Thursday, March 31, 2022

            It has been said that we can enjoy as much of God as we wish.  Think of these words in terms of a relationship with a spouse or child.  You may have some casual contact and a few perfunctory words here and there but there is not much depth.  You live in the same house but share few of the same joys, interests or pursuits.  You know each other but, well, you know each other.  We can often adopt the same stance toward the Lord.  We want salvation, forgiveness and grace but we have little interest in pursuing the Lord and devote little time to walking with the Lord.  We make our faith “one more thing to do.”  One of my favorite preachers from the nineteenth century is A.W. Tozer.  He once wrote, “we have been snared in the coils of a false logic which insists that if we have found Him, we need no more to seek Him.”  Sadly, that logic prevails today in many hearts and minds of people who believe themselves to be followers of Christ and profess that faith openly and confidently.
            We can easily become complacent and think that a conversion experience is both the starting line and the finish line of faith.  It may be helpful to think of the salvation experience in three ways.  First, we are justified.  That means God declares us not guilty of our sins based on what Jesus did for us at the cross.  We exercise belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus and the power of His cross for our forgiveness.  We are justified by God’s grace and our total surrender to Him in faith making no pretense that we can save ourselves, forgive ourselves or earn anything special favor or standing.  Second, we are sanctified.  God is making us more like Jesus every day and in every way.  Through reading the Bible, prayer, worship, life situations and the work of the Holy Spirit in us, God is making us increasingly into the likeness of Christ.  Unlike justification, which is a one-time event, sanctification is a daily process that extends over the life of our faith and existence.  If we live as a Christian for 100 years, sanctification lasts for 100 years.  Third, we are glorified.  Glorification happens at the moment of death when God calls His people to be with Him forever, to enter into His presence and to enjoy what He has prepared.  Glorification does not happen in this lifetime or this world.  It awaits us. 
            Based on these three ways of seeing salvation, we can say that God is faithfully at work in the past, present and future.  He has worked.  He is working.  He will work.  We never want to strike a posture that says we know all that we need to know and we are satisfied in our faith.  We always want to continue to grow...in grace, truth, love, faith and fellowship.  We will never exhaust the riches of God’s grace, wisdom and truth.  May we always be wanting more of God in our minds, hearts, days and lives.  May we never think that we have no need to pursue Him or to deepen our relationship with Him.  Paul wrote in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” You might think the wisdom and ways of God are as plentiful and rich as the grains of sand on the earth.  Wrong!  The grains of sand, though numerous and many, are a finite number.  There is a sum total.  That is not the case with God.  He is infinite and unending in greatness, glory, wisdom and truth.  We will never reach a boundary with God where we have gone as far as possible.  May we wake up each day and ask, “Lord, what do you have to teach and show me today?”  And may we embark upon a daily faith journey with Him.  Have a great Thursday wherever you may be!
         

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