Thursday, September 4, 2014

Works in Progress

Being confident of this very thing that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ...  for we are his workmanship (Greek = poema) created in Christ Jesus unto good works which he hath foreordained that we should walk in them. Philippians 1:6

We're still under construction.  And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.-Romans 12:2.  For it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure.-Phil. 2:13  Thou art the potter, I am the clay. – Isaiah 64:8  Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way.  Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still. In a world that resists God, the result is the fall of the culture and the rise of darkness.  Those who have eyes to see are witnessing the downfall of our culture which was founded on Godly virtues.  The downfall is both gradual and catastrophic. However, God has raised his men for such a time of this...  to see according to his divine perspective.  God is still on the throne.

First Peter is written to Christians who were scattered abroad because of persecution.  God exhorts his people:  grace and peace be with you... because you are the elect of God, the sanctified of God through obedience.  Obedience is doing the things that God has called us to do according to his Word.  His Word is his will. 1 Peter 1:3 says  “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” God has called us to fellowship with one another so that we can grow together in him.  We need each other as a band of brothers.  You are most like those with whom you associate.  Christianity is about relationships, the way of a Father with his children, the way of brothers exhorting, comforting, and encouraging one another within the family of God.  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

The world will tell us that we are to walk individually with the emphasis on self-reliance.  However, God called us to the body of Christ, harmoniously fitted together as one body, each as an individual fitting, fit for the designer's Devine purpose to the edifying of the body in love. Mercy and grace are a part of God's perfect gift as a result of Jesus Christ's having paid the price of our sin as a sinless sacrifice on our behalf.  Since God is merciful unto us, we in turn are blessed when we are merciful to others...  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Mercy is known only in the giving of mercy.  Jesus said, in that ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.

The question is not who we are, but whose we are.  Our identity is not in the flesh but in Christ in us the hope of Glory.  For we all with open face are changed from glory to glory even as by the spirit of The Lord. Disappointment is the result of missing our appointment with God.  The joy of The Lord is walking with him moment by moment day by day.  Each moment of the day we have a divine appointment to walk with him...  but what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? The abundant life is dying to self to live for him.  Delight thyself also in The Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  When we actively, deliberately, and purposefully decide to make His delight our delight... his good pleasure is our good pleasure, only then can God work within us to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Jesus said, I am come that they may have life and that they might have it more abundantly – John10:10. The abundance of life is in walking in fellowship, our communion (co-union) with Him.  Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have this living hope.  Despite the trials and tribulations of this world, our joy is in The Lord, our living hope. For this light affliction which is but for a moment cannot be compared with the glory that shall follow. For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which he's committed unto me against that day.  He has entrusted me with his spirit in this temporal life on earth to receive an eternal return on his spiritual  investment in me – 2 Timothy 1:10-12.  This is the living hope...  a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in him so that we can give it away by blessing others, by sowing the seed.  For everything there is a season, a season of sowing and a season of reaping.  Now is the season of sowing.  God will prepare the soil of men's hearts.  The plowing of the field of the hearts of men is often painful, but only when the field is broken, can it receive the seed of the Word.  God often brings a nation, a culture to its knees in order to lead the nation to repentance. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land – 2 Chronicles 7:14.

As individuals, and as a nation, and a culture, we are works in process.  Thou art the potter, I am the clay.

Your brother in Christ, Michael


Ken said...

Hi Brian,
Great post, but one brief sentence really stood out to me. "The joy of The Lord is walking with him moment by moment day by day." So often our minds, including mine, gets caught up in the day to day things of life that sometimes we are not walking with Him. By that I mean, we make decisions or do things without considering God or we are living and acting as though He is not present. I heard someone one say, "we should get in the habit of practing the presence of God."

Brian Ray Todd said...

Great point Ken, and I believe is a key to joy in our lives. The whole point of Paul's explaining the battle going on within the Believer between the Holy Spirit and the Sin Nature comes down to walking in the Spirit (in the conscious presence of God) is where the fruit of the Spirit (real love, real joy, real peace, et cetera) that we need and seek are found ... at the source when we are aligned and balanced in the Lord ... and that means decision-to-decision, day-by-day, moment-by-moment, and I'd add breath-by-breath. Being a Christian is not what we do; it's what we are! With a new heart, the heart of God, we are message "Jesus Christ is Lord." And as He said in Matthew 28:20 "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Thank you for the excellent comment. Blessings.