By Stan Counsell | PREVIEW Columnist
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Whoever coined that proverbial statement must have seen the never-ending messes created by well-intentioned members of society.
It’s quite natural for all of us to try and improve on a product, book or inanimate object that appears in want. We are continually schooled with unending buzz words like “new,” “improved,” “extra white,” “long-lasting,” “never kinks,” “you deserve it,” “it only costs …”
Sometimes there are improvements that benefit us, but the usual “same-o, same-o” still lurks about. All stains, wrinkles, fabric shrinkage and odors haven’t disappeared, and colors still fade.
When it comes to our faith in Jesus Christ, we can experience spiritual variations of the above. Godly ministers and teachers lovingly bring forth the Word of God, but sometimes we don’t fully hear what they are saying. Jesus said numerous times that those with ears needed to hear Him (Matthew 11:15, 13:9; Mark 4:9). But, being spiritual sheep, we can get distracted and feel He isn’t there to love, lead and provide for us.
We deeply want to see people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ but we often feel that we are lacking, well, something. Our heart cries, “Lord, I want to serve you, but I need some long-lasting power, something new and improved that will keep me from shrinking when facing hardships. Is there something that I don’t have?”
Of course, the ever-present “Rev. Flash Ripoff” knows this. Driven by money, prestige and successful hocus pocus, he produces things that will make our service never kink, our witness whiter and brighter and give us durable, all-season tread for continual progress. All we need to do is to buy his books, learn that new doohickey prayer that he got from God, or “sow our seed” to him for long-lasting results that won’t shrink.
But, what we really need is already right there in our Bible, we just aren’t seeing it or have forgotten its power — His love and grace. We never deserved our salvation then and even now. We simply weren’t good enough, greatly flawed with “baggage” to deal with. When God calls us forth with an assignment, we can feel so unqualified. Our accuser, Satan and his minions, still are haranguing us about our weaknesses and failures. Or, he tells us how wonderful we are so we might boast when ministries are presented to us.
The Lord disdains our fleshly feelings of unworthiness or the urge to puff ourselves up, that He needs our talents. We forget that God’s love and grace have washed us whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7). We have, in ourselves, absolutely no soap that can even remotely clean us. In short, He opposes the proud (Isaiah 2:11) but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).
Do we realize that His grace is brought forth and fully bathed in His unlimited love? His very nature is love; we rely on it to serve Him with genuine gladness (1 John 4:8, 16). Our love, service, relationships and our forgiveness of ourselves and others is “fueled” only by His love that richly gives us His grace.
Because of His overwhelming love and grace, why would we doubt or forget Him? Or, why would we think we need our name noticed when everything is about Him? Almighty God knows our weaknesses and failures yet His grace abounds. Wow!
Knowing such, He has richly provided for the Body of Christ in order to grow, march forward, and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 4:11-13, His love and grace brought forth gifts to His church for the many things it will need. When it says Christ gave gifts to the church, the word “gave” also means “necessary for our advantage.”
He doesn’t want us to hold on, being short of breath, trying to fight the forces of darkness to a dreadful draw. His giving was to provide us with the needed advantage for ultimate victory.
He has, and is, doing it all for His glory and our unearned privilege of being His beloved children. Jesus and His church are the field hospital for the wounded in spirit and doctrine. He has a special mission tailored just for us and we now have the advantage over all nasty obstacles. Are we ready to march? He’s leading the charge. Let’s go.
This column may include both fiction and nonfiction, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com.