Monday, April 17, 2017

"What Music We Can Make!"

"What Music We Can Make!"        

     The standard of life and righteousness to which God calls us is "higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26).

    "Walk even as He walked" (I John 2:6).

    Upon the surface, such a calling seems absurdly beyond our capacities.  To walk as the Lord Jesus Christ walked?  Any consideration of His character, nature, and way according to the light of Scripture drives us to our knees in helplessness and hopelessness.  The quality of our Savior's life transcends our abilities to the utmost degree.  To think as He thought?  To speak as He spoke?  To act as He acted?  To self sacrificially love as He loved?  "Impossible!" we must all respond.  And we are right.  How can dust live up to the standard of the Divine?   Impossible, and yet

 The command nevertheless beckons - "Walk, even as He walked."  The answer to this seeming impossibility lies in the blessed truth that God calls us to live not in accordance with our own abilities and capacities, but rather by His.  "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10).  The Scottish author James Stewart beautifully illustrates this grace:

   ""For what Christ has done is to make us feel, at all the gateways of our nature, the pressure and bombardment of the infinite energies of a world unseen.  He has shown us how our little life, with unsearchable riches to draw upon, can be reinforced beyond all calculation.  I may not be able to fight down some evil thing.  But if Christ were here, He could.  So then, if Christ is in me, He can.  This transfusion of spirit and energy is really possible...  If Mozart were in you, what music you could make!  That cannot be.  But here is something that can: if Christ were in you, what a life you could live!  This is faith's logic.  God wants you to know that you can rise above the level of your limitations.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).

   God does not call His children to make bricks without straw.  He rather inhabited us when we trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, infusing us with "the infinite energies of a world unseen."  Do we believe this to be true?  Even a cursory reading of the New Testament demands that we affirm "the unsearchable riches of Christ" as the power for living this day (Ephesians 3:8).  Do we emotionally or physically feel the power of such enabling?  Have we heretofore always lived accordingly?  Do we naturally expect to walk in accordance with God's strength, as opposed to our own limited abilities?  Certainly we do not.  However, Scripture calls us to "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).  Regardless what happened in the past, how we feel in the present, or what the future looks like according to our natural perspective, our Heavenly Father calls us to believe that our Mozart, as it were, dwells within us to make the most beautiful music.  We cannot change the past, nor do we know what the future holds.  Through Christ, however, we can trust and submit to God today in the confidence that He will enable us to walk in the joy, peace, and power of His indwelling life.  

   Our Lord lives in us so that we may live through Him.  He is the standard of life, and the life of the standard.  What beautiful music we can therefore make, the music of walking in His faithfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is the Christian life, or rather the life of Christ as revealed in Christians who expect much of themselves because they realize they do not live by their own devices.  The Apostle Paul testified of such grace, and of "the most beautiful music" his Lord composed in him…

"By the grace of God I am what I am.  and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:10)

Weekly Memory Verse
   But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
(II Corinthians 3:18)

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