I’ve learned a lot about grace since being married – mainly in receiving it. But I’ve never learned so much about grace as I have in parenting teenagers – mainly in giving it.
•The grace to love them when they don’t want to be loved.
•The grace to love when they are not very loveable.
•The grace to keep giving when it seems I can never give enough.
•The grace to keep giving when there’s no giving in return.
•The grace to forgive when I know the sin will be repeated again…and again.
•The grace to ask forgiveness even when most of the sin was on the other side.
•The grace to say “Sorry” even if I will not be forgiven.
•The grace to communicate when there’s no communication in return.
•The grace to offer help when help is not welcomed.
•The grace to give advice, when the advice will be rejected.
•The grace to say “Yes” when they deserve a “No.”
•The grace to be resented for my love.
•The grace to be viewed as uncool rather than über trendy.
•The grace to not let the sun go down upon my anger.
•The grace to explain when I could simply demand.
•The grace to never be told, “Dad you were right and I was wrong.”
•The grace to be thought of as an enemy for trying to be a faithful friend.
•The grace to rejoice in their successes even when there are serious failings elsewhere.
•The grace to pursue reconciliation when I’m the wronged party.
•The grace to accept that I’ll never be the super-parent I wanted to be and others seem to be.
This is the hardest university I’ve ever been in, and I’m not sure if I’m ever going to graduate. If I do, it certainly won’t be with honors. However, I’m learning so much about God’s lifelong grace towards me (and about my parents’ grace towards me over 30 years ago), that I’d be willing to repeat the course.
Salvation History: The Lord was with Him
Joseph was hated and sold by his brothers into slavery and afterward bought by a prosperous Egyptian. After years of faithfully serving with integrity, Joseph was advanced to overseer of the Egyptian’s household and made chief steward of all that the Egyptian owned. Nevertheless, the master’s wife lied about Joseph, accusing him falsely of making advancements toward her, and he was cast into prison unjustly. While in prison Joseph was again promoted because he found grace in the eyes of the prison guard. We can appreciate the integrity and discipline of Joseph as he is sinned against and continues to rise above his circumstances. However, the emphasis of the narrative is “the Lord was with him” and is the source of Joseph’s advancement (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23). God, in His providence, is preparing the means by which the family of Joseph will be delivered from a future famine. While Joseph’s example of fortitude is admirable and the salvation of the family is an encouraging testimony of God’s care and provision of people in distress, a more momentous theme is developing. The theme is salvation history and reveals how God was with Joseph to ensure that a future descendant would come into the world. The future descendant is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came to deliver His people from the condemnation of sin (Galatians 4:4-6).
The Doctrine of Election (Romans 9:11-16): “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
John Gill: “There is no unrighteousness with God in that part of predestination, commonly called election; for this is neither an act of justice, nor injustice; not of justice, but of grace and mercy; of undue and undeserved grace and mercy, of mere sovereign grace and mercy; and is what God was not obliged to do; wherefore to choose some and not others, is no act of injustice; for injustice is a violation of justice, which has no place in this affair: if it is an act of injustice, it must be either to them that are chosen, or to them that are not; not to them that are chosen, to them it is an act of favor and good will, they are chosen to grace and glory, to holiness here, and happiness hereafter; not to them that are passed by, because they had no right nor claim to the grace and glory, which by this act are denied them, and therefore no injustice is done them.”
Charles Spurgeon: “The first question is, why did God love Jacob? I am not at all puzzled to answer this, because when I turn to the Word of God, I read this text;—"Not for your sakes, do I this saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways O house of Israel." I am not at a loss to tell you that it could not be for any good thing in Jacob, that God loved him, because I am told that "the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth." I can tell you the reason why God loved Jacob; It is sovereign grace. There was nothing in Jacob that could make God love him; there was everything about him, that might have made God hate him, as much as he did Esau, and a great deal more. But it was because God was infinitely gracious, that he loved Jacob, and because he was sovereign in his dispensation of this grace, that