Skip to main content

Who's acting here?

 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. (Romans 12:3)

The more we try to figure ourselves out, the harder it gets. We do something and we attempt to get down to the rationale behind the action we exhibited. We don't do anything and we try to look deeper into the meaning of the inaction. We are always evaluating ourselves by the outcomes of what it is our action or inaction produces. Is this always the most valid way of evaluating ourselves, though? If we take our text today as truth, then we are clearly not to evaluate self by self - we are to evaluate self by what God does for us and who he is.

God is - what does that phrase conjure up in your mind? Some of us will answer the very 'pat' answers such as the God of the Universe, Creator of all things, and above all other gods. These are Sunday School answers, my friends. We need to get down to the brass tax here and begin to understand God for who he is to us by who he really is and what he has done for each of us. Yes, he created all things - that is an accurate answer, but it isn't the totality of who he is. 

The goodness of grace isn't something we should discount, for it is what makes each of us what we are - whole, complete, and more than just 'in tact'. We can manage to keep our lives 'in tact', but we have a much harder time with making our lives whole - through and through. We try to add 'wholeness' to our lives with some set of actions that we see as 'good' or 'worthy', but in essence we are just doing what we are supposed to be doing - nothing more.

We might want our lives to 'measure up' to some standard all of the time, but we cannot ever get to that point of 'measuring up' to what God can accomplish in us when we give him full access. Full access means nothing held back and that we actually stop 'doing' what we really cannot do for ourselves. Grace gives us footing - grounding, foundation, and purpose. His love keeps us secure and protected. His peace grants us strength where we lack it on our own. These are the things we come to know and appreciate about our God's actions in our lives once we stop acting and allow him to be the one to take action within! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce