Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dare I Claim?

Awaking very early this morning, I read my devotional, Living the Message by Eugene Peterson. Today's devotions led me to Galatians 3:1-7. The Word speaks of living our lives in faith, just as we began our Christian lives with faith. Specifically, Galatians 3:3 says, "How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?" (ESV)

And oh, that's me sometimes! I fear that I am not faithful enough, not good enough, to reach God. Silly me, this scripture says! Silly me, to think that I need to reach God. He is ever, always, reaching for me! Because he loves me. And you. We do not have to be good enough, strong enough, faithful enough, because HE loves us and wants us and calls us.

So, as this truth struck me this early morn, I asked, "Dare I claim this to be true for me?" Me, whom I know intimately to have many, many faults and shortcomings? Me, whom I know hasn't lived up to what God would have me be?

And I reached for my Bible to read on a bit... with my left hand... my broken elbow... I could not lift my Bible that way! My elbow is too weak, too painful, so I let go immediately and reached with my right hand.

I realized in that moment that my broken elbow is an apt metaphor for this passage of scripture. I know my limitations physically... why not in faith? My physical strength is in my right arm; my spiritual strength is in Jesus Christ's finished work of love for my redemption.

Dare I claim the promise of God? YES. I claim the truth that Philippians 1:6 states so clearly, "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." I, by myself, am not enough to become perfect, finished, God-worthy. But through Jesus Christ, I have been redeemed, and I trust that God will complete the work He has begun within me.

I can see little pieces of His work in me. I can feel little bits of the fruits of the spirit growing, but it is not my doing. God is at work in my life. And yours! Trust Him to continue His work. Amen.

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