Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Complete in Christ

If you are a believer, you are complete in Christ. You are beautiful. You are righteous. You are holy. You are not broken, not dysfunctional and you don’t need fixing. You are fixed. You fully function and you can live a godly life. Now that you are transformed, you move to work with God in His Kingdom. God’s love within you is a passionate love moving us you the direction of His heart and His ways. God is sufficient for you, and He is working in and through you to will and do for His pleasure. You cannot ultimately fail in your walk with God. You can only grow. You grow through suffering, falling forward in your failures; learning and growing through pain and struggle.You are fully who you are. Now be and believe who you are and made to be.

God hates religion. Why? Because we start trying to gain what we can never attain through our effort. We try to do what we could never accomplish. We try to be what we could never make ourselves be, and then we despair. We give up. We mope around. We live like hell on earth, when we have heaven within us if we are a believer. We bring dishonour and shame to our God because we fail to believe that what He said He would do in us, He has actually done.

Why do we struggle to believe? Because we don’t always see the evidence of God’s word in our lives YET. We don’t FEEL it’s true. So we try to change our feelings or change our behaviours, when all we really need to do is believe our God. We turn our focus to ourselves and try to improve. We create support groups, bible studies, prayer meetings, all with the focus of improving ourselves. God looks and seems to say, “What is there to improve? You are already perfect. My work is complete. Won’t you just accept this gift and believe Me? I am so glorified when you believe Me.”

The just shall walk by faith. Why? Because we know that we can never accomplish what God has done in us. We could never figure it out on our best day. How could we ever comprehend what God has done through Jesus Christ. This is the mystery of the gospel. Its beyond us. It’s a plan that God purposed in Himself since before the beginning of time, before the foundation of the world, moving events, people, raising up and casting down thrones and powers, bringing death and life, working all things together for His glory and Name sake. How could we ever possibly figure this out? How could we ever try to earn it? We do not deserve it. We were lost, lost, lost. And if He didn’t reach into the darkness and call our name, we would still be lost. God found us and He called us to Himself in Christ Jesus when we surrendered to the Son.

You did not seek God. He sought you. You did not find Him. He was found by you. That’s a big difference. He orchestrated all the events of history, all the events of your life to bring you to Himself. Your life is His design. He formed you in your mother’s womb. He wove you together, counting every hair on your head. He placed you in a certain family, in a certain town, in a certain culture, in a certain language group, in a certain country, and He did all this according to the counsel of His will, according to His good pleasure. You did not seek Him. You did not give your life to Him. You were dead. You were without hope. When the time was right, He called to you. He gave you the ability to hear His call. He authored your faith in Christ Jesus. He birthed you through His Spirit and so you live. You were dead and now you are alive. It’s by His grace you have been saved, through faith.

After all He did to save you, it’s tempting to think He chose you because you were somehow special. It might be deflating to know He did not do all this just for you. His goal was not to fix your life, get your marriage together, help your children, get the right job or give you success in this life. He did not send His Son to die for your sin for you. He did it for Himself, for the sake of His Name, which was being profaned among the nations because of you and all who lived independently of Him. He sent His Son to earth to model for us what we were not willing to do -- love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbours as ourselves. Jesus perfectly lived out the law of God on this planet, in complete faith and love. He loved God with His whole heart, soul, mind and strength and He loved His neighbour as Himself. Jesus walked in perfect trust to His Father, knowing that, even in torture and death, God was good and was working all things according to His righteousness and character.

In Christ, God is reconciling His creation to Himself, bringing it back its purpose, the praise of His glorious grace. Why? Because He alone is good and righteous, full of mercy and loving-kindness. In His righteousness, His wrath burned against the unrighteousness of mankind. In His love He chose to redeem us, creating a new humanity in whom He would live, working out His will from within their hearts. Christ saved us from the Father’s wrath to the praise of His glory.

So He chose you, calling you by name, and He saved you, giving you a new heart and new spirit when you surrendered to Him. He washed you in the blood of His Son and taking away all your filth, removing your sin forever. You are no longer an independent being, separated from God. You are a dependent being, who is holy and connected. Nothing will ever separate you from Him again. You were not saved by your effort or religious activities. You were saved by His grace, through faith. He gifted you this faith. You didn’t even come up with the ability to believe on your own. It was a gift of God, authored by Christ Jesus.

So agree the Truth of His word, beloved child of God, thank Him for what He has done. The work in you is complete. Now He invites you to get to work with Him, as He sets up His kingdom. You are His ambassador, the letter of His grace, the light through which He will now shine His light to the world. You can’t try to do this; you must believe Him, fully resting in Him, fully abiding in Him, His word and His love.

You long to obey Him. You delight in His law. You hunger and thirst for righteousness and you long to be on mission with your King. This is the reality of who you are as the new creation in Christ. He will work in and through your life, bringing impact to the world around you. As you go with Him, your thinking and behaviour will transform. You won’t try to change, try to go to church, try to pray or try to read your bible. You want to because you love your King and have abandoned yourself to Him. You know you are saved by His grace alone. The impact God will make through your life will last forever and ever. The key is just to love Him.

The problem with religion is that it doesn’t work. God hates religion, because religion is man’s attempt to accomplish a work for God. God doesn’t need your help. You are not transformed by religious activity and God is not honoured by what you try to do. He wants your love, to love Him with all you are.

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