Tuesday, December 25, 2018

I ain't no saint!

Some try to live like saints - others know just how much of an impossibility sainthood really is! The good news is that God can make somebodies out of nobodies - he can actually make saints out of sinners! We all bear many names such as son, daughter, mother, father, worker, foreman, leader, and even child. None of these names really defines us as God would have us defined, though. We are each individually defined by the 'new name' he writes upon our hearts the moment we say "yes" to Jesus. That new name doesn't make us who we are in Christ Jesus - it is given because of what God has done in us.

We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” (Romans 4:17-18 MSG)

We can all associate with being 'nobody' at times. It is like we blend into the woodwork almost - not really noticed, but there nonetheless. There are also times when we try to shine like the glowing light, only to find we cast shadows too large to disguise or hide no matter how 'bright' our light shines. We all go through phases of living according to what we can do, forgetting all the while that God is desiring for us to live according to what he has done and what he continues to do!

We don't live like saints very often - at least I don't, so I imagine there are others who might be honest and admit it, too. We might want to be 'saint-like', but all our actions just don't amount to much. We are incapable of being saints until we are made saints by the grace of God. Abraham hit the nail on the head by choosing not to live on the basis of what he couldn't do. Too many of us refuse to admit we cannot do life on our own - we are incapable of true change on our own. Once we admit we are incapable - God opens the doors to capabilities beyond our abilities!

God says he will make us white as pure driven snow - we don't get pure by our actions, but by the drive of his Spirit within us. God says he will give us a new name - not because we really desire one, but because he knows we need our lives 'redefined'. God says there are possibilities we won't ever accomplish on our own - so he gives us the abilities to accomplish great things, not in our own power, but through the grace and power that comes by his hand.

There is no greater gift we receive than to first acknowledge we are incapable of living saint-like lives and then see how God begins to make us saintly in our appearance, attitude, and actions. It is a grace-thing, pure and simple. That which we cannot do ourselves is best left in the hands of the only one capable of doing it anyway! Just sayin!