May 4 Esight, 2008

“…Jesus Christ, through whom we have caught grace and apostleship ushering us into obedience to faith in the midst of all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.” (Romans 1:4,5; personal translation)There are three things I would like to point out this week that have truly blessed my reading of Romans recently.

First is Paul’s use of the Greek word lambano. Traditionally, this word has been translated as the part each of us must play, what each of us must do, in order to obtain God’s grace. Lambano has been seen as our receiving or acceptance, but the word lambano truly means to take into one’s own possession, to catch something, kind of like “catching” a cold. You see, “God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe” (E. G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 69). It’s all around us already; He simply wants us to catch it, as though we were in a room full of germs. (I know, but it’s the best illustration I could think of at this moment.) Or, rather, to be caught up in God’s already present, all-pervading grace.

Second, what Paul caught was not only God’s grace, but also “apostleship.” Apostleship was the avenue by which Paul could express the obedience he desired to give God that had grown out of his faith in God’s love for him. Paul’s heart longed to say, “thank you.”

And, third, this was in plain sight of others for the purpose of declaring God’s name or Character before the world! (“His name’s sake”).

I was asked just last night, “how does one see God correctly, Herb? How do we catch the vision of what He truly is?” Would you like this experience, dear reader? Would you like to be caught up in God’s grace, to see His heart unfurled? And then to be caught up in a deep heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all He has done for you? He has saved you—do you desire to be overwhelmed with the longing to give your all to Him, to be used by Him to “save” His character from all the lies told about who and what He is? Then spend some time in the atmosphere of God’s unmerited, non-condemning, self-abandoning love this week. Put yourself in a place where you can be “infected.” It’s all around us! The only question is, will you choose to breathe?