“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Here it is

I told you in my last post that I was going to get something off my chest. Well, here it is. In my studies, I have been doing a lot of reading about great men of the Faith - how full of grace they were, how they were known for their kindness. (John Newton comes to mind).

This has spurred me to go back into the Word (which is always a good thing), and do a bit more of an in-depth study of this. What I found, and continue to find, is disturbing to me.

Here it is: I am, many times, FAR too many times, graceless and unkind in my dealings with people. I can be contentious and self-righteous, and it is very disturbing. As I read passages, such as Romans 7, passages which used to be of comfort to me, I fear that now I only use them to rationalize that I am just as human as Paul. Sadly, this is not what my focus should be - rather, as Paul admonishes the Corinthians church to do, 1st Corinthians 9:24 -- Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it, I should be running to receive the prize, NOT rationalizing, and justifying my behavior.

There are times when I feel that I started the race fairly well, but I began to slack off about halfway through it, and I would love to place blame on any number of reasons, that are not 'my fault'; but the bottom line is that this is slothfulness.

Here are a few passages that have brought me to this place of repentance and (hopefully) improvement:

1st Corinthians 9:24 - 27 -- Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1st Timothy 1:15 -- The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:8 -- Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ...

I coudl go on - but I think you get the picture - I also have read John Bunyan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and as mentioned Letters of John Newton.

My God give me the grace to continue to be conformed to the image of His Son!


Anonymous said...

I would include our friend Chris Newman in your "great men of faith" category.


Ray said...

Yes, Chris is definitely a man I respect! As are you...

Anonymous said...

don't beat yourself up too much. You've been understandably focused in on your eye issues (pardon the pun). You've shown yourself to be a faithful servant and God will not let you stray, even if He has to apply a little discipline now and again. Besides, "the foote" and I won't let you get by with too much :-)

- Baloo