Monday, November 7, 2011

No More Huffing and Puffing...

I don't know about you, but I am continually reminded of how I seek to save myself day after day by the things I do rather than what Christ has done.

Even if I give lip service to Christ's finished work on my behalf I find I am drawn once again to believe that somehow I can manage on my own. 

This past week as I have reflected on an ongoing struggle in my life I caught myself wondering why things have not changed, why the situation has not improved and why it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Haven't I done all the things I was advised to do? It is a serious amnesia that permeates my every day.

I forget who I am... 

and what has already been done for me. I struggle and strain and shine my halo all the while forgetting that the struggle and strain has already been done - the halo is in tact on my behalf! Reading the following words from The Ragamuffin Gospel is of great refreshment to me, a weary soul...a beggar who needs to hear once again that it is finished!
Is not the Son the Father's unsurpassable sign of love and graciousness? Did he not come to show the Father's compassionate care for us?

He is not our enemy. If we think that we are wrong.

He is not intent on trying and tempting and testing us. If we think that, we are wrong.

He does not prefer and promote suffering and pain. If we think that, we are wrong.

Jesus bring goods news about the Father, not bad news.

We need a new kind of relationship with the Father that drives out fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt, that permits us to be hopeful and joyous, trusting and compassionate.
We have to be converted from the bad news to the good news, from expecting nothing to expecting something.
The gospel of grace calls us to sing of the everyday mystery of intimacy with God instead of always seeking for miracles and visions...Grace abounds and walks around the edges of our everyday experience.
Author Donald McCullough writes :
Grace means that in the middle of our struggle the referee blows the whistle and announces the end of the game. We are declared winners and sent to the showers. It's over for all the huffing, puffing piety to earn God's favor; it's finished for all the sweat-soaked straining to secure self-worth; it's the end of all competitive scrambling to get ahead of others in the game. Grace means that God is on our side and thus we are victors regardless of how well we played the game. We might as well head for the showers and the champagne celebration."
~Waking From The American Dream

God is on my side.  
He has declared that in Christ it's game over!

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