Monday, September 24, 2012

Loved Not By Our Own Merit

"We are more sinful and flawed that we ever dared believe; we are more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope.  In light of this, we're to put off all the unbelief and self-love that motivated our former identity."
                                         -Because He Loves Me, Elyse Fitzpatrick

The old man, sinful and self-serving, sought to console itself in finding it's worth in something outside itself.  It would seek to bring something in, without giving more than necessary,  like a parasite.  Fame, money, praise, accomplishment, affection were all sought as a balm for our desperate souls.  

Now, we are loved completely.  Not the way we were, but how we are now-in Christ.  Not because of what we have done, but because of His choice (agape) and His righteousness (Christ's atonement for our sin).  

But too often we behave as if the transaction has not taken place, and then wonder where our joy, our security, our peace has gone.  Sometimes,while we search elsewhere,  we even dare to suggest God isn't keeping His promises. His promises are not to keep us from trails, temptations, bad days or even awful years.  His promise is His presence, His transforming power.  He is more interested in making us more like His Son than making the day flow smoothly for us.  Each occasion is an opportunity to grow in righteousness.  But this even is not in our power.  It's is through Him.  Ephesians 2:6, "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it[b] with thanksgiving."

Yes, there it is again, that thanksgiving word. It's intertwined with joy.  Again, it's having our hearts and minds transformed.  It's grace, His power to live and move.  His righteousness to live out.  His love to revel in.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment