Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Relational" Part 2

     The relationship that begins by God's grace received through faith continues in the same way.

    "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, abounding therein with thanksgiving, as ye have been taught" (Colossians 2:6-7).

    The "Author" of our faith also serves as its "Finisher" (Hebrews 12:2).  The Apostle Paul declares that the new birth "roots" us in Christ, and then "builds" us up in our Savior.  Thus, we look to the Lord Jesus for the living of life no less than we trusted Him for the giving of life - "the just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).  Our spiritual enemies know this truth, likely far better than do we ourselves.  They seek either to discourage our confidence in God or to distract us from the Source and Power of faithfulness to God.  As a friend suggests, "the devil either attempts to stand in front and hinder, or to get behind and push."  Either way, the issue involves the grace of God, as received by trusting the Lord Jesus.  This constitutes the Christian life in blessedly relational terms.  Indeed, is there anything more personal than promises made and promises trusted?  Faithfulness, God's, and faith, ours, unite to grace our walk with the Lord in living and loving relationship, as opposed to either ritual or neglect.

    I can still see the image of my late mother as she took our youngest daughter Emmie for a walk around the block when Emmie was a baby.  I trusted my mother completely to care for Emmie and knew that she would protect her at any cost.  Would I have done the same if a stranger had knocked on our door one day and offered to take Emmie for a stroll?  Not a chance!  We trust others to the degree that we know them.  This is true in our relationship with people, and even more true with God.  We must increasingly know Him if we are to increasingly trust Him.  We must know His grace and the truth wherein the Holy Spirit administers our Heavenly Father's freely given favor in Christ.  This is relational Christianity, the only authentic version.  This is grace through faith Christianity, the personal bond with God that begins and continues in His faithfulness, and through our faith.  And this is love, the glory of our Lord's wondrous heart as known in the trusting hearts of those who "look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
(Romans 5:1-2)
"Faith... worketh by love."
(Galatians 5:6)
"Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
(II Peter 3:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
   I cried unto Thee, o Lord, I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
(Psalm 142:5)


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