1 Corinthians 4:3-5 NIV
“I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”
Self judgement, who of us hasn’t done this? Or how easily can this scripture be taken out of context? And how about performance based approval, how does that factor into the way we sometimes envision the status of our relationship with the Lord?
The more I read God’s Word, the more I see my own inadequacies and how my dependency is totally in Him. Sometimes I even question my own motives and just bow my head before Him and ask Him to work out His will for me, in spite of that which is within me, that goes against His will. Surrendering your will to God’s will, in all things, is indeed a lofty goal and I have no idea at all, how many, if any, achieve that goal while walking in this fleshly body. I know the Apostle Paul didn’t figure he had reached that goal (Philippians 3:12 NIV) and if I am comparing myself with the Apostle Paul, the two of us aren’t even in the same ball field.
I don’t know how many Christians I’ve come to know over the years but there have been many. The ones that I’ve loved the most where human, imperfect, just like me, yet they demonstrated many similar and different Godly characteristics. I can’t think of any two that were exactly the same. The same observation abounds within the membership of my church and also within the network of Christian bloggers that I follow or keep in touch with. You’d almost think that there is a message there, wouldn’t you? We all are uniquely different, yet we share common traits.
My wife and I raised five children and once again, even though they share some common traits, they are all different or unique. It’s kind of amazing when you stop to think about it, the variations that God is capable of making is literally unlimited. And yet, His love goes out to us all, irrespective of the differences between us. And once we accept His demonstrated love, that is personified in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the price that our sinful thoughts, words and actions demanded, we all, who truly believe in Him and the work that Jesus did on our behalf, become like Him, in our Father’s eyes.
I could quote numerous scripture verses that outlines the progressive process but I’m just going to put it into my own words. Our rebirth, being born again of the Spirit, is just the beginning and what follows needs to be a continual process of drawing closer and closer to God, where he transforms our hearts and minds, making us more holy, like He is, while at the same time, while we are being transformed, we are sanctified, we are complete in Him (Hebrews 10:14 NIV).
I wonder how many times I have sinned against God, become aware of it or just acknowledged it and repented and asked for His forgiveness. It scares me when I contemplate the number of times I’ve done this throughout the years. I’m not the same person I was ten years ago, five years ago or even last year. And yet, I know He knows my heart and His love for me and for you hasn’t changed, even throughout all those years. I know it, His love is so beautiful.
The manner in which I pray has changed over the years. I could go over the changes but they are really not all that important. I will tell you how I start my prayers now.
I praise and thank God for His love, for His grace, for His faithfulness, His mercy and His patience. Each one of those attributes is special to me. I’ve tasted of His love, His grace, His faithfulness, His mercy and His patience and that is past tense, present tense and future tense. It’s really hard to put into words what those attributes of God mean to me. Without God in my life, I never would have seen or experienced what He has allowed me to see and experience of Him and it isn’t over yet. Actually it feels like it’s just beginning. And I want more, not less. More of His word, more of His Spirit within me, more of His will being done, more communion with Him and more demonstration of His love going out from Him in me, to others. That includes family (both generically and spiritually), friends and neighbours.
Once we ask Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, we are to continue on, in Him. It is not a one shot deal. The most important aspect of becoming a child of God is the continuing on. That’s what it is all about. It’s what it’s always been about. Do you remember the big mistake you made five years ago? How about last year, maybe last month? Can’t remember five years ago . . ., neither does our God.
1 John 1:9 NIV “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Romans 8:1-2 NIV “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
We’re all different, we’re all at different stages or awareness of God’s ways and thoughts, but we’re all the same in Him, if we continually strive to walk with Him, daily, hourly, minute by minute. That’s a big “if”, but everything that I read in God’s word tells me that is what this journey is all about.
What stage am I at in walking with God? Only God knows.
How aware am I of God’s ways, thoughts and purposes? Only God knows.
Focus on keeping your heart focused on Him and He will take care of the rest.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!