Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shaped and designed by Jesus

Some beautiful, exciting stuff to share with you this morning.  Do we remember often enough that WE are Christ's workmanship?  He is the Artist, the Author, creatively shaping each one.  Forgetting that leads us to frustration with ourselves and others.  Remembering that gives us hope and enthusiasm for is the key to the abundant life Jesus came to bring us!

Let's see if I can tie some of the scriptures in that directed my eyes.  The Shunamite woman (the one who offered hospitality to Elisha, received a son as a gift and then later had that child brought back to life by Elisha) left her home for seven years (at God's command because of famine).  Her return was divinely timed as Gehazi was speaking of the LORD to the King.  The King was delighted to meet 'the evidence' of Gehazi's words and ordered her home (and the land's harvest!) to be returned to her.  She reaped what she had not sown because that is just the way God is!  I see God working in her life, Gehazi's and the King's in miraculous, perfect ways.  Another passage revealed a harder truth:  evil intervenes in lives.  Elisha saw the nasty things that would come from Jehu's life...and he told Jehu.  It didn't divert Jehu's plans and great tragedies unfolded.  Yet, a new King was anointed and the plan of God moved forward.  Hurts come in this unstable world...seeking to avoid them, change them or becoming buried in them is not what we need to do.  We need to move forward with our confidence in the unchanging nature of our good God.  He will shape us with and through them and bring good.

The confident summary of this for me is in this  (paraphrased) truth:  'God judges me on the basis of the atonement of Christ'.  I can't rightly judge me or others or the things of this world outside of the love and purpose revealed in the atonement.  Sin is.  God is.  AND God wins.

Because I accept that atonement, my journey through this life is safely in His hands. I fall short daily...and accepting that I fall short plops me into GRACE which continually moves me toward the design God has for me.  What a grace place to land...but I want to go through life inviting others to fall their with me.  It isn't a place of stalling, excuses or self-defensiveness; it is a vehicle to move forward.  Hop in!  As Christ moves us through life--through tough times and growing times--we are being prepared for eternity.  He knows what He's doing...His work is perfect!

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