Sunday, September 16, 2012

Entitlement as Idol

This past weekend I turned 50 years old, and only by the Grace of God. I say that because many people resent growing old instead of seeing it as Grace. They resent growing old, I believe, out of a sense of entitlement to staying young. People feel entitled to not age in years.

But as a born again believer in the triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I understand that there is no room for entitlement in any aspect of my walk with God and under His authority and in the saving work of His Son on the Cross.

John MacArthur, in a sermon that you can access for free on his Grace to You website, writes,

“…some of the imagery that's used of salvation is, one, that we're born again; and two, that we've been resurrected. And how many dead people caused their own resurrection? And how many babies, before they were conceived, did something to lead to their birth? The answer is absolutely nothing.” John MacArthur, Sermon BRG-90-20

We are not here because we brought ourselves here out of our own volition. Therefore, we are entitled to nothing. Every day, every hour, is a gift of God. Why would I resent growing older when each day is a gift of the Lord, and for His purpose and glory? (plug in anything one feels entitled to: blond hair when we have brunette; a 3,000 square-foot-home when we have only a 1,500 square-foot-home; a new car vs. old; a leadership position vs. a secondary role; a man’s life vs. that of a woman’s; a woman’s life vs. that of a man’s, etc. etc. etc.)

I am not my own, I was bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Not only did God hold me in His creation before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) but once here, my gift of life, re-birth and days—not entitlement of life, re-birth and days—is of God and the saving work of Jesus on the Cross. God created me and Jesus His Son gave Himself for and to me, and I am now to give myself for and to Him in every thought, motivation, word and act. I am not entitled to go about in resentment arising from an idol of entitlement!

Yet many people do go about in that sense of entitlement, and miss the point of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit completely.

I thank God for the 50 years he has given me, and for the last 12 in which I have had the privilege of living in His kingdom on earth. I know that each day brings me closer to my true home, with Him in heaven. Until that day, God alone is entitled to my life: God--the one who sees me as the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8) and who “created my inmost being” and who “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).

All sense of entitlement is removed as “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:14-16).

“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.” Psalm 39:4-6

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us, no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40:4-5

“For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” Romans 14:7-8

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God…” Galatians 2:20-21

No comments: