2 Cor 6:1-2
Working together with him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive the grace of God in vain.” For he says:
At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.
See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!
Have you ever gotten a gift that you just didn’t feel like you could accept? Perhaps the giver was someone who you knew would hold the “good gift” over your head and remind you or expect something from you in the future. Sometimes you get a gift valued much higher than your offering to them. Or worse, they gave you something nice, and you didn’t get them anything… couldn’t afford to, completely forgot about them, or frankly don’t like them and thought they felt the same about you. Think of God’s gift of salvation… some of those same thoughts might apply, and sometimes they leave us insecure or unwilling to fully accept our new standing with him.
The Bible talks a lot about God’s grace, and the action of receiving it. It is stressed that we are a “new creation”, that the “old has passed away” - we are now “children of God”, and on our way to receive his “full inheritance” as such.
When Luke 18:17 (or Matt. 18:3) talks about the kingdom of God, Jesus tells us about becoming “like a child” …
“I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
So, what does that mean? Well, today, for me, it means this: If I am to put on my “robe of righteousness” and accept/claim my inheritance that Jesus died to pay for, I am going to have to take off my “filthy rags” and decide they are no longer mine. Literally, Hester Prynne style, throw down my Scarlet Letter (or letters, the devil loves to shame us), and no matter how much I feel like the Robe is undeserved sometimes, never pick up my old garment and put them on again. You see, we can’t wear both. Think of how stupid we look, trying to pin our old letters on top of Christ’s robe, as we go out as ambassadors for him.
My current problem? I can’t seem to let go of those letters. And there are lots of people (and some family) that really don’t appreciate me dropping them and keep trying to hand them back to me. But my epiphany this morning, came in the form of a movie line that really represented what the above verses were talking about. Now it’s been a minute since I’ve seen it, so I am slightly paraphrasing, but still.
How come you never told me you lost Ben? - Stepmom
You know why. - Ben’s Mother
Well, Ben didn’t say anything. – Stepmom
He doesn’t remember getting lost, he just remembers that I found him. – Ben’s Mother
Today, find you freedom from those letters. You have been found, and that’s what really matters.
Yum… Tis the season for cooking, baking, and candy-making! It is fun to try a new recipe, or taste something that longs to become your new holiday favorite. However, if you have ever tried cooking something new, or cooking anything at all really, a crucial step is to tasteit before you serveit. Sometimes you got a bit more tomato paste in your sauce, and maybe need more herbs. Perhaps you had some bitter basil, and now need some more sugar to balance out. There is always the opportunity to correct before serving, because after all, it is about the serving and those who are eating your creation.
So it is with our faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Can't you see for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you--unless you actually fail the test?
We are called to test ourselves, examine our faith, and to “work out our own salvation, with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). It is important to note two things here before moving to the point:
1.We are not called to work out someone else’s by causing them to fear (or “shaking some sense into them”).
2.This is with the assumption that we are accepting the terms (God’s Word is true, Salvation comes through Jesus, etc.) …NOTthe same as arguing the terms of the transaction of our Salvation
If our call is to love God, and love people as he did, shouldn’t we make sure we know what we are serving up? Can you imagine if you put everything into the pot, never stirred, never tasted, never time checked, and then blamed the failure of taste on the recipe, or even on those who were eating your dish? Sounds absurd, right? Well, examine yourself. Take a taste of what is in that pot, and make sure it lines up with what you are trying to serve. Don’t be scared to even lift the lid because you may have questions. In fact, the whole point is that you will. And we are told to take those to our Father, and through reading his Word, and following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, taste it, test it, and get direction of where to go from there.
Advice for this holiday season? Look up, to know what you should serve up. Cheesy but true, but just make sure you have tasted it first. 😊
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.