Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Only One Who Can "Fix You" (or in this Case Me)!...

 When you try your best, but you don't succeed. When you get what you want, but not what you needWhen you feel so tired, but you can't sleep.Stuck in reverse
Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones And I will try to fix you
 -"Fix You"  by Cold Play-


  On Friday mornings my friend Alicia has a book study at her home based on the book "Not a Fan" by Kyle Idleman.  I've read the book before and watched most of the videos in the study, so I'm just  there to watch the kiddos and allow their mommies to have a much needed break and  to relax while they participate.  This past Friday however, I actually had a chance to join the adult  group and it turns out...it was the beginning of one of those moments you know God had His hands all over.
  You see, I seem to constantly fall back into this "works" mentality.  I know in my head that I am saved by grace...I know that I am  loved by God not because of what I do but because of who I am...and I know that there's no way I could ever earn my way into heaven. I know that.  I do......except....sometimes....I don't.  Not really. I get it in my head....but my heart certainly still has a long way to grow in grasping that!
  Well while at book study I decided that I was going to be completely honest and just share how I was feeling (since the first step to recovery is admittance, right?) and so I shared how sometimes I wish God would just hand me a detailed check off list of all He requires of me in order to live a life that honors Him.  It's not that I think I could actually live up to it....but I just kind of feel like if I had a list like that I would know exactly what God expected from me and exactly were I stood with Him (Although I guess I should already know that anyway).
  Well, the study went on and ended and then Friday night I went to a women's fellowship bible study that my church holds at Panera.  We were going through some selected Psalms and some how the topic of Law and Grace came up again. I started to share what I had said earlier at the book study, but was cut off by someone who reminded me that God's already given us that list....it's called the Bible.  She went on to say how the Bible is God's instruction book to us and that Jesus did not abolish the Law in it, but fulfilled it and now calls us to an even higher standard!  I pretty much left that study feeling like a horrible Christian whose just never gonna get it right...and completely condemned  (although I know that was not her intent)!
  Then came Sunday morning service.  Now I know I should probably enter into a church service expecting a big ah-ha moment from God, but I was just not feeling it...and so although I spent my morning preparing my heart for church with some worship, I didn't enter church looking for anything special.  In fact I was late (as always) and totally embarrassed for a mishap in trying to get to my seat, so my heart was pretty much anything but focused on God by the time the sermon came around (Hum...that happens a lot too)!

Anyway, my Pastor preached on Jesus's crucifixion and 4 of the 7 statements Jesus made before His death.  Statement number two was  "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (which He says to one of the convicts being crucified next to Him).  In and of itself, that doesn't seem like all that powerful of a statement, at least not something that could rock me to the core.  But he followed it up by saying something like...imagine this convict was being put to death for something he did to you (something so drastic it was deserving of nothing more than death and hell) and here he turns to Jesus in faith and Jesus claims paradise for him!  How would you feel?!  (Honestly....I would be angry...and I knew it)!  
  Well the point didn't stop there. My pastor went on to talk about how we can tell if we are still living by law or walking in grace based on how we would respond to that statement (ouch!)  and how we are really all just saved by faith not by works!  ALL who turn to God in faith are saved....from Jefferey Dommer to Mother Teresa! And it's not that we should go out sinning because it doesn't matter how we live, but that no matter how good we are (or think we are), we will never measure up...and God knows this, so He made a way!
  I just sat there through the rest of service thinking about this convicted man...how He turned to God and was welcomed into the Kingdom...just...like...that!  I imagined the joy...the relief....the overwhelming gratefulness...and awe he must have felt in that moment!...and I was undone!  I am that man....held against the law I'm not just a first time or second time offender....I'm a convicted repeater, prancing around in my jail suit that I've tried to cover up with Good deeds!  I try to pretend like I'm greater than I am and I try to convince people that I am not the sinner I know deep down I am.  But I don't have to...because that moment on the cross  was enough!
  Which brings me to my last point (I know this is getting long....I'm sorry...I'm wordy).  Before ending service my pastor made a few applications as to what this all means for our everyday lives (he's usually pretty good about tying it up like that).  One of his points included the fact that forgiveness and eternal life belong to ALL who repent and turn to Christ....that means nobody is ever too far from God's reach....AND that we no longer have to preform to prove ourselves to God!  It is finished!  And that is EXACTLY what I needed to hear!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment