Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Perseverance's Work

If I were to give myself a performance grade for yesterday, it would have to be an “F.” My focus was off. My mind was not with God, and my heart was on me. Therefore, shame became my trophy for the day. For how could God love such a person?

But today, I got to start again. Today, God met me early. We talked about yesterday and he cast His light on the darkness of the day. It made me cry, but His warm love soothed me at the same time. He reminded me of His never-ending love, and showed me in His word how I can start again today. Not only that, but He filled my heart and mind with work, things to say, people to reach out to, and lessons to give. In my heart, he not only made me feel forgiven, but useful.

So today I am trying again. Today I am refocusing. I am working to work out His grace in me and through me today. Today, I am His once again.

I believe this is the perseverance that “must finish its work” (James 1:4). It’s getting back on the horse of God’s amazing grace and riding with Him again. And then doing it again. And then doing it again, and then again, and then again….

The wonder of His holiness is His willingness to deal with our imperfection. His patience lovingly perseveres right along with us. Not because He pities us, but because He has so much in store.

Perhaps the great testimony of Jesus’ perfection was, “It is finished.” “With that,” John writes, “he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30).

Our work is to give up our spirits. Some days we do it kicking and screaming. But thanks be to God, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

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