Thursday, May 2, 2019

Nothing more...nothing less

Nothing more...nothing less. Have you ever heard that saying and wondered what caused the first person who uttered those words to actually have to say them? Nothing more suggests someone could try to 'add to' whatever one is considering - because it isn't complete the way it is. Nothing less might just indicate someone would try to 'take away from' what was there because they thought they could be a little crafty or devious in their dealings. Nothing more...nothing less. When it comes to what we know about God, there is no 'adding to' the truth - truth is truth and it cannot be 'added to'. When it comes to what God does for us, there is 'nothing less' than his perfection that is offered - nothing can be added to it, nothing can be taken away from it and have the same impact on our lives.

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me. (Colossians 1:27-28 MSG)

God wants us to know his truth 'inside and out' - with a full disclosure of truth on his part. He expects us to embrace it as unashamedly as he has given it to us. Nothing more...nothing less. The 'nothing more' is Christ - the 'nothing less' is also Christ. There is no substitute for truth - no substitute for Christ in our lives. We cannot work our way to God - 'nothing more'. We cannot do anything to cause him to love us anymore than he already does - 'nothing less'. We are as he sees us and he loves us just the way we are. We are asked to embrace him as he is - nothing more, nothing less.

The message of Christ 'makes sense' only when we don't attempt to add to it or take away from it. We might not fully understand the depth of his love, but we don't have to understand love totally to enter into the embrace of love. We may not fully understand the truth given to us in his Word, but we don't have to dice and slice it to our taste or desire in order to make it work for us. We are given the totality of his love, but we don't always appreciate ALL that is 'included' in that love. We see in part, understand in part, and appreciate only bits and pieces of his sacrificial love. That doesn't make his love any less perfect or complete. It just makes our perception less than perfect!

All the truths of God's grace and love are not dependent upon our understanding of those truths. They stand as true even when we are trying to take away or add to them! We might not realize the error in either of those choices, but when we finally do, we see that God is a God who promotes common sense! He doesn't make his love so complex that we cannot receive it. He doesn't proffer his truth as so mythical that we cannot take it in and be nourished by the wealth of hope and strength contained within it. WE are the ones who add to and take away from - like we need to have a say in the matter!

God is love and he gives perfect love. God is truth and he brings perfect light into our lives. God is freedom and he doesn't just set one free 'up to a certain extent', but with total freedom and release. God provides a total health in our inner man, not just in the areas of his choosing. The sooner we understand the complexity of his love and grace doesn't depend on the simplicity of our understanding and trust, the more we will fall in love with him and find we have all we need exactly in him! Just sayin!

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