“From the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son…” Romans 8:29
I love the fact that God is committed to the goal of making us increasingly like Christ…with our permission and cooperation, of course. While not all mysteries are made clear to us (after all, He asks us to walk by faith, not by sight), God explains much of His plan and purpose.
Our Father’s teacher heart is evident by the way many of His instructions are followed by a “so that” phrase. He instructs us to “Do everything without grumbling or arguing SO THAT you may become blameless and pure.” This helps me understand why a contentious spirit will quickly lead me into impure thoughts and actions.
“I have told you these things SO THAT in me you may have peace” (John 6:33). Jesus had just explained to His disciples how He would send the Holy Spirit to meet their needs. When my peace is interrupted, I need to review the “these things” of Jesus.
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, SO THAT all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). Whenever I feel inadequate for a task, whenever I need course correction, whenever I need more training for the path ahead, I need to go back to that useful scripture.
“Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence SO THAT we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). God’s mercy and grace are ready to be generously given; He just waits for us to freely, boldly, confidently come before Him.
Search for other SO THAT phrases as you read the Bible. God makes just enough of His will and plan known for us to live abundantly because “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, SO THAT we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12).
What do you think would happen in your growth as a Christian if you began to more deeply understand all the “so that” statements in the Bible?
Begin making a list of such statements in your journal.
By Marilyn Ehle
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