Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Friday, September 25, 2015
We sometimes forget to leave what is in the past in the past, but there are some things we might do well to remember from our past. One such thing is the work of Christ in our lives. In the past, we were spiritually dead - kind of like our lives had dead batteries. All the pieces were there to make us all we should and could be, but there wasn't a "charge" in us which could actually get us moving as we should be moving. Before Christ energized our spirits with his own, we were dead - without any spark of life. After he energized us, we were made alive - nothing stood in the way of the current of grace infusing each and every aspect of our lives with his life-giving spark. Nothing we used to do or be matters anymore because the grace of Christ became the life-giving force which now drives us.
In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn't obey God. Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else. But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much he made us alive with Christ, and God's gift of undeserved grace is what saves you. God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. God did this so in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about. God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. This is why he sent Christ to make us what we are. Ephesians 2:1-10 CEV
Think about a dead battery in your car for a moment. The battery is there and so are all the other parts of the engine which actually can propel the car forward once the gears are put into position. What does not happen when the battery is dead is the passage of energy which actually turns the engine over when the ignition switch is hit. Try as you might, you can crank and crank to ignite the power contained within that engine, but no amount of our own effort will produce the force needed to ignite the fuel until there is "juice" in the battery sufficient to ignite it. In our old way of living apart from Christ, we may have done a whole lot of "cranking" to attempt to produce signs of life, but that was all for naught because the next time we went to reproduce that same action we could not because there was no spiritual "ignition" of that spark. We didn't need new batteries, but rather we needed the battery we possessed to become fully charged. We all were born with a spirit, but that spirit lacked the "charge" necessary to consistently produce the same reliable energizing of our lives each and every time. We needed more than a jump start - we needed a total charge. This s God's gift to us - not just a jump start in this walk, but the continual "hook up" to the source which continually reignites us. This is the action of grace in our lives.
A battery is in the position of doing the work it is designed to do when it is in place under the hood of our car. Yet it cannot function as it is designed until it is fully charged and there is an opportunity to 'discharge' the energy it contains. When we are given a place in Christ, we are in the right position to experience life. When we stay connected to the flow of his energizing force we find our batteries maintain the charge to consistently produce the spark which ignites us to do good works. We are daily being renewed in this spiritual energy because we remain connected to the source of that energy. Disconnect even for a short while and we "run down". We were designed for daily renewal, not just a once in a while recharge! As I have said before, grace is both a one time thing, and a continually renewing source. It is what gives us right position and it is also what maintains us in that position so we can be consistently alive and fully 'operational'. In the past, we were made new. In the present, we are continually renewed. We keep turning to the source of connection because it is where we find our source of continually renewable 'spiritual energy'.
Grace has a source - Christ. The work of grace has a purpose in our lives - to energize our spirits with the life which comes from Christ alone. Until we realize a dead battery only takes up space but isn't functioning as designed, we don't know the power of a fully charged battery. Once we experience that 'charge' we don't want to be without the power which fully energizes and ignites life within. The only source of renewable energy in a spiritual sense is found in the continual connection we maintain through God's grace. Maybe we need to focus on the connection, not just that we have the battery! Just sayin!