First things first?

My friend, may I ask you a question? When there is no time to lay a problem out laterally, does vertical thinking become necessary? How about God? Did he think vertically when the matter of our salvation became problematic?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

I often think vertically when a problem necessitates putting one idea next to another and not touching successive ideas without first attacking the first and so on. For example, I was recently in the market for a new truck as my old one needed replacement. After determining how much it would cost to repair the old truck, I would be able to determine whether it was worthwhile to look for a new one or repair the old one. Before shopping, however, I first needed to do the online research to determine the make and model that would best replace my old truck. I didn’t want to visit a truck dealer without the research in place. After doing my research I decided which dealers I would visit. I dutifully visited each one and found my best deal at each dealership. I could have done things simultaneously, but sequentially just made sense, despite the fact that thinking laterally can be efficient, and there are times when it has its advantages. Nevertheless, following sequential steps vertically was the best way I knew to rise above this time-sensitive problem, chaotic and random in nature, and in need of a permanent solution that made lateral thinking impractical at the moment. The type of problem I’m working on, therefore, constrains my thinking.

No truck meant no way to pull our old travel trailer. No trailer meant no camping. No camping meant no vacation; a chaotic problem needing some serious sequential thinking. There was no time to lay the problem out laterally. How about God? Did he think sequentially when the matter of our salvation became problematic?

Oswald Chambers writes: “Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. . .The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive— He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross . . . Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.”

The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 1:7. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. . .” This was a serious, chaotic and random problem facing God in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve sinned and were broken. No holiness meant no life without sin, no life without sin meant no perfect relationship with God and without that relationship there could be no eternal life. There was no going back, as repairs were impossible. Replacement was necessary. God attacked the problem vertically in a “but for” approach to problem solving. The old man couldn’t be saved, but through the life of a new man redemption could be secured. Jesus is that new man. Like my new truck, there was only one path to redemption and it was sequentially attained through Christ alone. It was a costly path, but God was constrained by his love for mankind to methodically bring it to pass in a “first things first” method. Thank God.

We pray. Heavenly Father, we sometimes muse could there not have been a better way to redeem us from our other than death? Forgive us Lord when we forget there is but one way to repair our broken relationship with you, the death of Christ. Help us Lord to be reminded daily that you took this path because it was the only path that could be taken, all things considered. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!" <>

God bless you for Jesus sake.

  • Facebook Black Round
  • Google+ - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle