Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Gift of Being Carried

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.- Philippians 1:6

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What does it mean to be carried to completion? 

We have a responsibility to follow in peace, trust, and prayer, not fretting or kicking and screaming every step of the way. 

Let us give Him our full attention, listening even though it would be easier to speak. In the silence, He will lead us to completion.

I know. Those are easy words to read and even easier to say. As I continue to re-examine the character of God, some concepts I'm discovering I'm strangely unfamiliar with are the most important of all: grace and love. Not to say I'm confused along the lines of the theological or conceptual; there was a time when I could mop the floor in a Facebook debate with my memory of scripture, with Greek words and their meanings, and defend my faith with zeal even from those in the Family that were considered "wrong."

Long story short, I was on a righteousness peak. You know: you're on the worship team at church, sort of a leader of youth when camp rolls around, and knowledgeable on many controversial topics in the faith. 

You haven't seen a valley in ages and you think it can only stay the same or get better from here...

When I look to the cross lately, I find myself drawn to the shadows because of depression, anxiety, misunderstanding, fear, and doubt. Why would He carry me? I have a lot that makes me too heavy, in my mind anyway. And aren't I supposed to carry my own weight and my own cross?

These are things I regularly have to tackle. Every Sunday in worship, every afternoon on the drive to work, I find myself concerned over my ratio of wrong to right, "as if I could earn God's favor given time, or at least congratulations."

I need to be reminded that He is enough. He purchased my salvation, I didn't. I'm not earning my way into His grace. 

It's a gift.
It has always been a gift. 

"I think the thing, the thing that hit me really hard was that God has never gotten tired of my stumbling. God has never gotten tired of my [stumbling], He has never gotten tired of me. And however worn out I might be on myself, however down I might be on myself, however aggravated I might be, however much I wish I was something that I'm not, He knew exactly who I was before He ever sent Christ to die for me. And He knew exactly how many sins I would commit in the course of my life. And He knew the sins that I would commit after I became a Christian. He knew the temptations I would have, the struggles I would have from the day I was born until the day I die. That did not stop Him from sending Christ." -Rich Mullins

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