Now, here I am 53 years old, and realizing I will never become a new creature in Christ by any continued failed attempt of my own sin management, but I can rest in the work that Christ did and continues to do in me. Sometimes the changes He makes are more evident internally, than externally, and that is when I would be tempted to resort back to my old sin management techniques and question God’s wisdom in saying I am who He says I am. But that is OK too – the internal place is His holy place and since He chose to live there, He must like to renovate a house like I do, the living space before the old exterior paint is changed.
He relentlessly pursues me with His craftsmanship- I am His greatly loved work and hobby combined into one passionate commitment of ceaseless love. The agony of the garden, struggle – abandonment, sweat and tears, woven with scars and soaked with His blood, made the tapestry of grace that hung upon the cross on my behalf – on your behalf.
Before He formed me in the womb He knew me (Jer.1:5) I was chosen from before the foundations of the earth (Rom.8:29), and He promises to finish the work that He began in me (Phil. 1:6). Pretty amazing stuff. I can’t compete with that, and I don’t want to. This is the kind of thing that fairy tales are made of, the sovereign Prince, crowned in gold and loving us more than we can ever grasp. Only this King gave up his palace to dwell among us.This is the God that we are called to introduce others to. The God who is relentlessly pursuing and wooing them in their places.
According to a Gallup pole, more than 9 in 10 (92%) of Americans still believe in God or higher power. 80% believe in GOD, 72% are convinced He exists.
The average age – is over 30 and 90% are college graduates. So much for the idea only the uneducated hold to such foolishness as faith.
Here is a really interesting statement:
“At some points in the 1950s, almost all Americans identified themselves with a particular religion. In recent years, more than 1 in 10 Americans tell survey interviewers they have no religious identity.”
Can we reach people if we are clothed in a religious identity, seemingly more concerned with bringing them to a church than to the Kingdom? Or should we get in the streets and love them like Jesus did when sat down with “sinners and saints” drawing them to His love so they will willingly be part of the universal church, and find their place among others in the church community?
I want to pursue others with the same unconditional love that God relentlessly pursues me with – not based on buildings, doctrines, or denominations – not built on who or what they are, where they reside or go to church – not based on their ability to give back to me- not based on good times or bad, kindness or ugliness, friendship or hatred, sinner or saint, looks, likes or loves – but built upon the foundation of Christ Jesus and His work on their behalf. I want to see them the way He sees me. God is so very wise.