Friday, August 23, 2013

Continuous Improvement, Indeed!!

Doug Hibbard authored a post that I just read, over at SBC Voices. I read just enough of it to spark some ideas in my brainspace, which I figured I'd best commit to ink (well, electrons...) before they left of their own accord. Here's what got prompted:

First, I've been struck for some time by the fact that John 1 refers to Jesus as the "Word". That thought started a stream-of-consciousness thinking that came out sort of like this:

  • God created man, and breathed life into him. Man sinned, at which point mankind became beings with God's breath, with flesh, but also with sin.
  • Over the following years, God Authored the Bible. It stands as God-breathed truth, without sin (error) and without flesh.
  • At the proper time, Jesus ... the "Word" of John 1 ... was born, with flesh and that God-breathed life, but without sin.
  • Finally came the Holy Spirit, breathing God's truth into the Bible ... also referred to as "The word of God" ... and then into man.
Now, the Holy Spirit comes and indwells believers, after convicting them of sin, righteousness and judgment. And as He works on believers who desire the abundant life Jesus said He came to bring us, He applies more and more of the "Word" ... the Bible ... to us... sinful flesh with God-breathed life, and as He does, we become more and more like Jesus ... call it Christlike if you prefer ... and Jesus is God-breathed life, with flesh and without sin.

The more the Word is applied to our lives, the more we become like the Word who sinlessly dwelt among us.

I find it fascinating that God referred to Jesus as "The Word"!

Second, I subscribe to the thought I heard, years ago ... that God loves us just the way we are, but isn't willing for us to stay that way. And I think that applies to everybody from the newest believer to Billy Graham. See, God's goodness is infinite, and no matter how The Holy Spirit has applied the Word to our lives, God always has more. And that will always be the case, as He is infinite, and we're not.

Third, Jesus said He came for 2 reasons of which I'm aware. One is to seek and save that which was lost, and the other is that we might have abundant life.

Look up the original meaning of that word "abundant" some time. It's awesome!

Ask yourself this: when you buy a present for a loved one, do you want them to want it? Do you want to get them something they'd like to have? I bet you do. So I figure that Jesus wants us to want the abundant life He came to make available.

How do we get that? Simple. Read the Instruction Manual He left for us. The Bible. As has been said, the Bible is the oldest book in the world whose Author is still alive.

And available for consultation, too.

One of the daily devotions in "My Utmost for His Highest" has stuck with me above all the others, for quite a few years. It concerned the Beatitudes, and stated that they were NOT behaviors to be emulated, or striven for. The were indications ... road signs, if you will ... that The Holy Spirit was "having His way with us".

I must also add that I've heard preachers say, from time to time, that we're "just sinners saved by grace". While that may be true historically, the Bible says that those who are in Christ Jesus are new creations. That the old has passed away and all things are become new. And a platform on which the Holy Spirit can make us, day by day, more and more like "The Word" ... who "became flesh and dwelt among us".

Continuous improvement, indeed.



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