in a perfect way? Grant that we may learn to lay hold on the working of the mighty power which wrought in Christ when you raise Him from the dead and set Him at Your own right hand in the heavenly places.”
Back once again to our friend the thief who was forgiven. Where does he go now, as a child of an almighty Father, cleansed by his older Brother? Now it is left for him to follow after in the way of his King, and live his life to Him and only to Him. But how? How can one who was once a vagabond live up to the standard of the righteous Judge of all creation? He must repent and turn from the way he was going in his life, but once he has, how can he proceed? When prisoners are set free in a land that they have never seen before, what should they do if there is no one to guide them?
But there are guides. The greatest is the one right before us: the example of God’s Son. The way that we live a life worthy of our Father is to simply imitate His Son, in all His words, in all His love to others, and all His love and longing after His Father.
The Judge gave the forgiven criminal a guidebook for how he was to live. The more the thief reads it, the more clear it becomes. It shows him vastly more of the King than he ever would have learned till heaven. He is overwhelmed by the greatness of the One who forgave him, and that, if possible, causes him to wish to follow Him all the more.
But again, How?
It is so easy to slack off. I could go on for days about the ways this thief seems to be failing. Every time the thief studies hard on how he’s been doing, he finds that he seems to fail in every realm of his life. He has tasted and seen the beauty and glory and peace of living a life wholly given to his Creator. He has experienced the joy of dependence and trust; of knowing that his countless offences have been completely forgiven. Yet, all the same, it is hard. All around him, in the Bible, and in his own life, he sees that he cannot do it alone. Where can he turn?
This story is already so amazing. What if we were to take it further? What if I went on to say that the Judge, when the thief had been forgiven, “The grace that My Son bought is sufficient for your every need. When you try to live under My law, and to learn of Me, and daily walk with me, trying to escape from your mistakes, you will find that you cannot possibly do it alone. But I give you all you need. There is a feast of grace before you, and all that is required of you is to eat.”
That seems unlikely. Remember back to how we were before we were forgiven. The forgiveness by itself was vastly beyond our wildest dreams. This grace added to that should drive us to our knees. How can this be? The love of our King is vaster than the edges of the universe, and goes beyond all limitations. As I said already, it should drive us to our knees.
The question is, Does it? What exactly does our response look like?
I meant to make that a little longer, but the time fled from me.