Saturday, February 5, 2011

"God So Loved," But What About Me?

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

God may love you the way you are, but do you love Him enough to allow Him to change you?

I realize “allow” is a misnomer as far as God is concerned, since God will do what He pleases, the way He pleases; but it’s the only term I can think of to describe our acquiescence to the will of God in our lives. Here’s the thing: Real, honest to goodness, Heaven-wrought salvation (as the old preachers used to say) is much more than an escape chute from hell and a reservation in Heaven; it’s a dead serious commitment that follows the work of grace in our hearts by the blessed Holy Spirit of God. If this was not made known to you when you accepted God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, you started off in your Christian life with a spiritual deficiency.

Fortunately, when God saves us, part of that new nature (Col.3:9-10) He puts within us is a new inclination to want to please Him, not to secure our relationship, but to show our gratitude and love. Sometimes we think this is best done by contemplating and reciting over and over all that He has saved us from. But it would seem to me that the Holy Spirit is saying to us, “Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, but get on now with what I saved you to!”

Salvation is all about Him, and I give Him glory and show my gratitude to Him for loving me just the way I was—and am—when I submit to the precepts of His Word and the promptings of His Spirit within me. When I do this, I am saying to Him, “I love you, Lord,” in much plainer language than any heartfelt testimony I may give in church. When God bragged to Satan about Job, it was his conduct he praised, not his words (Job 1:8; cp. 1Jno.3:18).

Mark it down; God means to make something of us. Much more than we ever dreamed we could be, and much more than we could ever become by ourselves. Actually, we’re on our way toward perfection. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and He means to see the job through (Phil.1:6). We won’t get there as long as we’re in these mortal bodies, but that’s still the goal. And if we love Him, we won’t be dragging our feet. So, again, I ask:

God may love you the way you are; but do you love Him enough to allow Him to change you?

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