Friday, January 17, 2014

"Sparrow's Project - God's Project"

       Our beagle Sparrow initiated a training regimen for our family when she came to live with us seven years ago.  She's been pretty successful in molding our habits to her needs and desires, the examples of which are many.  The one that seems to most vividly confirm Sparrow's effectiveness involves her water dish.  If she happens to find it empty, rather than wasting her breath to verbally communicate our omission - "Hey humans, it's empty again!" - Sparrow rather nudges her dish around the floor, creating enough noise to let us know our services are required.  We hop to it, of course, expressing regrets for failing to live up to a primary tenet of the protocol Sparrow long ago established regarding our daily responsibilities for her care.  She's quite patient with us, thankfully, and she seems to be pleased with our progress (we hope!).

    "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10).
    "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

    God's good work in us elicits good works by us as we trust and submit ourselves to Him.  This begins by the recognition that we are His project rather than our own.  He began the spiritual process of conforming us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29).  Moreover, He continues it "until the day of Jesus Christ."  His regimen, as it were, requires many different applications of Divine wisdom, including both blessing and challenge.  Our Heavenly Father graces us with innumerable expressions of kindness as He molds and transforms us by revealing His boundless lovingkindness.  "Great are Thy tendermercies, o Lord!" (Psalm 119:156).  He also providentially orchestrates and allows hardship to come our way as a necessary means of spiritual change.  "Before I was afflicted, I went astray.  But now have I kept Thy Word" (Psalm 119:67).  We require both expressions of God's continuance and ultimate completion of His good work in us, whereby He so changes our heart, mind, and entire being that good works proceed forth from us.

    Remembrance that we are works in progress, as it were, helps to remind us of our need for both blessing and challenge.  It doesn't explain everything that God determines or allows in our lives.  His ways are far beyond our capacity for complete understanding (Isaiah 55:9).  However, keeping in mind the overarching purpose of our Father in conforming us to the image of Christ helps us to trust His heart when we cannot comprehend His hand.  Sparrow's project - our family - often reminds me of God's project - His trusting sons and daughters in Christ.  As I often suggest, you can learn a lot from a beagle.  And, as Sparrow often suggests, you can get a lot out of humans if you establish and effect a proper protocol.  She's done so, to pretty good effect, I think.  Far more, our Heavenly Father has done so, to perfect effect in the ultimate sense of making us like His Son...

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
(I John 3:2)

Weekly Memory Verse      
      There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.
(Psalm 46:4)

No comments: