Gracefully Truthful

Adoption,Birth,Heart,Heaven,Identity,Love

Read His Words Before Ours!

Genesis 1-3
Ephesians 2:1-10 
Galatians 5:16-26 
Colossians 2:6-14
Colossians 3:10-17

I’d like to begin with some deep-thinking questions:

What were you doing before you were done?
When do you know you are done? 
There are many times in my life when I want to arrive. 

I want to be perfect. 
I want to know I am finished.  
I get tired of the struggle of growing (sanctification); instead, I want to be done.  
At the same time, I am growing to understand that, in Christ, my salvation is already done.

Let’s consider “being done” as we ponder dinner at a local steakhouse with a famous chef…How do we know our steak is done? I believe only the chef knows, because he is the only one who knows what done looks like.  

Sure, the waitress may have asked us if we would like it rare, medium rare, or well done, but the chef alone possesses the knowledge to determine when the steak is tastefully done/finished. Similarly, our Father in Heaven knows what done or finished looks like in our lives, because He is the one who finished all things in and through Himself. (Ephesians 2:1-10)

How do you feel when a project you were working on is done?
I often feel accomplished.

How did God feel when creating all things was done?
Genesis tells us how the Lord felt when He finished His creation, including humans.  
God saw all that He had made, and it was very good indeed.” (Genesis 1:31)
He was satisfied with His workmanship. 

God’s view of us never changes, unlike our own opinions. I can feel very good about a completed project until someone comes along and shares a criticism, but GOD never changes His “very good indeed” assessment of our creation in His image.  

Even humans’ choice to listen to Satan’s lies, doubt the truth of God’s word, and pursue sin could not break God’s love for His image-bearers. (Genesis 3:1-7; Romans 5:6-8)

So, we have our answer to the question I asked at the start of our Journey Study.  

What were we doing before we were done?
We were sinning.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God[.]” (Romans 3:23)

Thankfully, our stories don’t have to end here.

What is your story, your testimony of God’s work in you?

Sometimes I can get wrapped up in my story, with all its twists and turns, and miss God’s completion of my salvation work long ago at the cross. 

On the cross, “Jesus knew that everything was now finished that the Scripture might be fulfilled [. . . and] He said, ‘It is finished.’ Then bowing His head, He gave up his spirit.” (John 19:28-30

My story belongs to Him, and His desire is to redeem and finish it in Christ’s death and resurrection.

My story may seem very vanilla, quite plain. 

Simply put, God’s deeds became very big while my deeds became very small.  

This shift happened through a woman in my Bible study sharing her story with the group.  She was astonished God saved her from long paths of sin and unrighteous living. Her deeds were horrid in her eyes and she shared in awe of the Lord, who saved her despite all she had done… 

It was then the Holy Spirit laid His hand on my heart, bringing it to life and filling me with humility as Matthew 23:27-28 echoed in my mind:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of impurity. In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” 

I was looking to my upbringing, my church attendance, and my “good” deeds to save me; yet, they did not mean a thing compared to His grace. His grace caused me to see my need for God, to read my Bible, to pray, and to serve. This young lady and myself were on level ground, saved by grace and faith in the finished work of the cross, rather than our own.

This walk will continue until we see Him face to face in His perfection and in our final perfection/glorification in Him.

Until then, Colossians 2:6 exhorts us,
So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in Him, being rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.

Now, in humility and joy, as we continue to walk in Him, let us remember “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) Let’s ask Him to give us awareness of how He’s leading and empowering us to partner with Him in His work, both in our hearts and the world around us!

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