This past Sunday in church, we started a new lesson called “But, God…”
The sermon was so beautiful and empowering I have to share it with you. (Most of the ideas in this blog is from my pastor)
But / conjunction / (but):
Used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned.
On the contrary; in contrast.
We pretty much know the story of Noah, right? The world was full of sin. When God looked down on the earth he created, he looked in the people’s hearts and minds and saw that they were completely evil. There was no good left in them. He was sorry he ever made them and put them on the earth (Genesis 6: 5-7). It broke his heart. The sin was so deep that God decide to wipe out the human race and every living thing. In these few verses it says twice that he was sorry that he made the humans and even the animals. But, God found favor in Noah. Wow, to think of what the world must have looked like back then. How much evil there had to have been for God to want to wipe out the whole earth. Kinda makes me want to look into my heart and change some things…
So, we know how the story goes. God tells Noah to build an ark and to take every animal, male and female, into the ark. He tells Noah and his family that it will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. And Noah did all that God commanded him to do. As God promised, it rained for 40 days and nights and the rain continued to cover the earth for another 150 days. But, God remembered Noah and his family. He sent a wind across the earth and the water began to receded. And the rest is history. The pinnacle of the story is in Chapter 8:1 “But, God…” The story isn’t about how many animals there were, it wasn’t about how his family dealt with the many days on the ark, and it wasn’t about how big the ark was. It is about God remembering his beloved son on earth.
The “but, God” moments in our lives displays God’s character and involvement in our lives by giving us what we do not deserve. But, because Noah had faith and was the only righteous man on earth, he rewarded him.
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Once we were also dead because of our many sins. We are born into it, and there is nothing we can do to fix that. But, God loves us, and he is filled with mercy, he gave up his life for us, so that we may live with him forever! It is only by God’s grace that we can even think about being worthy in his eyes.
Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you? Why? In Ephesians it shows us that God remembered us, even as we sin against him, he loves us. He died for us. He took all of the sin of the world on his shoulders and took it off ours. As you feel forgotten or alone, say this out loud. “But, God remembered (your name here).” Say it again. Say it louder. Write it down, somewhere where you will see it everyday. Say it until you believe it. Say it until it hits you. I know it did for me.
But, God remembered Alexis. And because of his mercy and love, he died for her. Even as she sins and forgets, God still holds a place by his side for her.