Tuesday, February 24, 2009

IOW: No Highs Without the Lows

Michelle is hosting In Other Words at Because I Love You. Visit her to read more IOW posts and to link your own.
Is it possible we could experience the joy of our salvation
if we mourned [over our sin] as if someone had died?
We cannot experience joy without mourning.

by Pastor Robert Morris
from Sermon: "Those who mourn are happy"
God uses the comparison of opposites throughout the Scriptures to teach us important lessons, i.e., if there are no lows there can be no highs. There is a point at the beginning of our salvation experience, actually the point that we realize we need salvation, that we have true mourning. We realize that it is our sin that put Jesus on the cross. All His pain was caused by our actions of disobedience.

Once we repent our sins, admit them and turn away from them, and accept God's free gift of salvation through faith in His Son Jesus Christ we experience joy unspeakable. There is no moment in life that matches the moment we realize just how deeply God loves us and what He willingly did for us to bring us into fellowship with Him.
Be perfect, therefore, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. ~Matthew 5:48 [NIV]
The responsibility that goes along with accepting salvation is that we try to live the life God has called us to, a life of growing toward completeness. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary's first definition of perfect is 'being entirely without fault.' While eventually, when Jesus calls believers up to heaven we will be perfect in that way, Matthew 5:48 really means the third definition: 'lacking in no essential detail, complete.' Only a close and obedient walk with God will help us gain that completeness.
In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. ~Matthew 5:48 [The Message]
Because we are not yet complete, we will tend to fall back into old habits. Perhaps we allow ourselves to be moody and unkind with someone. Perhaps we do something more serious and wrong than just being unkind. Or perhaps we allow someone or something to become more important in our daily lives than spending time with the Lord in prayer and fellowship. When God makes us aware of these sins, our response should be deep sorrow [mourning] over the pain we cause our Lord, followed by confession and restoration to fellowship [joy].
We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. ~1 Corinthians 13:12-13 [The Message]

4 comments:

Denise said...

Very awesome.

Esthermay said...

"The Message" version always makes me chuckle! It's such an 'in-your-face' version of things, isn't it? GROW UP! I love it.
. . . Too many Christians leading others to Christ today skim right past the whole SIN part -- you're so right that it must preceded Salvation. And in a very deep way.
It's also a daily thing - not necessarily the deep mourning, but an acceptance that, Yes. I am a sinner. I am no better than the one who hasn't yet realized it. But, I'm under HIS Grace!

Michelle Bentham said...

Patricia,

I was so hoping you were going to post today. I've missed seeing your posts. I've been rather busy away from the internet and occasionally get my facebook or a random blog post up - but nothing of what I did last year this time.

Your post is such well of insight and truth. Thank you for sharing. I echo Esthemay, I sometimes like me a little paraphrase Message to simply nail the point to the wall.

You shaped and shaded this well and drew in the lines for us to complete the picture. Love what you wrote about how that mature completeness in Christ is what we are striving for.

Glory, Glory - It's all about His glory - even confessing and coming to repentence.

Thanks for sharing. And Bless You.

Laurie Ann said...

Truly sin came before salvation. How can we rejoice if we don't acknowledge that? I loved your post. Thanks for sharing!