Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flawed, but Made Perfect

I am a Christian, yet I am terribly flawed.  As a disciple of Christ, I know what my Lord expects of me. Yet, try as I may to be what God wants me to be, I continue to fail miserably. I am indeed fortunate that God is faithful and just and will forgive my sins, because I need to ask for His forgiveness over and over again. I am often a poor example. Many who see my faults, cite those shortcomings as excuses to not accept Christ and not engage in fellowship with the church. I am to be an ambassador for my Lord and people are watching, and they often don’t like what they see. I am judgmental. I criticize what I perceive as the inadequacies of others, but fail to recognize my own shortcomings. I will look down upon those that are different or have opinions that are different than mine. I hold an inflated opinion of myself and will perform my good works in a way that others can see, so that I can take the credit for those good deeds.

I am a Christian, yet I am selfish. I will, more often than not, ignore that little nudge from the Holy Spirit to complete a task for our Lord, and instead, take the easy way out and do what it is that I want to do for myself. This is my biggest failure and my gravest sin against my Lord. For when my wants and desires take precedence over my Lord and Savior, I deny Him and worship myself, my identity and my possessions. I fail to remember that everything that I have, even life itself, is a gift from God. When I fail to welcome others, to share what I have with those in need, and to give of my time to those who are lonely, I also deny my Lord and Savior. Mark 8:34-38, “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

I am a Christian, yet I continue to commit sins against my Lord. My proclivity to feed the desires of the flesh, more often than not, cause me to err and to fall into sin. I take for granted my gifts from my Lord and I am often much too eager to accept the praises of others when I step out and serve the Lord. I fail to acknowledge God for the gifts He has given me and then selfishly keep them to myself. I am called to tithe, to give to my Lord only one tenth of what He has given me, yet I often only place a few dollars in the offering plate. Levitiicus 27:30, “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD”. My world revolves around myself, not God, making me an idol worshipper, lifting myself up as the idol.

I am a Christian and a child of God. Even with all of my faults and failings, my God loves me beyond my understanding. 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” I am made perfect in Christ. Colossians 1:22-23, “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven..”  Jesus took upon Himself all of my sins, suffered and died on the cross in my place, and defeated death so that I may be granted salvation and eternal life with my Lord.

I am a Christian and I am saved. Hebrews 9:15, “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” The only true universal salvation is that God wants all of His children to believe and be saved, that everyone comes to Him through faith in the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. There is much sacrifice to be made by a disciple of Christ. There is nothing easy about the tasks our Lord sets before us. But, when we obey our Lord and trust in His will, we will be made perfect in His sight. All of us unworthy, sinful human beings are sanctified in God’s eyes by the blood of our Savior. And the cost to us to be able to receive this offer of grace from our God; nothing more than faith in the Risen Christ.  Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, brother! We are shipmates, since I am in the same boat as you. In Romans 7:15 Paul notes: For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (NKJV)