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  • Writer's pictureSteven Marsh

Man Cannot Save Himself: a Reflection on Psalm 50, Genesis 29:20-35, 1 Timothy 3:14-4:10 and Mark 10

Oh how I try to save myself. God has given me my mind and many abilities. So far in my career I have been successful. God has used me to make a difference in others’ lives. In my brokenness, which has been very broken at times, God reaches into the mess, picks up the pieces and molds me back into the person he desires me to be. I often call out to God in my days of trouble. And I should do it more. God always delivers me; not on my terms and that is a good thing. God’s rescuing of me requires discipline on my part and with the psalmist, I strongly dislike it. In fact I hate it. Often, human thinks he can save himself with the end justifying the means. Take Jacob. He deceived his father and stole the birthright from Esau. And then, Jacob fell in love with Rachel and Laban deceived him and brought his daughter Leah. Jacob slept with Leah. He did not like being deceived. Jacob served Laban for seven years and then received Rachel. Jacob despised being deceived. Laban told him it was not right to give the younger daughter first in marriage. And Jacob was convicted. He was the younger. Esau’s birthright was not his to have. Jacob stole it. And in all of this, God’s sovereignty was at work. There is mystery in Christianity and the things that pertain to God. God ordaining the stuff tough as a means to great stuff is mysterious stuff. And oh how we work to take away the mystery. Jesus told his disciples that it would be hard for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God. Straight forward, yet filled with mystery. How tempted man is to believe that money is a savior. Man cannot save himself. Money, stuff, abilities, qualifications, social standing and the like are all bankrupt as saviors. Am I wrong?

Scripture texts are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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