Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Waking A Knucklehead
During a sleepless hour last night it dawned on me that I was working really hard at getting life right – praying enough, walking in the Spirit enough, supporting people enough, making enough money—you know, ENOUGH. After all, once you know what to do (and that should certainly be me by now), shouldn’t you simply do it? Isn’t how you do the ultimate estimate?
No, it isn’t. How Jesus did when He lived as a man is the ultimate measure of me. Think about it.
I forget that the ongoing measurement of my life, the way I am seen, the way I am estimated and the way I am judged is not singularly dependent upon me—Jesus became all of that for me. Everyday and all day I am living with His righteousness, His holiness, and His redemption. All that He accomplished has been given to me as my own.
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” (1 Cor 1:30-31)
Let the bragging on God begin because that’s overwhelming. But shouldn’t it be? Yes! The gospel is crazy-good. Believing that it’s true is as much the life of faith as believing that He died for my sins is. And on most days it’s much more energizing. Believing that He died for my sins and was raised to life does something once and for all: it utterly removes my sins, secures my place with God, and makes a new, raised-with-Christ me. Tah-dah! All new, once and for all. But believing that He has given me His righteousness and holiness and redemption invigorates the new me, and propels me into the day—everyday. Now that I’m new, this is how to live new. Believing equals receiving—something great happens to me.
What bothered me in the night was the accumulated stress of not counting on Jesus’ righteousness and holiness and redemption to do anything for me, other than secure my standing and destination. What a knucklehead! When I remember what He did and gave me, my faith rises and my strength increases. All that ugly judgment I sometimes endure from the evil one and from my flesh vanishes. Hooray! I can live again. And I’m reminded that faith isn’t just a bunch of important stuff I believe, but a way by which life and strength and the Holy Spirit work in me, a son of God.
That’s my day and that’s my night. Jesus for me and Jesus in me – my hope of great things.
“. . . God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)