Thursday, January 29, 2009

Magnum Opus

Phil. 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Grace extended has fanned the fire in my heart to bring me closer to my first love. But why would Christ extend His grace to me and not another? Is it something in me that He has seen for Him to lavish His grace on me? By no means. He would only choose me that in the end He would be glorified in the work He has done in me, that others would see and realize that all my good is from and because of Him.

Augustine, after writing some 5 million words over the course of his converted life, would look back toward the end and say that his magnum opus would be "The Confessions".Why would it be that a recounting of his testimony would be his greatest work? Thousands upon 10's of thousands of words on paper, written on a scroll with a pen that had to be dipped, and yet his strongest argument is his testimony.

So what does that mean for us today? God can show off His power in a way that words may never tell, by others seeing the change He has brought about in our lives. Had Augustine not lived out his "confessions" then the impact would have been diminished, even extinguished, by his lack of repentance. It is interesting that he had to defend his "confessions" late into his life, but it would seem very difficult to argue with, "I was dead, a vile sinner, destined for hell and by no good of my own Christ lavished his grace on me and I am a new man, with new loves and a lust for the things of Heaven and God".

Don't we repentant sinners all have the same magnum opus? What greater work could we pen than to see for the first time who we were before Christ and who He has changed us to be? Do we need to study and pour over His word? Sure, but let us not forget the starting place of who, and what, we were- not to dwell on that only- but to remind ourselves that there is no good in us and yet Christ gave His life to win us. What are you going to do with that?

The joy of repentance, even the freedom of knowing that Christ has done this work entirely on our behalf, brings about love overflowing onto others as they see our joy.

How's your spiritual temperature?
How's your joy meter?

Lord, please continue to give me a desire for your Word and to seek your face. May I never again be satisfied with the things that are not You. Give me a love for the sweetness of your presence, your Word and Your people. On my own, I desire only evil and self, but You can change my loves. May You grant me to be a light for Your glory, not my own and may I be quick in giving you singular praise for the transformation of my heart, from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. Break my heart where it needs to be broken and encourage my heart in my despair. You are The Great Physician and you know my infirmities, you know the cure and you know the dosage to bring about healing. Continue your healing work by whatever means necessary to bring me to Yourself. Thank You in advance for Your work in all of our lives.

Go be a "Bright Light - Joy Pants" for the world to see.

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