Saturday, November 06, 2004

Responding to God's Grace: What We Can Learn From Water

Scripture frequently uses water to represent God's grace. See Psalm 1:3; Isaiah 12:3; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Ezekiel 17:5-6 and 47:1-12; Zechariah 13:1 and 14:8; John 4:13-14 and 7:37-38; Revelation 22:1-2 and the notes thereto. That analogy is no accident because it illustrates at least two important things about grace.

First, although grace is available to all, we must position ourselves to receive its full benefit. Grace, like water, flows down hill and is most abundant in low spots. Although some rain falls on mountain tops, the most powerful collections of water—rivers, lakes and oceans—are found in lower spots. The same is true of God’s grace; some is available to persons in every station of life, but it is more abundant for those who do not exalt themselves, but instead live humbly before Him. See Proverbs 22:4, 29:23; Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 23:12; Luke 1:52; 9:48, 14:11, 18:9-14; John 13:12-16; I Peter 5:5-6.

Second, we can be waterproof or we can be absorbent. God makes his grace available to all, but not all accept it. Some, the waterproof, prefer to operate in their own strength. They will be like plants that “live[] in the parched places of the desert.” Jer.17: 6 (New Jerusalem Bible). But if we are porous, trusting in Him, God will be faithful to provide what we need, Jeremiah 17:7-8. Accord Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31. Moreover, if we let it in, God’s grace, like water absorbed by a plant, will permeate all aspects of our being. Jeremiah17:8. Accord Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21.

(Images based on water related themes were posted on September 12b, October 1, November 6, 7, and 10, 2004. A series of four images dealing with a somewhat related theme (a garden hose) were posted September 18, 2004 here, here, here and here.
Images about humility were posted October 1, November 6 and 10, 2004.
Images about God providing things we need, but can’t provide for ourselves, were posted September 12a, 17a, and 18c, October 3a and 3b, November 6, 10, 21 and 27, 2004 and January 2, 10b, and 10c, June 13 and 27, 2005.
Images about conforming/yielding to God were posted September 12a, 18a, 18b, 18d, and 23; October 3 and 3a, November 6; and 21, December 8, 12, and 15, 2004 and January 10d, February 18, May 11, June 18 and 27; August 21 and 27; and October 3, 2005.)

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