We love one another and take care of them. We love our children, and we give them all they need. We love to take care of the sick and the poor and feel proud to stand with them during their helpless situation. Yet, our resources are limited and we cannot go beyond that to help someone. For example, we love to hover around our children but practically we cannot be with them always. Knowing our limitations, God promises to take care of us when we fail to care for our dear ones.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breastIsaiah 49:15
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
God does not mean that mothers will forsake their children but shows their inability to take care of them. Today, we see pre-mature babies in the incubators to provide warmth and oxygen till the time that babies are grown and can regulate the heat and inhale proper air. God cares for those babies when they do not know how to take care of them.
We do not understand how God cares for us, and we expect people to take care of us. When people do not meet our expectations, frustration enters our lives. We forget the limitations of people and look for things that are out of their jurisdiction. We are reluctant to rely on God, who does not have any scarcity to meet our expectations. Peter, with his experience of forgiveness despite his denial, understood how God cares for him and asked us to rely on Him always.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
The Redemption Plan
God took care of the eternal death even when we did not know about it. When God created the world, He saw all that He had made and found that to be good in His sight. When God destroyed the world with a flood, He spared Noah’s children. When God parted the Red Sea into two and drowned the Egyptians in it, the Israelites were overwhelmed with joy. But in all these three incidents, God did not say ‘it is finished.” But Jesus did say ‘it is finished’ when He shed His blood on the cross to redeem His people. Our God who cares for us, completed His creation only when He purchased the sinners with the blood of His Son.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.Ephesians 3:20-21
When Jesus tells us that He has finished the redemptive work, we should also be aware of the time when God planned His redemptive action. God did not initiate the redemption plan after seeing the sinful life of people. God knew beforehand that people would go astray and He planned everything to reinstate them as His children.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.Ephesians 1:4-6
We all know that God saved us by pouring His grace on us, and there is no place for us to say that we earned our salvation. The scripture says that God designed it purposefully by not allowing anyone else to claim credit for the redemption.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2:8-9
Not only in the work of redemption but from the beginning of this world, God bestowed His grace upon people, yet they failed to understand it and claimed the credit for themselves. God created man in His image, but people try to make God in their image. God revealed Himself through all of His creations, yet man strives to understand God with their limited knowledge. For this reason, God Himself became man to show them the glory of God.
In the beginning, He created everything and gave authority to man to rule over them. God did not want to bother man by assigning the task of discerning good and evil and held that portfolio with Him. When people sinned, God gave them the ten commandments to make them realize their inability to cope and to rely on Him completely to fulfil the commandments. But man cheated himself by lying that he had fulfilled the commandments. God expects people to come to Him realizing their inability to comply with the commandments. No one ever came to God to tell Him the truth that they failed to cope with the commandments.
God chose Abram and made him the father of faith to all who believe in Him generations after generations. While making a covenant with Abram in this regard, God did not allow Abram to take the oath, but He took the oath on behalf of Abram. Because God knows that humans are the weaker vessel, and the descendent of Abram would not comply with the covenant, He did not ask Abram to take responsibility for keeping the vow, but He kept it to Himself.
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land…Genesis 15:17-18
In the Old Testament days, when two men agreed on the terms and conditions of their commitments, they sacrificed in the presence of God by cutting an animal into two pieces. They would place two portions of the sacrificed animal by making an aisle between the two portions and walk through the path, saying aloud the oath, denoting that if I did not fulfil my word, I would die like this sacrificed animal. That is why God did not allow Abram to take the oath, but He took the oath all alone. God had His Son in mind to substitute our death. Most of us do not realize His grace and continue to rely on our deeds.
There are similarities between the initiation of the covenant and the fulfilment of the covenant. God made a covenant with Abram. To fulfil it, He gave His only beloved Son to die on the cross for us. To remind the people that He has completed the covenant, both the time darkness appeared on the earth.
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.Luke 23:44-46
Unlike the other three Gospels, only the Gospel of John recorded Jesus reporting to His Father that He had successfully finished the Redemption plan just before handing over His Spirit to His Father (John 19:30). After accomplishing His Father’s will, Jesus did not wait for a single minute and handed over His Spirit to His Father. When we abide in Him, He will accomplish His purpose in our lives, and not a single second of our life will go waste.
The wages of sin is death, and each person has to face it only once in their mortal life, followed by a judgment, sentencing them to eternal death. To remove this clause from the law, God sent His only Son as a substitute for us. Jesus died on the cross only once, and because of His righteousness, He conquered death and earned eternal life to share it with those who believe in Him.
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.Hebrews 9:27-28
We should not attach our deeds to the salvation solely given to us by His grace. The charity we do, the offering we submit, and the righteous life we live did not earn our salvation, but they are the results of our salvation. God has done everything for us from the day He created man on this earth. Even the salvation God gave us is guarded by Him alone until we meet Him. Further, we should not think that our deeds will protect our salvation and faith in God. Let us not venture in to take custody of our salvation but abide in Him for everything. Jesus in His righteousness made us unblemished, and He is the only one capable of presenting us as unblemished to His Father in the coming of His glorious day. God cares for our lives and preserves them for eternity.
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.Jude 1:24-25