Wednesday, November 23, 2016

“Project, Process, Perfection”

"Project, Process, Perfection"     

    Born again believers are projects involved in a process that will ultimately end in perfection.

    "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works… 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" (Ephesians 2:10; I John 3:2).

   God does not save us for mere rescue, but rather for redemption and renewal.  He purposes to make us like the Lord Jesus in terms of nature, character, and way.  He works all things together for the good of this holy intention (Romans 8:28-29).  This includes today, "the day which the Lord hath made" wherein He will execute the process in our lives that furthers His purpose of spiritual and moral transformation from Christ-notlikeless to Christlikeness.  This explains at least in terms of general principle the reason for many mysterious things that happen in our lives.  Our Heavenly Father works to make us like the Son of His eternal love through the involved and dynamic presence of His Spirit.  "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).  We may not understand exactly how some experiences further the project, but we can be sure they do.  Our Father works toward perfection, to be realized later, but to be engineered today.

   He also works in us for the benefit of others as they journey with the Lord toward Christlikeness.  Hopefully, we serve as a positive example and expression of the Savior's character - "walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).  Our demeanor, attitude, words, and deeds can illuminate our brothers and sisters in Christ as they reflect the Holy Spirit's working in us to reveal God's project, process, and quest for perfection.  We may simply exemplify the Lord Jesus, or we may encourage others with the remembrance of God's working in us, or we may serve as evidence of His faithfulness in executing the process.  "Remember that bad attitude Joe used to have?  The Lord seems to have knocked that chip off his shoulder and replaced it with the love of Christ in his heart."  Conversely, it is also possible that our Father might have to use us as a negative expression of what a believer should not exemplify.  "It's hard to understand how old Joe still acts that way after so many years as a believer.  Lord, search me for anything in my life that also may not reflect the character and nature of the Lord Jesus."  Surely we hope to avoid this type of God's working in all His children to bring the body of Christ into conformity with His Son.

   "We shall be like Him."  Our Father works incessantly to birth and then mature a spiritual race of many sons and daughters who think, speak, act, and relate like the Lord Jesus.  We sometimes ask, "What is the Lord doing?"  Many answers serve to inform us regarding this question, some beyond our understanding.  Of this, however, we can be certain: God purposes to glorify every person who receives His saving grace in the Lord Jesus.  Such glory means conformity to Him.  This is the project and process that presently and inexorably moves toward the perfection of the most loving gift our Father could give to us.  To be like the Beloved, that is, to be like the One who perfectly receives and responds in kind to His Father's holy devotion - this is quest that will be perfectly fulfilled, and that cost our Lord so very much to ensure that we shall be like Him... 

"It became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
(Hebrews 2:10)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and truth's sake!"
(Psalm 115:1)

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